Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Train Your Dragon (Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, 2010) Review

Did you know that there was a time that Pixar and Disney were NOT on top? Hard to believe, I know. With films like Cars 2 and Winnie the Pooh, you have to ask yourself if Disney are really as good as they used to be (Wreck-it Ralph says otherwise) so I thought I would see what Dreamworks were up to. Now, I used to love the books this film was based on so I decided to check out this film.

On the Viking island of Berk, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is young Viking who wishes to join his village in a battle against dragons. His father, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), believes that his son is incapable of fighting and dismisses him. Hiccup ignores his father's word and manages to take down a Nightfury, the rarest of dragons. Hiccup can't bring himself to kill the dragon and also learns that dragon can no longer fly due to a injury caused by Hiccup. He decides to try and tame it after the dragon, which Hiccup names Toothless, doesn't kill Hiccup which is what he was brought up to believe dragons would do. Hiccup and Toothless begin and friendship and try to form a bond between Viking and Dragon.

Did you know that this was the film that started Dreamwork's streak of great films? This, Megamind, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, Madagascar 3 and Rise of the Guardians all proved that Dreamworks can do better than Disney. All of these were great films but the crowning jewel, and what I believe to be Dreamworks' best, is How to Train Your Dragon. This film is just beautiful. Firstly, the two protagonists are so likeable and well designed that they allow you to be engaged in the film and be sucked into the amazing world it creates. Jay Baruchel provides a break out performance that got people to notice him and being along Gerard Butler prove to be a realistic relationship, even more so with Hiccup and Toothless.

My God is the soundtrack amazing. I'm sorry but it's truly one of my favourite soundtracks to an animated film. Just listen: THIS IS A LINK! John Powell did a stand up job for the music and it compliments the beautiful look and aesthetic of the film. Even the emotion is great. The story leads to some moments that you'd think would be cliché and, while they technically are, they pump it full of that good old emotion that always gets a thumbs up from me (Men In Black III won me over with it).

How to Train Your Dragon only has one thing that bugs me. It was released the same year as Toy Story 3. I'm so annoyed that I'm not allowed to prefer this film. It's a truly beautiful film and proves that Dreamworks can do better than Disney...it just depends what film the rival has up their sleeves (I think Pixar deliberately made Toy Story 3 just to distract people form Dreamworks' best film). Don't watch Pixar's version known as Brave, watch this film instead...yes I am going to attack Brave at every opportunity (seriously Academy? Did you even see Wreck-it Ralph?).

Dreamworks' best film that is filled with beautiful music, landscapes, well crafted characters and lots of emotion.

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