Dragon’s Blood is a 1985 animated movie or episode of the CBS Storybreak.
Which was a Saturday morning anthology series presenting animated adaptations of children stories. Debuting on March 30, 1985 and lasting until 1987 the series was hosted by Bob Keeshan – Captain Kangaroo himself!
Besides Dragon’s Blood other stories that were adapted included How to Eat Fried Worms, and Chocolate Fever. To name just a few of course. I must be completely honest and admit that I didn’t watch CBS Storybreak on a regular basis. While I certainly can’t remember exactly what was was taking my valuable viewing time I do know it was a rare occasion that I switched to the anthology series.
However I did see Dragon’s Blood when it aired – possibly there was a rerun of Kidd Video or something? Whatever the reason, I watched it and quite enjoyed it. Dragon’s Blood was adapted from the novel by Jane Hyatt Yolen. Part of the Pit Dragon Trilogy of books in fact. The story took some liberties it would seem with the source material. So much so that is has been said that Yolen remarked “it looked as if someone had waved the book in the direction of the camera and done little else.”
While that may be the case I have to argue that while not having had the pleasure of reading the books it still holds up. Entertaining and an incredible score to say the least. The story concerns a young slave named Jakkin. Who is a slave or a Bonder, who takes care of the mighty dragons used in pit-fighting events. The young man harbors a dream of stealing a dragon egg before they hatch in the hopes of training it, earning enough coin to pay his bond. To become a free man.
Fate it would seem agrees with that plan as an unhatched egg comes into his possession. Naming it Heart’s Blood the two form a friendship…but can they overcome the odds and win in the arena?
Find out for yourself as you watch Dragon’s Blood!
By the way, there are some wonderful vintage commercials included in the video below. Such asRainbow Brite, Pop-Tarts, and My Little Pony!
I first discovered Simon and his friends in the Land of Chalk Drawings thanks to the Captain Kangaroo TV program, it wasn’t until recently that I learned we in the states had a different narrator for the episodes.
Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings was produced for television by Thames Television in London and animated by FilmFair productions, it’s original narrator was Bernard Cribbins, who you might know better as Wilfred Mott from the updated Doctor Who series.
Here in the states we had Bob Keeshan, Captain Kangaroo himself narrating the episodes, and for Canadian television broadcasts it was narrated by Ernie Coombs.
For those that haven’t had the pleasure of watching the show, here is the intro:
In the show, Simon had many adventures thanks to his magical chalkboard. Whatever he might draw on the board becomes real in the Land of Chalk Drawings. The first episode of the series really, really always stuck in my head as Simon first learns of his creations but finds out the citizens of the Land of Chalk Drawings are very upset with him as he didn’t finish his drawings, meaning they were incomplete. He is confronted by the citizens who are missing arms and legs, Simon of course helps them out and he is readily accepted in Land of Chalk Drawings.
Sadly I do not believe this wonderful series is available on DVD. A big thanks to Super Jedi Man for uploading the intro over on YouTube!
CBS Storybreak was an animated anthology series that premiered in 1985 on CBS. It was hosted by Captain Kangaroo himself, the great Bob Keeshan and featured half hour adaptations of popular/classic children’s stories. The show won an Emmy for its initial season and ran until 1988. It returned to the air in 1993 with new host, The Cosby Show’s Malcolm Jamal-Warner.
Here is a list of all of the episodes from CBS Storybreak’s Initial run:
The Great Ringtail Garbage Caper
Yeh-Sheh: A Cinderella Story from China
Robbut: A Tale of Tails
How to Eat Fried Worms
Hank the Cowdog
The Double Disappearance of Walter Fozbek
Arnold of the Duck
The Pig Plantagent
Harry the Fat Bear Spy
The Roquefort Gang
The one I remember the most is “How to Eat Fried Worms”. Probably because I remembered the story from when I was a kid. Sadly they have not done a DVD release of CBS Storybreak in a boxed set, but in 1992 they did release them on VHS, some of which you can still find on Amazon Marketplace and eBay. Just look for the box:
There used to be episodes of the show available on YouTube, but they have all been pulled for TOS violations. But you can still get a little CBS Storybreak magic from the intro and these bumpers.