So finally got some time to write out a little review for How To Train Your Dragon… it’s my been my first animation since maybe Ratatouille or Free Jimmy (not like your usual DreamWorks type animation, Free Jimmy is a proper raunchfest with Simon Pegg and Woody Harrelson doing the voices, you guys should get on it)… can’t remember which. Much to my girlfriend’s distress I gave Wall-E and Up, a miss. Saw a lot of positive reviews for HTTYD; so I thought why not, I like dragons, let’s give this a watch.
Anyways the moment the opening scene played out, I realized I had made a mistake. This movie really needs to be watched in 3D, it’s a bit wasteful to do it in 2D. From the opening scene I also noticed one blaring issue I had with this movie – a huge part of me thinks for a few of the characters, the voices didn’t really match the faces I was seeing on screen. Butler was good as the main character’s father, but the main character Hiccup, I just could not get my head around his voice throughout the movie - it’s the same guy who stars in Tropic Thunder as Kevin Sandusky. Having a 28 year old doing the voice of a 13-15 year old kid is a bit off – I kept thinking why not Justin Beiber? Lol. The yank accents for the kids and the heavy Scottish accents for the adults was also a bit jarring.
The real winner of this movie is the main dragon, Toothless – miniscule details like his scales, his big green eyes, the movement when he flies, the way he chows down on food, as well as his basic emotions and mannerisms are ridiculously thorough. This is really remarkable animation and as a character, Toothless is quite possibly the coolest pet anyone could ask for. I’m not showing an image of him, because it’s a bit of a spoiler. There’s quite a lot of mystique during his introduction, I was quite intrigued.
The wide varieties of expressions on the rest of the character’s faces are splendid and something that regularly caught my eye was the manner in which everyone’s hair is meticulously detailed. There are also a wide variety of different dragons, with unique abilities and features, which makes this movie a nice little encyclopedia for dragon lovers everywhere. Essentially, the extensive work on the detailing and the creative behind the different dragons, was thoroughly impressive.
Besides the mismatched voices, thought this movie was totally worth a watch. Barring a few moments of really corny dialogue, the plot worked well and wasn't too predictable. The whole Vikings vs Dragons theme had it’s didactic touching moments. After watching MIA’s ethnic cleansing ‘Born Free’ video, it becomes clear that the ‘we must all live in harmony’ message in HTTYD sticks out. You also have the Lion King type father-son relationship, where the son must do all he can to follow in his father’s footsteps even though he’s the complete opposite… etc. etc. And of course the little love story on the side, which is cute and works well if you’re taking your lady out for this movie. Was that sexist? Sorry!
I can’t imagine a person with any sort of pet not liking this movie. For animal lovers, there must have been a time where you snuck in a dog or cat in your house and took care of it, knowing very well your parents would kill you if they found out. This movie is sort of like that. My girlfriend and I couldn’t help comparing Toothless with our pets… her being a cat person and me being a dog person, made for a heated debate. Essentially, Toothless embodies everything you love about your pet… from warming up and building a trust with the owner to a point where they’re instinctually protecting the owner. The ending is rather generic, but there is a little twist involving the main character Hiccup, which in my opinion saves the movie and makes it a little real. If you’re an animal lover, PETA nut, if you’re obsessed with your pet, then watch this movie (in 3D!), you will not be disappointed.
Here are my doggies, Toothless had a little bit of all three of them in his character:
In Pic: Hugo (Ghost in the Darkness)
In Pic: Bailey (Bizzle Dizzle)
In Pic: Jaango (Muffin)
YHIHF rating: 7.5/10, would have been a solid 8 if I had watched it in 3D me thinks.
Just watched IRON MAN II today, review for that coming up soon! - SG
Check out the How To Train Your Dragon details on IMDB: Click here
Check out the How To Train Your Dragon website: Click here