Dragon Hunters is a French 52-episode 24-minute animated fantasy comedy television series created by Arthur Qwak and produced by the French company Futurikon. It follows the adventures of two hunters for hire through a medieval world of floating land masses that is terrorized by a widely varying menace of monsters known collectively as dragons. A 3-D feature film and a videogame based on the film have also been released. The original French title is Chasseurs de Dragons.
|Created by||Arthur Qwak|
|Directed by||Jean-Charles Finck|
Norman J. LeBlanc
|Theme music composer||The Cure|
|Opening theme||"The Dragon Hunters Song" by The Cure|
|Country of origin||France|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Original network||France 3 (France)|
Cartoon Network (USA)
|Original release||January 14, 2006 –|
July 19, 2012
Set in a Medieval world made of Floating Land Masses, two men, Gwizdo and Lian-Chu, are professional dragon hunters who have known each other since they were children. Perpetually flat broke, they are forced to continually stay at the Snoring Dragon Inn until they can get another dragon-hunting contract to pay their rent. The proprietress of the inn is Jeanneline, a three-time divorcee with two daughters, one of whom is also a professional dragon hunter who doesn't see her mother much.
Cast and characters
Lian-Chu is a sword-wielding, muscle-bound warrior who actually deals out the dragon slaying. In contrast to Gwizdo, he is more kindhearted and honorable. He is also an avid knitter. In the episode "The Conjunction of the Three Moons", it is revealed that his parents were killed by a dragon, and in "Farewell Lian-Chu" it's revealed that they were killed because his uncle did not give notice to the people when the dragon was on his way to the village. He only knows how to count to 10 and can not read and thus depends on Gwizdo for this.
- French voice: Alexis Victor (season 1), Thierry Desroses (season 2), Vincent Lindon (movie)
- English voice: Harry Standjofski (season 1), Forest Whitaker (movie)
Gwizdo is the brains of the group, and negotiates their contracts with the helpless people terrorized by dragons. He is a small, gangly young man who speaks with a New York or New Jersey accent. He and Lian-Chu have known each other since childhood, and were raised together in an orphanage called Mother Hubbard's Farm. He is avaricious, cowardly, egotistical, cynical and unsympathetic, and abuses Hector constantly with violence and insults. However, he has a heart of gold hidden deep inside, which is elicited by Lian-Chu, Zaza or anyone else he considers a close friend. Furthermore, he is charismatic, and therefore something of a lovable rogue. In "The Orphan Farm" it's revealed that his egotism stems from his miserable childhood at Mother Hubbard's Orphan Farm, where he was bullied, abused and called names for being scared all the time. He is the one who can read, write and count at the inn, therefore Lian-Chu and Jeanneline depend on him for business and contracts. He also flies their airship, the St. George, and wears a pilot's cap (which he very rarely takes off) and goggles. A good deal of the time his attempts to exploit others' predicaments leads to failure, either because of some oversight or because his better nature prevails.
- French voice: Ludovic Pinette (series), Patrick Timsit (movie)
- English voice: Rick Jones (season 1), Rob Paulsen (movie)
Hector is their pet dragon who does not possess the evil nature or the great size of the ones they hunt and acts like a dog. With his fur and ears he seems to be based on a variation of the Asian dragon (similar to Falkor the Luck Dragon in The Neverending Story). His hobbies are eating and picking on other animals such as chickens or sheep. While Gwizdo is the pilot of the St. George, Hector is required to pedal for the propeller, a task he is not fond of. He speaks with a mixture of grunts and pidgin English.
- French voice: Frédéric Sanchez (series), Jeremy Prevost (movie)
- English voice: Rick Jones (season 1), Dave Wittenberg (movie)
Jennyline runs the Snoring Dragon Inn, where Lian-Chu and Gwizdo live. Lian-Chu and Gwizdo owe her an ever-growing debt for room and board. She is a heavyset woman who is short-tempered and strict. She has had three past marriages, which have resulted in Zoria, Zaza and possibly other children. She's in love with Gwizdo and wants to marry him, but he's too scared to commit to a relationship. Her name is given as Jennyline on the DVDs and Janelynn on the official website. The German variation of her name is Jeanneline.
- French voice: Murielle Naigeon
- English voice: Sonja Ball (season 1)
Zoe is Jennyline's oldest daughter, and is an accomplished dragon hunter in her own right. Like Zaza, she was inspired by Lian-Chu and Gwizdo at a young age, and trained with them to learn the moves and arts of the business. She is not a resident of the inn and makes few appearances, but is well known by the main characters. A victim of sexism, she has donned a male disguise in some parts to get more bounties.
- French voice: Marie Drion (movie)
- English voice: Mary Mouser (movie)
Zaza is Jennyline's youngest daughter. She resides at the Snoring Dragon Inn as an assistant. She idolizes Lian-Chu and has dreams of becoming a dragon hunter when she grows up, of which Jennyline disapproves. She spends most of her time at the inn, but occasionally joins the hunters on quests, often through her own means.
