A special-effects laden medieval fantasy adventure, Dragonslayer centers on the attempts of a young sorcerer's apprentice to defeat a vicious dragon and save a lovely young maiden. Peter MacNicol stars as the young Galen, an aspiring magician under the tutelage of the aging Ulrich (Ralph Richardson). A nearby village turns to the pair for help when their leader begins proffering sacrifices of young virgins to satisfy a vicious dragon. The two immediately set out for battle, becoming even more determined when a courageous princess offers to sacrifice herself to the creature. Unfortunately, Ulrich's failing abilities force Galen into the center of the conflict, where the uncertain young boy must prove himself under fire. The suitably mythic if somewhat predictable story is told straightforwardly, culminating in a spectacular battle against the beast, featuring Academy Award-nominated visual effects. Despite its visual flair and relatively positive reviews, the film received mediocre response at the box office, as some criticized the film's violence as too intense for its intended younger audiences.