Theatrical release poster
|Story by||Cressida Cowell|
|Narrated by||Jay Baruchel|
|Music by||John Powell|
|Editing by||Darren T. Holmes|
Pacific Data Images
Animation frees creativity. It allows for storytelling without the limitations of conventional film. Want to explore the ocean with a father, who happens to be a clown fish, as he searches for his missing son? Done. Want to create a new interpretation of dragons and have the audience soar across the sky with them? Check.
How to Train Your Dragon uses animation, and 3D, to its greatest potential. Creating flight sequences that rivaled last year’s Avatar and telling a charmingly funny tale that pits misunderstood dragons against dragon killing vikings. (Zach Snyder’s Owls of Ga’hoole also did brilliant work this year with 3D flight.)
Although the story follows a common structure–odd son seeking father’s approval and understanding–the setting gives it a new twist. Add a wonderfully new vision of Dragons and you have a great film.
Jay Baruchel’s young viking Hiccup, is more brains than brawn and creates a contraption that injuries a mysterious, elusive Night Fury Dragon. A curious friendship develops and Hiccup names him Toothless (for his retractable teeth) and begins to “train” him.
One of my favorite aspects is the personality the filmmakers created for the Dragons. It is a very distinctive mixture of cat and dog–more cat in my opinion, since I have 5 little “dragons” at home. From purring to bouncing–it gave them a wonderful, sweet quality.
All the character voices are pitch perfect–from Gerard Butler as the dad to America Ferreria as the love interest–but Baruchel is the star here–his comic timing is well…perfect.
No review would be complete without a singling out the music. (I have the CD in my car!) John Powell has received an Oscar nomination and it is well deserved. There is a beautifully scored scene when Toothless and Hiccup first learn to trust each other and touch–it’s breathtaking!
I loved it! And anytime I need to fill my happy meter–I watch it again…that’s the biggest compliment to give!