With Pixar winning 5 out of the last 7 Best Animated feature awards at the Oscars, it’s hard to take Dreamworks animated films seriously. I can name only a handful of Dreamworks films that I liked, namely Antz, Shrek, Chicken Run, The Prince of Egypt and KungFu Panda. I’m glad to add How To Train Your Dragon to that list.
This movie takes place in Viking times and is about a boy named Hiccup. Yes, I know, that’s not a very Viking name. In the process of the movie, he sees another side to the vicious dragons that terrorize his village and starts to understand them.
They waste no time jumping straight into the plot. You’re introduced to the dragons right from the get-go. The subtle narration in the opening bits of the movie helps with the introduction to the back-story and is a great starting point. Other than being thrown right into the mix in the first 10 minutes, I found myself being struck by how good the voice acting was. If I had to pick out one thing from this movie that made me like it, I would definitely say the voice acting. Big props to the casting director for getting it spot on with Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson.
Another thing I like about the movie is how they dealt with the accents. There’s a fair balance of Scottish and American thrown in, keeping the Viking flair but at the same time making it mainstream and more understandable with the American accents.
Apart from the stand-out voice acting, the visual effects are well done but nothing mind-blowing. Everything looks very rounded, just like in other Dreamworks movies. I’m disappointed with the art design of the the supposed best and most powerful dragon of all, Night Fury aka. Toothless. I know it’s meant to be cute at times, but at times when the dragon is supposed to be vicious and frightening, it just looks lame. It’s too rounded and looks nothing like a dragon. More like a black cat with wings. The best thing about ‘Night Fury’ is that it’s like the fighter jet of the dragon. It’s fast, stealthy and shoots awesome fireballs.
In a nutshell, the How To Train Your Dragon is a an easy-on-the-mind, feel-good movie. With plenty of cute ‘awww’ moments and decent humor, this is definitely a highly recommendable movie. Everyone should go see this movie. Bring your kids, your siblings, your parents, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles. It will be worth the money you pay. But it’s definitely nowhere close to Pixar standard. This movie barely evoked any emotions in me, something Pixar films do all the time.
I shall give How To Train Your Dragon a rating of 7 out of 10 Popcorns.