World of Warcraft’s Cinematic Heritage

Tonight, I showed Alex the Mists of Pandaria official trailer.

He was… amused, but his reaction can be best described as “Huh, okay. Neat.”

I mentioned that there were other videos, done by Blizzard, for each of the expansions. And I showed him how you can access them from the game loading screen. No, he had never seen them before. At least, that he remembered since he began playing.

Those movies were much bigger hits, with the Catalclysm cinematic winning ‘best of show’ for Alex.

But watching the cinematics, I was confused. I remembered there being other movies, official movies that I was not seeing in the in-game list. I expected to open up, for example, the Burning Crusade tab and see at least two movies in there. The first official expansion cinematic, and then there was at least one Black Temple video, wasn’t there?

And what about original WoW? Wasn’t there a movie for the Necropolis patch release?


I went to find World of Warcraft’s official Youtube channel, and yes, yes there they all were. All of the cinematics, along with tons of other videos and commercials.

Alex watched as I reviewed the Rage of the Firelands patch trailer, and he freaked. He has now watched that trailer probably 5 times, and he can’t stop gushing about it.

I had to bookmark the WoW youtube channel and teach him how to navigate it and use the settings to change the quality level and make them full screen, and I know full well what he’s going to be doing tomorrow.

One thing he asked me though, was if there was some way he could only see the patch and expansion trailers as he browsed the channel.

Maybe he can, I don’t know. I’m not as tech savvy with these things as I used to be. I don’t take the time to tinker like I used to.

One thing I can do, though, is make a single blog page that has each expansion and trailer video, in chronological order, for him to view at his convenience.

It will be an awesome little webpage for me, too. It’s been a long time, and just watching snippets of these videos again made me excited all over for the entire game.

Why, it motivated me to get us into Blackwing Lair tonight, and get the achievement and see if we could get some of that awesome gear. Alex had a BLAST controlling Razorgore the Untamed!

Before I list all of the videos, may I strongly recommend Eshaton’s Solo and Duo Old Raid Guide for level 85s? It’s hosted on Wowhead, and it is magnificent for the old school solo and team tourists like us.

It made blasting through Blackwing Lair a breeze. ๐Ÿ™‚

And now, on to a celebration of the Blizzard cinematic team, and my unbridled thrill at wishing they were in charge of the entire World of Warcraft official movie development. I don’t want live action, I want this! As a trilogy over ten years if I must.

World of Warcraft – official cinematic trailer.

In the beginning, World of Warcraft and Everquest II were both slated for release at the same time, and most game magazines I read compared them side by side, weighting EQII as the heavyweight and WoW as the upstart underdog.

I didn’t buy in until I saw this video. It was that transformation from night Elf to panther that sold me on this. That, and the Dwarf with his Bear. Yes, Cats and Bears are pretty much why I bought this game.

World of Warcraft – Patch 1.11: Shadow of the Necropolis.

When Alex saw this video, his first question was, “Can we go there?” Yes, my son, yes. And there will be much rejoicing.

World of Warcraft – The Burning Crusade cinematic trailer.

Alex was surprised to see this one, he has never set foot in the Black Temple, but he loved the look of Illidan. He also loved a certain sheepish moment. Yeah, I went there.

The Burning Crusade – Patch 2.1: The Black Temple

The Burning Crusade – Patch 2.3: The Gods of Zul’Aman

The Burning Crusade – Patch 2.4: Fury of the Sunwell

World of Warcraft – Wrath of the Lich King cinematic trailer

Wrath of the Lich King – Patch 3.1: Secrets of Ulduar

Wrath of the Lich King – Patch 3.2: Call of the Crusade

Wrath of the Lich King – Patch 3.3: Fall of the Lich King

World of Warcraft – Cataclysm cinematic trailer

Cataclysm – Patch 4.1: Rise of the Zandalari

Cataclysm – Patch 4.2: Rage of the Firelands

Alex has chosen this as the ultimate best movie in all of creation. He keeps talking about how incredible it is, Thrall asks for guidance from the spirits and gets a vision from Ragnaraos himself! Or, as Alex said he calls him, “Little Rag.”

