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 DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon

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Quackor the Fowl
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PostSubject: DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon   Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:54 am

Hello everyone, it's me, Quackor, your favorite duck/mod/critic hybrid, and I'm here to review DreamWorks' new animated film, How To Train Your Dragon.

Now, when I first heard about this film, my thoughts were, "oh god, looks like another piece of tripe from DreamWorks." Then a few months later, they announced who would be directing/writing it: two guys named Chris Sanders and Dean DeBloise, better known as the directors of Disney's Lilo and Stitch. That was around when the Internet community rejoiced. (One person cried against this news. He was skinned alive, skewered and eaten.)

Since the film I'm reviewing is still in theaters, I'm going to end it a little differently this time: instead of Buy, Rent, or Skip, I'm going with See It, See It Twice, Skip It. And no, I'm totally not stealing from Ebert and Roeper.

Story
The story revolves around a boy named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who lives on the island of Berk. His wry sense of humor and his scrawny physique make him a bit of an outcast. However, he does have a knack for inventing things. His father Stoick (Gerard Butler) is the leader of the island's group of fearless vikings. (I'm sorry, I have to say this...THIS. IS. BERK!!) Everyday, the vikings have to try and get rid of the island's pest problem: dragons. They come every night and steal the island's livestock. The hardest one to catch is known as a Night Fury, and at one point, Hiccup uses a bola-launcher and actually catches one, but nobody notices. So he goes out to see where it landed, and instead of killing it then and there, he decides to instead free him and let him run free. But then his dragon, whom he later dubs "Toothless", due to his retractable teeth, decides to become his friend. Hiccup starts to lead a hard double life trying to keep Toothless a secret from the rest of the village. He tries to keep it away of his mentor, Cobber (Craig Ferguson), and soon, he is also put into Dragon Training with other Vikings-to-be, including Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Tuffnut and Ruffnut (TJ Miller and Kristen Wiig, respectively), Snoutlout (Jonah Hill), and Astrid (America Ferrera), who is the first to be suspicious of Hiccup's newfound feats in the Dragon Training Arena. Hiccup then realizes that everything they know about the dragons is wrong; they aren't trying to hurt them.

This is probably the greatest part of the film: unlike most DreamWorks films, it relies more on story than on gags. There's no pop culture references or anything. Toothless doesn't have a sarcastic, witty voice, he doesn't spew out random jokes, he doesn't dance to Smash Mouth, he doesn't sound like Jack Black. He's able to tell his emotions through grumbling, and acts a lot like a big dog (to the point where our family basically said out loud that Toothless is our dog, who is also black and fairly large). In the end, it all boils down to a story about a boy and his dragon.

I also have to give props to the writers for the ending. The ending was actually incredibly bold and even a little dark for a kid's film, and it even surprised me.
Story Overall: 8.75/10

Animation
Dang, DreamWorks is starting to go into Pixar quality with their animation. Each hair on the characters' heads are thoroughly animated, and it turns out great, especially since a lot of the hair is messy and braided. The best part of the film, however, is the flying scenes. Oh my god, yes, the flying scenes. You've all seen those commercials for the film that says that the film "has 3D scenes that would make even 'Avatar' jealous". I thoroughly agree with them. The flying sequences actually, for once, made me feel like I was flying. And, for the heck of it, I did a few Starfox jokes. (DO A BARREL ROLL, anyone?)
Animation Overall: 9/10

Music
The short answer: THE MUSIC IS FREAKING AMAZING.

The long answer: I've never really been a fan of composer John Powell's work, but this film made him rise up my ranks of favorite composers. The best tracks are the ones for flying scenes: beautiful, majestic and gripping. If you were only able to buy a few tracks from the album, I'd suggest "New Tail", "Test Flight", "This Is Berk", "Focus, Hiccup!" and "Forbidden Friendship", in that order. Seriously, we're not dealing with a kiddy candy-colored soundtrack here. This is a big-budget kind of sound for a film. And it's awesome.
Music Overall: 9.75/10

Since I've never really been a fan of DWA's films (except for Kung Fu Panda, which in a way was a lot like this, relying more on story than gags), and I left the theater impressed. If a hater of DreamWorks actually enjoyed it, that's gotta be saying something. The group actually seemed to hit all the right notes, something they've never really been able to do before. All in all, I heartily recommend the film, and I strongly suggest you see it in 3D or in IMAX 3D.

Overall Film: 9.5/10

See It, See It Twice, or Skip It?: See it twice, preferably in 3D

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PostSubject: Re: DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon   Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:09 pm

Hopefully, I shall be watching this in 3D for my birthday Tuesday.

We were going to watch this yesterday for Priscilla's party, but we only watched Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston in The Bounty Hunter, which was very hilarious I may add. Stupid, really stupid, but hilarious.

Anyway, I can't wait to see this one! Razz
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PostSubject: Re: DreamWorks' How To Train Your Dragon   Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:47 pm

I'd say review it. *awesomeface*

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