Netflix currently has an animated, family-friendly, German movie called Firedrake the Silver Dragon (in German, the film is called Drachenreiter). The movie is also known as Dragon Rider. The film features the talents of Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Picard) and is one of the highest trending movies on the streaming service right now.
Based on the novel titled Dragon Rider by author Cornelia Funke, the story follows a Firedrake, a young dragon with a boy named Ben, and a mountain spirit named Sorrell who come together to find the Rim of Heaven. The goal for the silver dragon is to find a place of peace as humans have threatened his previous home. Hunting them on this journey is the manmade metal dragon, Nettlebrand, who is played by Patrick Stewart.
The film was meant to release in theaters on August 6, 2020. Due to the pandemic, the release date for the Patrick Stewart animated film had to be shifted. Eventually, its saving grace was Netflix obtaining the global distribution rights of the Constantin Film, Rise Pictures, and Cyborn 3D-produced spectacle. It was a move that has been common throughout the past year as more and more movies have opted for streaming avenues rather than theatrical, which has been controversial across the board for the industry.
Dragon Rider is the directorial debut of Tomer Eshed. The adaption is written by Johnny Smith (The Queen’s Corgi). It stars Patrick Stewart, Freddie Highmore (Bates Motel) as Ben, Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as the spirit Sorrell, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Maze Runner) as the young dragon. Along the way, they are joined by Nonso Anozie (Sweet Tooth), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Unforgotten), and Meera Syal (Code 404). It was produced by Ives Agemans, Africa Aguirre Martín, Oliver Berben, Ciara Breslin, Christoph Müller, Sven Pannicke, Dennis Rettkowski, Marina Schiller, Ulrich Schwarz, and Bernhard Thür. Martin Moszkowicz executive produced.
Reviews for the movie starring Patrick Stewart, Felicity Jones, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster have not been too bad. While there are not too many reviews submitted on Rotten Tomatoes despite releasing on September 10, both its audience and critic scores pass into the fresh territory. The critic score, which currently holds 10 submissions, is at 70 percent where critics praise the animation, messaging, and vocal performances from its cast. People did critique its formulaic foundation and compared it to Pixar, but not quite as good as the renowned animation studio. Meanwhile, it barely passes for audiences with its fewer than 50 reviews submitted, it has a 60 percent. Regardless of this, it is a hit on Netflix as it is one of the top trending releases this month.
While the Patrick Stewart adaption is getting a good amount of attention, it does not quite reach the level of the source material. Dragon Rider was a huge hit in Germany when it was published in 1997, and in 2000 when it was translated to English. The New York Times bestseller spawned a sequel in 2017 titled The Griffin’s Feather. Lightning struck twice as the second book was also a big hit for the author. Maybe with the success of the movie on Netflix, we could potentially see a sequel.
Patrick Stewart is best known for his long-running role as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek where he debuted in Deep Space Nine and had a more substantial role in The Next Generation. Since then, he has appeared in video games, TV shows, and movies as the franchise reached across different media.
Outside of Star Trek, Patrick Stewart has had a long career spanning across decades as he has traversed all sorts of different genres and characters. He made a splash as Professor X in the X-Men franchise, where he and co-star Hugh Jackman (Bad Education) ended their long-running stint with Logan. The actor has also starred in the horror movie Green Room, raunchy cartoons like Family Guy and American Dad!, and narrating both Ted movies.
Patrick Stewart has been nominated for four Emmies. He has been nominated for 1998’s Moby Dick, 2003’s The Lion in Water, his guest appearance in 2005 for Extras, and nominated for his performance in 2009’s Hamlet miniseries.
You can see what the fuss is about for the trending animated movie starring Patrick Stewart, Felicity Jones, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as it is now streaming on Netflix.