How To Train Your Dragon – Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois
Having just been placed on the Oscar list for the Best Animated Feature, it looks as though the proof is in the pudding with How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks Animation latest offering which seems to have pulled that all important gap in-between them and Pixar. I’m sorry for DreamWorks Animation, but the field they are in, they will also be compared to Pixar and they will continually lose, especially in this year with the mega release of Toy Story 3. It should be interesting to see what happens next year with some of the releases of both camps: DreamWorks recently release the popular Megamind, with next year seeing the sequel to Kung Fu Panda and a spin off from Shrek featuring the Puss in Boots character. Whilst Pixar, sticking to their successful formula will be releasing just one film, that being the sequel to Cars, and it seems that Cars wasn’t their best feature to begin with, but you never question their judgement! NEVER! So with How to Train Your Dragon they don’t try to be realistic and human the way that Pixar does, but they try to be over-the-top and exciting, throwing lots of action your way and involving characters who may be strange looking but certainly bring something funny to the table.
Featuring the voice talents of such actors as: Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, the lead of the film, Gerald Butler as the disappointed father of Hiccup and king of his tribe, Stoick the Vast, and the group that Hiccup becomes friends with whilst in Dragon taming training: America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live).A great rounded cast bringing some really funny characters to live, especially the lead with Hiccup being the main emotional pull here. Hiccup, a weak, small and frail Viking doesn’t follow in the tradition of hunting and killing dragons, instead he saves one and they form an unlikely friendship but when Hiccup is soon revealed to be a master tamer of dragons, he is trained in front of the whole village, making him to be next in the line of the King, which his father desperately wants but there seems to be bigger problems at the moment involving the dragons. It’s a great little story and will have you griped from start to finish and you defiantly pick a side!
A thoroughly enjoyable animated film that brings action and comedy in bundles, it may not be on the same level as Toy Story 3 but it’s not trying, it’s trying to be different and you have to applaud it for that.