Dreamworks Animation has always played the simpler hand. Go for the laughs and never wow with the animation. Sure their films were in CGI animation but they never had a wow factor.
Take the Shrek films for example, those films are more about the parody of fairy tales and the relationships between the characters than anything else. Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda were all just for laughs. Etc, etc.
Sure Dreamworks piled in the money and really why did they ever have to change. Dreamworks made fancy feature length cartoons while their competitor made movies that happen to be animated. There is a big difference.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is the first Dreamworks movie to rival a Pixar film. If I didn’t know it was a Dreamworks film I could have sworn it was made by Pixar.
Based on a famous children’s book, Dragon features a young misunderstood Viking named Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who will do anything he can to prove he is a man.
To become a warrior in his village, Hiccup has to defeat a dragon so he creates an invention that will capture a dragon to prove his worth.
Hiccup succeeds but can’t go along with killing the dragon. He decides to study the dragon and help it. He even creates a harness so he can ride the dragon.
When his secret is revealed, Hiccup must choose between his new best friend or his tribe.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is a magical ride. It has great humor, a great story and gorgeous animation. The scenes between the dragon and Hiccup are priceless. I like the fact that the filmmakers decided not to make the dragons talks so that the story was more a boy and his dog. For once in an animated movie not every animal has to talk. I like that they also didn’t give Hiccup some annoying chattering sidekick.
Don’t get me wrong he has some friends in the movie that could be considered sidekicks but they are no where near the word annoying. They are relatable and well make Hiccup more interesting.
The animation, camera angles and the dragon flying sequences are breathtaking. Those flying sequences are quite fun in 3D. Yes, we all have those flying dragon scenes from Avatar fresh in our minds. But this is a whole different animal (pardon the pun) these are classic dragons and this one just tells the story and doesn’t bang you over the head with it’s environmental message.
This animated adventure relies on the story and focuses on man’s fascination with animals. This is treasure of a little movie and my hat is off to Dreamworks I didn’t know you had it in you. Look out Pixar, a couple more like this and your monopoly on great animated films might just evaporate. This film is way better than at least four Pixar films. Guess which ones?
4.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer