By: Bryan Montgomery (www.twitter.com/bcmontgomery)
Rating: 9 out of 10
Dreamworks has always been seen as Pixar’s little brother, with a few movies that have been a hit in the box office, but no truly definable super-hit. With How to Train Your Dragon, Dreamworks may not be the best box-office draw in Hollywood, but Dreamworks finally has a fantastic film to draw off of, as amazing visuals, a touching story, and just an overall fantastic effort by Dreamworks pays off in droves.
How to Train Your Dragon tells the story of Hiccup, a young boy in a viking village plagued by attacking Dragons. As a rite of passage, all young vikings learn to battle the dragons, but as Hiccup discovers and befriends a Night Fury dragon, the deadliest and most powerful dragon, his whole world starts to turn upside down as he must choose between his family and his new friend.
The storyline for How to Train Your Dragon is strong, and the overall flow of the movie is seamless from one major element to another. Dreamworks has learned its lesson from the Madagasar movies that rapid plot shifts sometimes are not the smartest avenue to take, and adjust accordingly to have a solid plot with good character and drama. All of the characters in How to Train Your Dragon are strong and have characteristics, fan may recognize the voices of Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jonah Hill. Everyone brings something different to the table, and it helps out a great deal to help further the plot and make all the character interesting, no matter which animated character is on camera.
With a plot line like How to Train Your Dragon that has been done hundreds of times before, it would be easy for the movie to quickly become uninteresting and boring, however, this is not the case. How to Train Your Dragon manages to refresh the old formula to make it new, and if anything adds to a genre that has been missing something for a long time. A big part of this is due to the visuals of the movie. The movie looks absolutely beautiful, and the flying sequences are breathtaking. Nothing is better for a movie than a great script, but great-looking visuals don’t hurt either.
It’s hard to find anything wrong with this movie, it’s heart works to identify with the audience, and make you feel the gravity and difficulty of Hiccup’s decisions throughout the movie. It’s a heartwarming film and is extremely strong in maintaining its message while mixing a high amount of humor.
How to Train Your Dragon is a massive step forward for Dreamworks. Are they at the level of Pixar? Not yet, but the fantastic new animated film is a great head start. Much better than the Shrek and Madagascar movies of late, How to Train Your Dragon is a film that will inspire you and entertain you for the great but short time that it is playing. Go see it immediately.