Saturday, April 10, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon Review

Neen and I went to see 'How to Train Your Dragon' in 3D this evening in The Eye Cinema Galway

Based on the book by Cressida Cowell and written and Directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBloise 'How to Train Your Dragon' is by far Dreamworks most accomplished film to date. The new partnership with the creative team behind Disneys 'Lilo and Stitch' has brought a new maturity to Dreamworks and has finally bridged the growing gap between themselves and rivals Pixar.

Set in the mythical world of burly vikings and wild dragons,...the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a viking teenager who doesn't exactly fit in with his tribes longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccups world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges he and his fellow vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.' source

From the offset it's easy to tell you are being treated to something new and unique. The set and character designs are wonderful. The animation is confident, yet retrained. (Thankfully the wild flailing arms of 'Madagascar' have been abandoned.) The world although mythical in origin is grounded in a strong sense of reality. This filters through to the story itself. This world is harsh, and each character owns their own reality. Actions have consequences and Hiccup learns this quickly. The various dragon species featured in the story are colourful, original and unique. The Night Fury, Toothless especially is an absolute joy to watch. The relationship that develops between himself and our hero Hiccup is tender and full of humour. The story arc deserves particular respect. The film makers, confident in their craft allow the audience to simply enjoy the journey without relying on buckets of crude or slapstick humour. The story ebbs and flows perfectly. In a cinema full of children and adults alike, attention never seemed to wain. 'Dragon' unfolds in a fashion unlike any other Dreamworks Picture and I was genuinly surprised by a number of twists and turns that take place is the closing scenes.

All in all, 'How to Train Your Dragon' is an absolute winner. A huge leap forward for Dreamworks Animation. 'Dragon' is a solid, mature and well-rounded film. A true gem for all the family, I highly recommend it! 9.5/10

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