How to Train Your Dragon Review – Solid Dreamworks Animation

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I was sure I’d seen this movie before, but as my memory begins to drastically and concerningly slip away rather quickly, I couldn’t quite pinpoint when I’d first seen How to Train You Dragon. As it turned out I’d only seen a bit of the final act, and remember nothing but the grey colour scheme and D-Day like action set pieces. What a strange movie I’d presumed this would be.

The movie is fine, it’s what I’d expected from the early 2010s of Dreamworks, who by this point had come into their own and began work on some great movies. Stylish, excellent looking and not dated at all, it’s surprising to see how well How to Train Your Dragon has held up in the visual department. Yet visuals can only take us so far, and it’s a shame they don’t take us far enough in creating something more than fluffy entertainment that will kill off an hour and forty minutes of time.

A rare lead turn from Tay Baruchel, he lends his voice to Hiccup. Baruchel is pretty strong in his lead performance, supported well by a surprising Gerard Butler performance. My only concern comes from T.J. Miller, who at this point is about as appealing as a punch in the cock. Miller is thankfully sparingly used throughout and instead we get to hear Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse rather frequently. It’s sort of reassuring to see that Mintz-Plasse is still receiving work, albeit in light supporting roles of family friendly animated comedies.

Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders make a competent directing duo, as their work here currently seems rather strong. Their focus on character building is great, but their cinematography could use some work. Some scenes look extremely bland, however competently animated they may be. Why everything is grey in the latter half of the movie is beyond me, but it looks like there’s been a mix up with the colour gradient, rather than this being an artistic choice.

Apparently the sequels are even better than this, so I look forward to seeing what they have to offer. It’ll be some time before I get around to seeing them though, so I’ll take How to Train Your Dragon for what it is. A fun, inspired and shaky comedy animation that does what it can with a fairly disappointing script and some fairly strong performances from its cast.


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REVIEW OVERVIEW
How to Train Your Dragon
Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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