Sunday, March 28, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

It's late and I need to get some sleep, so this is going to be a very quick review. Fortunately, my review ultimately boils down to five words:

It's awesome. Go see it.

How To Train Your Dragon is the definition of a good family movie. It has something for everyone. I honestly can't think of a single person I know who I wouldn't recommend this movie to. Granted, it's 1:30 in the morning and there are likely some curmudgeons I could think of if I were more awake, but it's rare I can say that of any movie while in any state of mind.

I don't want to give the impression that it's the greatest movie of all time or anything. I'm sure there are plenty of nits one could pick. Thing is, I don't care about those nits or the picking thereof. This movie was fun, cute, relatable, action-packed... it was simply good.

I saw it in 2d, and plan to go back and see it in 3d. I will be acquiring it on DVD when it comes out, and, merchandising willing, I will have a figurine of the main dragon sitting on my desk sometime in the near future. In case it's not obvious, I liked this movie.


  1. Nickpicking just a bit - the word you were looking for is "Nit". "Nit".

  2. Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed! And on that note... zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

  3. I was gonna suggest you go see this movie, glad you have, and enjoyed it as much as I did! 3d makes it awesome, except for 1 or 2 times the camera is moving quickly you get a little dizzy.

  4. How To Train Your Dragon, so far (from all accounts I've heard), sounds like an awesome movie, and I really look forward to watching it some time. (Regarding your 'geek card' post, I too have yet to [but do want to] see Tron, which for whatever reason is not readily available here. :( )

    For what it's worth, How To Train Your Dragon is co-written and co-directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, the team who were also behind Lilo & Stitch. If you haven't seen it, I think it's quite a good (and rather quirky) movie.

  5. It's... honestly okay, I guess. I saw it and found that it suffered from a typical flaw of kids movies- namely, THE CHARACTERS ARE UTTER AND COMPLETE MORONS EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY, the love interest is shoehorned in and makes no logical sense, and the scenes jump around like some sort of rabid grasshopper that just got off a roller coaster.

    I mean, there were like four-second parts where they show, say, some old ladies about to do something mystical, but then cut away randomly and go back to what was actually happenning. And whenever one scene ended, the wouldn't give an establishing shot or anything, just cut over to somebody screaming or something. Every time the scene changes it's totally jarring.

    Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the entire premise (dragons are just misunderstood) is... really, really, not true. I mean, the first half of the movie is just constantly driving the point home that dragons are mean and vicious creatures that attack people with very little cause. The justification (big bad dragon) is just silly, because we've seen already that it's neither as fast or deadly as the other dragons- it's a lumbering pile that EXPLODES from one shot to the mouth. The entire moral of the story just sounds as crazy as the Vikings think it is.

    Yeah, so it's entertaining, I'll give it that, but it was just so STUPID I felt guilty even enjoying it.

  6. Some old ladies about to do something mystical? I don't dispute your opinion about whether the movie was good--I loved it, you didn't, not a big deal--but I have no recollection of that. The closest I can think of is the elder who mostly stood around and pointed at people as necessary.

  7. I mostly agree with TVT's post about the overall quality of the movie. I didn't have the words for it, so I just called it "too formulaic, even for a kid's film", but TVT's summary captures my feelings fairly well. However, I did enjoy watching it, although as I said in a comment on your other HTTYD post, I could take it or leave it. I don't really have much interest in watching it again. What I really loved were the cute scenes of Toothless and Hiccup, which I could watch endlessly.

    I do disagree with TVT on one point though — just because the big bad dragon isn't as fast and is a lumbering pile, doesn't mean it isn't deadly. It ate a dragon in one gulp. Its fire is way bigger and can go longer distances. It is huge and could crush a number of dragons just by lying down on top of them. We've seen that it can fly and has multiple eyes. And it didn't explode from "one shot to the mouth", it exploded from a combination of that and crashing into the ground at high speed. Plus it seems that no dragon but Toothless has thought to do a "fireball to the mouth" attack anyway, so it's not like that's a major weak spot. And even if we ignore all this, even if we assume the dragon really wouldn't stand a chance against the rest, *how would the dragons know that?* Do you blame them for not taking a chance? If you saw something a hundred times bigger than you and it told you to do something, would it not be rather stupid of you to disobey, especially if it demonstrated what it could do to you (i.e. swallow you whole)? Plus, there's a possibility that the dragon's singing (or whatever it is) actually controls them on some level and they literally have no choice.

    And in any case, even if it doesn't entirely make sense, that doesn't mean the "dragons are misunderstood" premise isn't *true*. You can dispute all you want about how much sense it makes, but you don't say it's "not true", because that's not for you to decide. The writers already decided.