- French voice: Audrey Pic (season 1), Catherine Desplaces (season 2)
- English voice: Annie Bovaird (season 1)
Noble Kayo is an elderly doctor whom the hunters sometimes turn to for advice regarding strange conditions, such as poison and paralysis. While intelligent, he is almost completely blind and a bit absent-minded, which makes having a straightforward conversation with him very difficult.
George and Gilbert Forrestal are a two-brother hunter duo, who know Lian-Chu and Gwizdo from growing up alongside them in the orphanage. They look down on Gwizdo and refer to him as a pipsqueak, and often bring up embarrassing childhood events of his. They see no room for competition, and often try to get the hunters' bounties themselves.
- 1. The Strange Taste of Cocomak
- 2. Dead Dragon Walking
- 3. Gland of the Mimikar
- 4. The Isle of Mist
- 5. The Kiwajel Thrust
- 6. Can I See Your License Please?
- 7. The Family Fortune
- 8. Prince Charming
- 9. Baby-Love, Oh Baby-Love!
- 10. Who's Lost Their Head Now?
- 11. The Name Is Dragon
- 12. It's a Dragon's Life
- 13. Desperately Seeking Zoria
- 14. The Return of Roger
- 15. Little Rumble On the Prairie
- 16. A Fist Full of Veggies
- 17. The Deep North Dragon
- 18. Billy Toughnut
- 19. There's No Place Like Home!
- 20. The Conjunction of the Three Moons
- 21. Don't Look Now
- 22. Unwelcome Guests
- 23. For a Few Veggies More
- 24. The Orphan Farm
- 25. Child's Play
- 26. The Collywoble Water
- 27. Dragontagious
- 28. The Borbacks' Cemetery
- 29. The Shipwrecker
- 30. Treasure Rock
- 31. Dragon in the Heart
- 32. The Cure
- 33. The High Life
- 34. Farewell, Lian Chu
- 35. Porkfester's Pigfarm Island
- 36. The Stuff of Dreams
- 37. Baby in the Family
- 38. She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not... She Loves Me!
- 39. The Sweetypie Clause
- 40. Agheegoo
- 41. Combat Spores
- 42. The Convoy
- 43. The Legend of the Rain Dragon
- 44. By the Book
- 45. Drago Menta
- 46. The Grand Tournament
- 47. The Body Beautiful
- 48. City Bound
- 49. Hell Around Town
- 50. The Master of the Dragon
- 51. Ghost Hunters
- 52. The Red Dragon
The program was featured in the United States on Cartoon Network for a few weeks around January 2006, but, after having its time slot moved, vanished from the line-up. Unlike the other cartoons around its Saturday morning time slot, several episodes of Dragon Hunters were rated TV-PG. It returned in September 2006, only to disappear again in October 2006. Up until June 2007, it was available for viewing on Cartoon Network Video. In 2011, it was airing in the U.S. on Starz Kids & Family. 50 of the 52 episodes were available in English on Netflix through their partnership with Starz though the episodes were released out of order.
A second season of 26 episodes began airing in France in August 2007. International releases of both seasons have occurred in over 70 countries. A fanbase was formed in Arabic speaking countries, due to being broadcast on MBC 3. In October 2017, Duranta TV started broadcasting all 2 seasons of the programme in Bengali language in Bangladesh.
Geneon has released five DVDs (containing episodes 1 - 17) in the U.S. and Canada.
- Dragon Hunters Vol. 1: "It's A Dragon's Life"
- Dragon Hunters Vol. 2: "Dead Dragon Walking"
- Dragon Hunters Vol. 3: "There's No Place Like Home!"
- Dragon Hunters Vol. 4: "Don't Look Now"
- Dragon Hunters Vol. 5: "Unwelcome Guests"
The Die Drachenjäger (Dragon Hunters) collectors' game was created and distributed by Dracco Company Ltd, which was a new addition to the Dracco Company's merchandise. The game, released in Belgium, featured forty collectible figurines that resembled the monsters, dragons, and the heads of the main characters, Lian Chu, Gwizdo, Zaza, Hector, and Jennyline. The game plays identically to Dracco Heads.
A collection of figurines has also been featured by Revell.
Directed by Guillaume Ivernel (also art director) and Arthur Qwak, producer by Philippe Delarue, a full-length computer-animated 3D movie was made by Mac Guff Ligne Paris, Futurikon and Trixter Film GmbH. The film is presented in a different timeline, with Lian Chu, Gwizdo and Hector as roving travelers, and Zoe replacing the roles of Jennyline and Zaza.
It premiered on March 19, 2008 in Russia , and on March 26 in Belgium and France, and premiered 2010 in Mexico. It premiered on April 5, 2008 in the United States as part of the Sarasota Film Festival. Rob Paulsen confirmed at a convention interview that he and Forest Whitaker were respectively voicing Gwizdo and Lian Chu.
- The show's theme, "The Dragon Hunters Song", is performed by the English rock band The Cure. This track was available as a single and a track on the German compilation CD Toggo Music 11 in 2005, both now out of print.