This is about Dreamwork's latest animated movie
which was (loosely) based on a book of the same title, and was directed by Chris Sanders. People may remember him for the last film he directed, Lilo & Stitch.
This thread was created so that people can post their impressions of the film, and also to provide some exposure since it deserves more attention then it's getting right now.
"Well that's not surprising, is it? It's Dreamworks.
Put that away. How to Train Your Dragon
is quite a bit different from Dreamwork's other films. There are not a ton of pop culture references--very little, if any, actually--and is actually driven forward not by a string of gags or comedic pieces, but by the story and the characters present. The balance of story and humor is very similar to a Pixar film.
"Okay, but the commercials..."
Have been very misleading. There's a growing consensus that Dreamworks dropped the ball on marketing: there's been a lot of commercials and exposure, but they imply a very different film. The commercials are trying to sell it as a slap-stick comedy, with sound effects and voice clips scattered in a way to make it seem as such. While the movie does have humor, it's role is clearly secondary.
"Well, okay...so what's the story?"
The story is that on the island of Berk, located "a few degrees south of freezing to death," a village of vikings are constantly raided by swarms of dragons, stealing livestock and destroying homes. Our protagonist, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (we'll stick to Hiccup), is often looked down on in the village, despite being the son of the viking chief, Stoick the Vast. This is because he is by-and-large a wimp who can barely lift a weapon.
But one night he gets lucky and shoots down a dragon with a device he made, only to let it go once he finds it. What follows is a story of Hiccup trying to learn more about the dragon, which he calls Toothless, while at the same time trying to keep him a secret from the rest of the village.
The story, while not exactly unique (dragons and vikings aside) still provides for some quality entertainment. The characters are fun, distinct, and have some fun interactions with each other. Some of the best scenes in the film come from how Hiccup and Toothless bond with each other, with the latter being emotive despite the lack of a speaking role. Some very pretty visuals in the flight and action scenes also help.
"Alright, well I read the book. How does it stack up?"
A very good question, and one I can't really answer, having never read the book. But from what I've heard, it's vastly different from the original book (Toothless originally being small, green and actually toothless is just one difference), but can still stand on its own merits.
"And it is
a good film, right?"
Absolutely! It's definitely one of Dreamworks' best films, and is probably one of the best animated films period. As of this writing it's got a 97% Fresh rating at RottenTomatoes
, and a 73 at Metacritic
So yeah, go watch it when you can. You won't regret it.
Nintendo set up a DS buffet and all the third parties went to the PSP Diner. The Diner came down with a case of botulism and everybody wonders why Nintendo is fat when they return.