I’m a sucker for good animated movies, for adults or kids, so when I saw that critics were all over this one like teenage girls over Robert Pattinson, I knew I had to check it.
Unlike my girlfriend I’m a soft touch for anything that makes the movie experience more intense: a bigger screen, bigger sound, and definitely 3D. An amazing aesthetic is an integral part of my movie-going enjoyment, whether it’s the cinematography, special effects or animation – preferably all three. Don’t get me wrong, great dialogue, acting, and plot make a good movie last and be able to transition to the small screen; but for me the aesthetic really does complete your experience of immersion into another world.
Needless to say, the colorful aesthetic of How To Train Your Dragon 3D looks awesome. Set in a viking village nestled into the edge of island cliffs, it tells the story of a young boy names Hiccup (Jay Baruchel of Knocked Up, Tropic Thunder & She’s Out Of My League fame) who’s just not quite as viking as the rest of village, despite being the son of the brawny and single-minded village leader Stoic (Gerard Butler from 300, The Ugly Truth, The Bounty Hunter).
Hiccup is smart and try-as-he-might-want-to-be, non-violent, and has major hots for Astrid (America Ferrera from Ugly Betty) who is your prototypical ass-kicking viking, to the extent she owns the rest of the village kids in combat.
Despite Hiccup’s village being at war with dragons for generations, he goes against the grain of everything they know and proceeds to befriend one, and embarks on a thrilling voyage of discovery forthwith.
I don’t want to over-analyze or give the plot away, so I’ll just mention a few more things about this movie. The broad Scottish accents of the adult vikings (hello, from Scandinavia) is pretty jarring, but you get over it. Despite being ostensibly quite violent, it’s super cute, and has the best dragon’s lair – hidden in the bowels of a volcano – ever. It’s funny, exhilarating, features worthy, rather than twee moral lessons, and has surprising dramatic depth.
Brought to you by the geniuses at DreamWorks (Shrek, Madagascar, Shark Tale etc), Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Whiig and T.J. Miller also provide superb back-up voice acting. Go see it in 3D – How To Train Your Dragon rocks!