Update: totally saw How To Train Your Dragon again.

And guess what? Still awesome.

Changed opinions: The "solid but not spectacular" score by John Powell* is in fact pretty great- it might be just it growing on me sentimentally, but I may buy it- and I rarely buy traditional orchestral scores (I don't even have Howard Shore's Lord Of The Rings!).

Toothless (the dragon) is clearly the most adorable animal companion ever on the silver screen (take that, dog from The Thin Man!). I will definitely get a toy** to keep on my desk (or, y'know, to spin around and the air while going "Whooosh!").

Thoroughly excited for co-directors/co-writers Cris Sanders and Dean Dublois' other work- I've never seen the highly regarded Lilo & Stitch somehow (it came out in the brief window between me being a kid and me realizing that many kids movies are awesome for everyone). Plus they have a caveman related work-in-progress for Dreamworks slated for 2012 called The Croods.

Oscars nominations I would hope it's in the running for in 2011: Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Animated (duh), Score, both Sound Awards, and Original Song (turns out it's the Sigur Rós guy! How hip is that?). The stigma of being animated will probably keep it out of things it deserves like Editing, Director, and Cinematography (though ROGER F*CKING DEAKINS' (as he will hencefoth be known) lighting contributions make it more than deserving of the latter category- give that guy an Oscar for something already).

Is there nothing wrong at all with it? Not exactly. For instance, why do the older vikings have Scottish accents while the younger ones sound American? I'll be the first to admit the plot is predictable enough, the conflicts a little too explicative (people are still staying "You're not my son!" in movies?), and the odd line a little cheesy.

And to each of these criticisms in turn, I say: "Yeah, but...dragon riding!" I'm like the young kids who didn't get the furor over The Phantom Menace because it had pod racing. Something tells me that How To Train Your Dragon will play fine in 2D, between the winning story and the beautiful animation, but there's just nothing like those flying sequences in 3D: I can think of two distinct moments when I heard the entire audience literally all gasp at once.

Not to return to the Avatar-bashing too much, but I didn't rave about that film (or its various dynamic sequences) because I just didn't care that much. Hiccup (the Dragon's hero), has to actually learn to fly, instead of just hooking up his telepathic ponytail and getting the knack of it right away.

Heck even the predictable parts of Dragon are enjoyable: you know early on that the comic relief pair of fraternal twins are going to end up riding the two-headed dragon at some point, but that doesn't make it not fun.

Once again: Go see this film. Even with Clash Of The Titans coming out the week after, you should still be able to find it on a 3D screen for a while in most cities (especially given its 98% to 29% Rotten Tomatoes advantage, and its A to B Cinemascore*** advantage over Titans). The next big 3D film is May 21st's Shrek Forever After (meh), so repeat viewings are certainly a possibility.

*The score is all on Youtube starting here. It's probably legal, maybe, sure, I dunno- I'm just not informed about these things.

**That one's cool. Or I could go to McDonald's and just buy a Happy Meal toy. Can they hold the Happy Meal?

**Cinemascore is an audience-polling service- it's taken opening weekend, so it's usually higher than it should be: B means a steep box-office drop, A means you might not lose the requisite 40% every week.

Also, I changed the blog theme and added a header image- literally never before did it occur to me to put a movie image up there.

5 Response to "Update: totally saw How To Train Your Dragon again."

  1. Harbour says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Harbour says:

    I want a Toothless toy/figurine so bad. <3 Saw the movie twice and want to see it again!!

    It's $12.50 at Walmart, but it's just a generic, fully-tailed "Night Fury" toy.

    Ummm, or so I hear.

    Harbour says:

    Murr. I might as well make my own. :P

    Just saw the movie last weekend and watched it over again the following day! I loved the messages from the movie, (SPOILER ALERT) especially the one where Hiccup finds out he lost his leg, then walking side by side with Toothless the dragon's half-tail swings into view. And the flight scenes were great!!! Fantastic story, awesome animation, beautiful music!

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