movies: how to train your dragon

how to train your dragonMy favourite Disney movie of all time is Lilo and Stitch... I adore it, I love the art, I love the story, I love the characters... it makes me cry...

What, you might ask yourself, does this have to do with Dreamworks' latest offering, How to Train Your Dragon? Quite a lot as it turns out...

Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois who were behind Lilo and Stitch are the co-directors on How to Train Your Dragon (or HTTYD which is easier to type).

I didn't know this until the end of the movie however, so I didn't go into it with preconceived notions, which is always good (at least for me).

But it makes perfect sense... the Night Fury dragon (that's him in the poster) shares not only some physical but also some personality traits with the little blue science experiment.

HTTYD is not a new story (boy who doesn't fit in meets someone from outside his world, finds his place, hijinks ensue), but it's told with a hell of a lot of skill and love and humour.

Initially I was a little put off by the dragons... especially the Night Fury... he doesn't LOOK like a dragon... actually he looks like a salamander. Essentially he's a little bit salamander, little bit cat, little bit Stitch. But he grows on you. And you let go of the fact that a number of the dragons aren't your "traditional" dragons... because the story draws you right in from the opening narration, right through to the very untraditional ending (because there are consequences).

The voice cast is fantastic, especially Jay Baruchel as dragon trainer/hero Hiccup, and I only recognised two of the other voices (a very lovely and "against type" America Ferrera, as Astrid and the very "on type" Gerard Butler as the Viking Chief). I did like that I didn't recognise much of the cast (small though it is), as that can throw me out of the moment, but that never really happened with this with a couple of very small exceptions.

The animation and rendering is GORGEOUS... the water, the clouds, the rock, the hair, the clothes... everything... And I know that's a standard line for almost every computer animated feature I see, but some of it is just spectacular!

Which brings me around to the 3D, or in my case, the lack of same. We went as saw HTTYD in 2D... actually we went and saw this for free because we used the points we'd accrued on our Cinebuzz cards... but this is a movie that I would DEFINITELY love to go and see again in 3D. The story would absolutely hold up to a second (or third, or fourth, etc) viewing and I can only imagine that the visuals would look twice as stunning in 3D.

But THIS is how you make a great 3D movie. You start with a good story... then you ensure that the story shines through whatever whizzbang technology you use to make the movie... just in case anybody should be taking notes about that...

Oh, and while it didn't make me sob like a 6 year old with a skinned knee (see also: Lilo & Stitch), I did well up towards the end...

I think it's safe to say that I liked HTTYD... a LOT... so much so that it's about to join a very exclusive club... the Full Points Club...

yani's rating: 5 toothless dragons out of 5

1 comment:

Lacarian said...

HTTYD became my favorite movie of the year (and the year before and before...), when I saw it first the time. The toothless Dragon indeed has pretty much similarity with exp. 626 - and with cats! We have two of them (cats, not dragons), and the moves of toothless are exactly the moves of our snowwhite cat. :)
Happy easter btw!

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