I saw “How to Train Your Dragon” the other week (in 2D … gah, I hate saying that), and it was pretty freaking awesome.
I was really skeptical about the movie after seeing the trailers, so I went in with some doubts, but man, they absolutely *nailed* this movie.
First off, you’re not gonna see a story so original ever again. There’s just nothing to compare it to. The main character’s name is Hiccup, who is a young teenage viking who is an absolute geek through and through.
And that’s where the movie really shines, is in its authenticity as far as how the character in that situation would act. I kept thinking the movie is really human, for lack of a better term. It certainly tells the story accurately from that persona’s point of view, including the awesome young hawt teenage chick he’s chasing, as well as the idiot bullies that get in his way. It’s just great all around.
The animation was pretty incredible, too. But what I thought was really unique was the cinematography. When Hiccup is flying around on his dragon, some of the scenes are pretty intense … I actually got quite the rush from watching it, which was *totally* unexpected, and pretty rare! I was really surprised. For that reason alone, I wanna go back and see it in 3D.
Another thing I kept noticing was the attention to detail. The dragons themselves acted a lot like how animals would really act — with their motions and reactions and things like that. Again, it just made the entire thing seem really authentic. I kept thinking how Hiccup’s dragon was acting just like a playful cat, since that’s what it seemed to be mimicking. Really cool.
I won’t give away the ending, but it really took me by surprise how true-to-life it was. I’m glad to see cartoons and kids films in general going back to their roots where actions have consequences and things aren’t watered down anymore. It really adds to the story, and it certainly was *another* thing I wasn’t expecting.
There was only *one* minor complaint I had about the film — the audio track didn’t seem that great. I went and saw it during a weekday, which was a mistake, since there was a small crowd and the sound wasn’t turned up very loud. In fact, I was surprised to find myself thinking it would sound better at my house. But more than that, a lot of times the dialogue’s audio mix didn’t fit with the environment. For instance, they’d be flying around, and their intonation or volume wouldn’t change with the circumstance — it sounded the same whether they were close up or skimming the water. I think it’s interesting I even *noticed* something like that, but it really did seem to stand out like that a few times.
Final comments, though, go see it, and take your kids. It’s got a lot of action sequences, but I wouldn’t classify it as really scary / frightening until the end, and even then, it’s still pretty simple fight sequences that wouldn’t be nightmarish I think. I myself am pretty squeamish, and I know there weren’t any “ew, gross” moments, if that stands for anything.
Good times. I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5, I think.