it was released directly to VHS 1982, and then aired in 1986. I remember coming home from work for an early dinner and seeing parts of it and being quite confused, since I didn't know about the book at all. I have read Dickson's book several times, and enjoy it a lot. there are apparently a TON of sequels, of which I have read three (the last one involves a sorcerous Kraken and lots of sea monsters).
there are a LOT of dragons in this movie. it ostensibly deals with the end of magic and the start of science, which by now has become a cliche` in movies of this type. sometimes I think I would like to see magic win, but for some reason the filmmakers always think they should be more historical and prove why we don't see dragons and such any more. sometimes I think we'd be better served by magic, seeing what science has wrought these days.
boy I love cartoons, I sure wish we saw more of them.