D&D Cartoon Characters Make Surprise Cameo in ‘Honor Among Thieves’
The D&D movie, Honor Among Thieves premiered at SXSW. To celebrate, Paramount released a clip highlighting a familiar-looking party.
It begins, people. There’s no turning back now. We are entering the era of a new D&D movie. This time without Jeremy Irons. Whether or not it’s good we’ll leave til a formal review. But it’s certainly self-referential. And full of more CGI than you would have expected, even for a D&D movie. The lush city of Neverwinter and its magical adventure arena (consisting of five-foot squares) are digitally rendered.
We get a glimpse of both the digital Neverwinter, as well as a cameo by the D&D cartoon characters as a rival adventuring party, who are spared the ignominious defeat of a third, as-yet-unnamed adventuring party who gets eaten by a displacer beast that doesn’t work the way you’d think!
D&D Movie Features Surprise Cartoon Cameo
A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure.
Here’s a look at the aforementioned clip. You can see Hugh Grant, Hugh Granting his way through a position of authority that he definitely doesn’t deserve. But his role as a con man seems to have led to that.
We also get a look at how the D&D movie interprets displacer beasts. According to the Monster Manual a displacer beast “projects a magical illusion that makes it appear to be standing near its actual location, causing attack rolls against it to have disadvantage.”
In the movie, it seems the spiked protrusions at the end of its massive tentacles are responsible for the projection. But, that’s not all. As you’ll see, there are two other parties of adventurers, aside from the main characters of the movie here. And one of them looks awfully familiar.
That’s right, it’s Hank the Ranger, Eric the Cavalier, Presto the Wizard, Bobby the Barbarian, Diana the Acrobat, and Sheila the Thief from the 1983 D&D cartoon back, in pog form.
We’re just one Dungeon Master appearing short of an ouroboros of nostalgic references. It makes you wonder who this is supposed to be appealing to? The D&D cartoon came out in 1983. And to much derision by audiences not even a few years later. So much so that they met an ignominious, off-camera death in Baldur’s Gate II. Now they’re being trotted out like some beloved old familiar character we’re all meant to recognize. Because they get a fair amount of screen time here. The camera lingers on their theme-park-character-actor-like costumes. We get to see their teamwork as they help each other and aren’t eaten by a displacer beast.
But, maybe this is all a hiint at D&D Phase 4, featuring the cartoon rebooted on a streaming platform, and a cross-over event wherein the D&D movie characters are animated. Who can say?
As Enya would say, “only time.”