The Dragons are all CGI done by Disney's own Secret Lab. This was (note the word "Was") there in house digital effects area. They did the special effects on tons of movies. The people working on this movie wanted the best Dragon ever put on screen since "Dragonslayer's" Vermathrax, which is considered to be the greates Dragon ever done (this was also a Touchstone picture several years ago). These guys are terrific and they did an incredible job. But, here it comes, before the picture was finished, some bean counter at Disney HQ decided that it would be cheaper to "Outsource" special effects instead of doing them in-house. So the unit was told that they were being shuttered. A small skeleton crew stayed behind and finished the movie. And they worked very hard to make sure this Dragon was the best.
A lot of people are knocking and trashing this movie. That's a shame, because if you go to a movie you should be going to enjoy a fantasy about someplace and somewhen else. Not to rip it apart for all the little details that don't meet your criteria. This movie rocks. The Dragons are the best ever. And there is one scene that is worth the price of admission. It is held on the screen just long enough for your mind to suddently realize just what it is you are seeing, and then your reaction is "Oh, My God"!!!! I love the movie and it will be a definate must have on DVD when it comes out. Along with Lilo & Stitch which I think is one of the best, funniest and heartwarming Disney movies to come along in years. They are both Disney Films and they are both great. Give Reign of Fire a chance. The story is great, though the dialogue can be a little weak at points, it still works within the concept of the story. And the Dragons are not shown a lot. They didn't want to make them a Special Effects thing. They are part of the story and are only shown to move the story forward, not stop it in it's tracks for oggling Dragons. These Dragons are nasty. No oggling alowed. When they appear, run like H E double toothpicks. Or as the mantra to the children in hiding is:
"What to do you do when you are awake"?
"Keep both eyes on the sky"!
"What do you do when you are asleep"?
"Keep one eye on the sky"!
"What do you when they come"?
"Run fast. Hide Deep, and don't look back"!
Actually...the secret lab (formally dreamquest) is still alive..barely...they went from a staff of 50+ to I THINK a staff of only 7. They still do function as an effects house..but only for the minor things...dreamquest used to ALWAYS commision help from other companies (actually..most companies including ILM and Sony Imageworks almost always go to other studios to help)..they just decided they would change the focus and make The Secret Lab the "helpers".....sad really since the Secret Lab consists of some of the best animators in the field.....
...on a side note..i just got some snail mail from the studio about possible job openings there soon...too bad they are on the wrong coast for me