When I first heard the title to the recent DreamWorks movie How to Train Your Dragon, I thought, “Oh, great! I could always use a little more dexterity and performance out of my ‘dragon’!” Unfortunately, as trailers started hitting the Internet, I discovered that this was a movie of quite a different sort. I still wanted to give it a chance, but I didn’t get around to it until this past Saturday.
I had wanted to see the movie in 3D, as word was the effects were phenomenal. Various circumstances prevented us from being able to see it in its main theatrical run, however. This brings us to last Saturday. Saturday rolled around, and we had nothing much to do. I asked my dear wife if she would like to watch a movie. She responded inquiring if I would like to see How to Train Your Dragon. I looked up the showtimes at our local post-run theater ($3.00 for big-screen movies just after they finish their main runs), and saw that one was showing in about 40 minutes. We jumped up, got ready, and headed across town for the 6:50pm showing. We got there right on time, walked in, and sat down. It’s an older theater, so no stadium seating, which was quite a throwback.
The movie started off very well. The setting, characters, premise, etc. were all introduced cleanly, efficiently, and well. There wasn’t a point where this movie dragged. The story flowed from beginning to end in much the same way that chocolate pudding flowed from my ass this morning (I’m home sick, by the way). The character designs were wonderful. The voice acting and character interactions were superb. Everything about this movie, in my opinion, was top-notch.
The real star of the movie was the “Night Fury” dragon, Toothless. Toothless is not actually toothless. He does, in fact, have teeth. They are sharp teeth. He is named Toothless because his teeth are retractable, and when they are retracted he looks…wait for it…waaaait for iiiiit…Toothless. When he is introduced, he is an invisible terror to the Viking community. The young hero (read as: nerdy Viking who doesn’t seem to have a shred of real Viking in him) manages to bring it down, a feat which none of his fellow Vikings believe. As the story continues, and Toothless and Hiccup, the aforementioned “young hero”, become friends. Blah, blah, blah, shit happens, the story progresses, and the movie ends. I’m not going to summarize the entire movie for you. The point of this paragraph is that Toothless is awesome.
The animation was excellent for a DreamWorks movie. I am a bigger fan of Pixar animation, but How to Train Your Dragon is an excellent example of what DreamWorks can do when they really put their minds to it. How to Train Your Dragon has become the highest-grossing DreamWorks film that isn’t a Shrek film, and it has a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. To put it plainly, I enjoyed this movie a great deal, and suspect that it will be a favorite for many years to come, much like The Incredibles and The Iron Giant, movies which I do not feel uncomfortable mentioning in the same sentence as How to Train Your Dragon.
Go watch this movie. If you don’t have it available in any theaters in your area anymore, wait for it to come out on DVD or Blu-Ray and buy it.
-[insert CHOCOLATE PUDDING! here]