The Color of Magic

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Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, much like its character Cohen the Barbarian, is “a lifetime in [its] own legend”. This movie tells the stories from the first two books of the Discworld series, The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic.  To be honest, I don’t think the first few of books in the series are Pratchett’s best for several reasons, but mostly because the mythology of Discworld hadn’t yet been fully distilled in the author’s mind. Therefore I don’t object too much that the script takes enormous liberties with the narrative, as many of the changes are arguably for the better. Discworld is a genre unto itself, high fantasy taken to such extremes that it passes through the fabric of reality and comes out on the other side in a completely different universe, the result being quite profound, wickedly satiric and of course hilariously funny.  It has been said that Sir Terry Pratchett did for fantasy what Douglas Adams did for science-fiction and I most heartily concur.

Bringing such a world to life on film is a challenge of epic proportions and I applaud director Vadim Jean‘s efforts.  The author himself was involved and even gets a credit for it: ‘Mucked about by Terry Pratchett’.  I loved the shots from space of the Great A’tuin, the world turtle (of indeterminate gender) and the costumes in general were really wonderful with the wizards in particular being quite spectacular.  Cohen the Barbarian was fantastic as a wizened up old hero, Bethan the ditzy erstwhile druid sacrifice was funny and The Luggage was excellent. Tim Curry was a genius choice to play dastardly Trymon, a ruthlessly ambitious wizard, and I was thrilled to see Jeremy Irons as Lord Vetinari. Unfortunately, Irons gives the Patrician a slight speech impediment, where he pronounces R’s as W’s. This makes Lord Vetinari a little ridiculous, hardly the imposing and quietly menacing figure from the books. I also have no idea why Sean Astin was cast as Twoflower, as the Disc’s first tourist is supposed to be from the Agatean Empire (on the Counterweight Continent), which is portrayed in the books as being vaguely Asian with slight Japanese and Chinese flavors (their favorite delicacy is ‘squishi’). All in all though, a great introduction to Discworld which will hopefully inspire you to explore the books. For fans of the series, it’s a rare treat to see the magic of the books come to life and even though it’s never going to be like you imagined it in your head, it’s fun to see what it looks like in someone else’s. – BETHANY

For more on this movie, visit:  The Color of Magic IMDB

For more information on the great Sir Terry Pratchett, the Discworld series and other books, visit:

This is Great A’tuin, the sky turtle, who swims through the cosmos.  Discworld rests on the backs of four elephants who stand on A’tuin’s shell.  Really.

Twoflower, Ankh-Morpork’s first tourist (Sean Astin) and Rincewind (David Jason), whose hat reads ‘Wizzard’.

The harbor of Ankh-Morpork.  The Tower of Art at the Unseen University dominates the city’s skyline.

                                    This is The Luggage, made of rare sapient pearwood – note all the little legs under it which allows for self-mobility.  Sometimes when Twoflower opens the lid, it’s full of gold (top left).  Other times, it attempts to eat people (upper right).  And still other times, it produces clean folded and pressed laundry smelling of lavender.

Discworld’s rimfall, around the edge of which runs the Circumfence.  *pauses for laughter*

Tim Curry as the wizard Trymon.  How does that hat stay on?  It’s bigger than his head!

Jeremy Irons as Lord Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork.  The little dog is named Wuffles.

Cohen the Barbarian (David Bradley) and Bethan (Laura Haddock).

The Octavo, a powerful magical book containing the eight greatest spells in the Multiverse, one of which has escaped and taken up residence inside Rincewind’s head.

Wyrmberg.  Here there be dragons.

                            Death, voiced by Christopher Lee holding the lifetimers of Rincewind and Twoflower.

The trailer for The Color of Magic:

A cartoon in which Twoflower explains how he obtained The Luggage:

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The Luggage by al-xx                           (image courtesy of

Sir Terry Pratchett himself at a convention, followed by The Luggage. (image found on flickr)

(image courtesy of

(image found at

Photos courtesy of RHI Entertainment and The Mob Film Company (unless otherwise noted)


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