Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)


During a Dragon raid on the small village of Burke, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), the town reject, is able to shoot down a Night Fury, the assassin like, never seen before, dragon. But as he proceeds to kill the creature, he finds himself unable to, and begins to help its return to health. Along the way he learns the true value of Dragons, and that their violent nature may not be all it's made out to be.

The formula for making a memorable and fun family film is no secret. It's not even that hard of a formula, it just requires two things: The right talent and enough heart. Though getting those two together in a paycheck based, factory line, system isn't all that easy. How to Train Your Dragon is one of those rare cases where the studio has found that right balance, and is able to execute it, with beautifully entertaining results.

Combining subtle adult aimed humor, with wise cracks for the older children, and visual comedy for the younger generation, Dragon is a fun ride. Riddled with action, it thrusts the viewer right into the thick of its journey. Unwavering, and well developed, we get to know our different characters, no matter how generic they may be. And the vocal cast has all the confidence to really bring it home.

Craig Ferguson as Gobbler is a highly memorable, and entertaining, character. The goofy veteran, with questionable training methods, and enough heart too support Hiccup's journey. While Butler's natural charisma stands strong as the father unsure of what to do with his very different offspring. And the rest of the cast of Baruchel, Ferrera (as the romantic interest, and fighting rival, Astrid), Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and Kirsten Wiig all deliver on their staple characters. Giving them a sense of life, and solid character quirks, to make them refreshingly original.

That's not to say How to Train Your Dragon is without its fair share of flaws. Despite its best efforts, it is still incredibly generic. As well, the dialogue feels a bit rough, and uninspired, at times, leaving an underwhelming, or "yah, right" feeling. Though these sequences don't hold the film back too much. They support the scenes, without being overbearing. It's the visuals and the story that is at the heart of the film's selling point.

Both of which are well founded, and perfectly breathtaking. Certain sequences will leave you in awe, while tugging at your emotional strings. And the use of 3D is perfectly on display here, a prime example of when it's used for benefit, and not just profit. It's that sort of dedication, and visual prowess, that helps Dragon become the well loved film it has become. It sucks you in immediately, and never lets go. The kind of film that everyone loves, because it's just so much fun.

While its plot offers nothing new, How to Train Your Dragon creates a breathtaking new world for the viewer to be immersed in. Full of fun, excitement, heart, and comedy, it's a great family film entry, for all too enjoy.

2 better thoughts:

DEZMOND said...

Craig Ferguson has a voice role in this movie?!? I'm shocked, nobody has talked about it ;)

I haven't watched it yet, but I'm about to, and somehow I feel I will like it a lot. said...

Sharp visuals and an engaging story. Enjoyed it.

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