Cataclysm – Patch 4.3: Hour of Twilight

World of Warcraft – Mists of Pandaria cinematic trailer

Whew! You know, I swear there was a movie for Ahn’Qiraj. Are there some Blizzard doesn’t have on their official site? I know that there are many more awesome movies there and commericals and stuff, but I wanted to make Alex a collection of the official cinematic and trailer videos, and I was surprised there wasn’t a Gates of Ahn’Qiraj one.

Regardless, after watching all of these back to back, I am so freaking excited to play some more WoW I want Pandas, and I mean right the heck NOW!!!

16 thoughts on “World of Warcraft’s Cinematic Heritage

  1. My favorite has always been the Lich King cinematic. Something about the voiceover with his father just makes it so poignant.


  2. Hah, I knew there was a reason I liked your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s not a coincidence that the two toons of mine that ever made it to the level cap were a male dwarven hunter and a female night elf druid – those two snippets were by far the best part of that original trailer.


  3. Holy carp. I’ve been playing since 2005, and I’ve honestly never seen most of those. I just sat here for the last hour and watched every one of them.

    (bookmarks ‘tell you three times’)


    • (“The fingers you have used to type, are too fat.”) Even the in-game videos have gotten better, but the purpose made stuff has gotten just incredible. Deathwing was great, but the expressions and so on on the pandaren in the new one is just wild. They even manage to avoid the uncanny valley (In, of course, my opinion) with the last few of them showing humans. Would love to see a full movie done by the ones who did that last…

      BTW, did anyone notice that the pandaren in the new video is dressed exactly the same as the ‘pandaren monk’ pet?


  4. A great big THANKS for posting these! My daughter loves the cinematics (has even before she began playing this year), and I hadn’t thought to show her the smaller raid patch ones that were not on the login screen. She came in here while I was reading your post, and ran straight to her laptop. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You so rock…thanks!


  5. I hadn’t seen any of the patch videos (technically, I still haven’t being at work, the Man frowns on youtube watchin’) but I will definitely be watching all of them tonight.

    I also loaded up the beta last night and watch the MoP trailer again there – because the resolution is just amazing. I think I’ve seen it now 10 times. I know it’s not as gripping as previous trailers, but it made me want to try a pandaran… they’re so bouncy! I’m shaped like a pandaran, but I’m not that bouncy… I wish I were.

    Well, I hadn’t planned on playing a pandaran, even though I loved them in WC3 and was a vocal proponent for adding them… but now. Heck, I might race change everyone to pandas! (ok, that’d be expensive… but the thought is there)


  6. “You know, I swear there was a movie for Ahnโ€™Qiraj”

    Your memory serves you well, Three-B. There was indeed a video for Ahn’Qiraj. However, unlike the other trailers this one used recordings of an actual in-game live server event. Namely, the Magtheridon realm opening the gates for the first time and starting the 10 hour war. You can find it here:

    The WoW YouTube channel is also missing the Zul’Gurub trailer:

    And just because I’m a nerd, here’s the Eastern Plagueland Towers PvP Trailer:

    I need to get more fresh air…


  7. Well at least now you showed him the cinematic ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for linking all these videos! I actually have the AQ video for some reason on my computer but I’m not sure how I got it.
    A 9 year old’s perspective is vastly different from a 4 year olds. My daughter loves the Lich King trailer and the original vanilla trailer. she knows how to click to get them up on the screen. I have yet to show her the pandaria one – I will show her tonight when I get home. Hopefully she will like it. Because I want to watch it again ๐Ÿ˜€


  8. The Gates of Ahn’Qiraj Trailer? You mean this?

    I could’ve sworn it used to be on their main site before they redid it; But it being more game footage than anything, I wonder if that’s the reason they dropped it?


  9. Wow! Thanks BBB. It’s great to see all those together.

    To me, though, it really highlights how weak the MoP cinematic is. There’s two that stand out as pretty weak among all the earlier cinematics: Call of the Crusade and Hour of Twilight. They just don’t have the same ummph of the others. Is it a coincidence that those are two of the weaker raids? I don’t know. But, to me, those two cinematics stood out. And then, the MoP cinematic is just so different. It just doesn’t have the same epic draw that the others do. Sure hope that’s not a reflection of the expansion. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


  10. Dude YES. If they would do an entire movie series using the animation team that made the new trailer, I would buy every edition they released on any video format. Also, stop being Alliance so I can run stuff with you.


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