Monday, April 5, 2010

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon

To be quite honest, when I first heard about How to Train Your Dragon, I was rather uninterested. Sure, dragons are pretty cool and all, but it just seemed like another movie aimed towards the kiddies. Think of the animation flicks that have come out recently and bombed; Planet 51 or Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeekqual. I was about ready to place How to.. into that same list of lackluster and doomed famliy films, until I read the initial reviews. Remarkably, How to.. got ranked very well and I needed to find out what all the hub bub was about.

How to.. follows an ancient Viking village as they deal with a bit of a pest problem; dragons! Hiccup is the son of the burly, tough village General and is having a hard time finding acceptance because he is so different from the rest of the villagers. Hiccup is desperate for fame and glory, which is reserved for those who are victorious in battle with a dragon. When Hiccup's opportunity to trap and kill the most feared dragon around arrives, he realizes who he truly is and develops an unimaginable relationship with an unlikely individual; together paving his own road to fame and glory and perhaps securing the future of his village forever.

First of all, I watched the film at the IMAX theatre in Chinook center. IMAX never fails to impress me, and this was no different. I love the massive screen, the elite 3D glasses and the monumental sound system. it's a wee bit on the steep side; $17 per person, but totally worth it.



The animation in the film was breathtaking, practically on the same level as Avatar. Generally, I have believed the Pixar is far superior then Dreamworks in terms of animation quality, but How to.. proves that Dreamworks can produce animation just as good or even better than Pixar. I have to level with you. This movie got me a little emotional. Before you laugh and ridicule me, let me explain. My biggest dream is to fly. If I could have any super power for a day it would be the ability to fly. If I could fly or teleport, I would rather fly. Nearly once a week, I dream of flying. Catch my drift? The scenes in which Hiccup flies upon a dragon were magnificent! Dreamworks managed to effectively place the audience in the saddle of a dragon as it glided along the clouds, swooped around the rocky beaches and dove through the crisp Norwegian air. I was completely emerged into the scenes, catching myself gripping the arm rests and pushing my feet off the ground with every nose dive. Honestly, these are the most beautiful scenes in animation history ranking up there with the "Love Montage" from Up. Critically, it took a while to adjust to the faces of the characters; they are a little too cartoony, but that could be because of my Pixar bias.

I have not read the book that the movie is based upon, but I found the story to be fantastic. It has been reviewed as having great dramatic depth, and I can't help but agree entirely with that statement. This is not your normal family film. This movie dares to delve deeper into human emotions then most animation films have, with exception to Up, and does so very effectively. It is definitely a challenge for film makers to effectively make the audience empathize with the protagonist of their film but this was masterfully achieved with How to Train Your Dragon. The movie ends with a bit of a twist and while I don’t want to give it away, let me just say that it just further sets this movie apart in terms of depth and character. The film also has deeper implications as it criticizes brash American war mongering like in Vietnam and Afghanistan/Iraq and the Military Industrial Complex. I'm seriously not reaching! Watch it and tell me you don't see it too!

In summary, How to Train Your Dragon is my favorite movie of the year thus far and it would definitely take a lot to knock it off the top spot. It was amazing visually and heart-touching emotionally. It has everything that makes a great movie, without having to be too dramatic. How To Train Your Dragon is an extremely mature movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. I absolutely loved it and I'm sure you will too; trust me!

9.5/10

stv

1 comment:

  1. I would like to say that you really made my day, it's wonderful when you just look around the web
    and find something like this, reminds me of that ''How to make a dinner for a romantic...'' by Elsa Thomas,
    you're a wonderful writer let me tell you!!! ñ_ñ

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