Saturday, March 27, 2010

By Odin's Beard!

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

For my daughter's birthday we went to go see the new Dreamworks movie, it was awesome. The birthday party itself was pretty cool; they had a party room for cake, pizza, and presents, and a bunch of other cool things. On the interior marquee they had her name and a "happy birthday", and after presents, they took all the kids up into the projector lofts to see all the behind-the-scenes movie action. It's an 18-plex theater, so there were a lot of movies going on. Then she got to start her own movie at that projector. Played a bunch of overpriced videogame sin the arcade, then we saw the movie...

It was a great movie, go see it, end of story. It had Vikings first and foremost, which are like historical Dwarves, which is doubly cool in my book. Obviously it had dragons too, and a bunch of other cool stuff. The story itself was understandably light, but the rest of the movie was cool enough it didn't matter. The animation was fantastic, and it seemed they did just enough tricky "camera work" to make it seem more like a modern day action film, and less like a cartoon movie. The animation was a good mix of real textures and cartoon people. Plus, the humor was actually funny, I laughed more than a few times out loud.

The characters were funny, and the voice acting was great, including the lead Viking played by Gerard Butler. Being on a Viking kick lately, I paid extra attention to the details, and they didn't disappoint. The weapons, armor, and shields were top notch, and made me really wish I had their designs in decal form for my warband. One funny part was the protagonist's horned helm his father had given him, made from half of his deceased mother's breastplate. From longboat to catapult, the richness and flavor of the world was great.

And of course there were the dragons; these came in all shapes, sizes, and threat levels. They really wove a complete mythos around these flying creatures, and each kind was distinct in its own way. Of course the lead dragon character was also the coolest. My buddy Oz was there, and being a gamer as well, I found us both chuckling at the obvious D&D inspired montages. It is a violent movie, with many action and fight sequences, and a main character struggling with the implications of killing. It's done in a lighthearted manner, but it is in there. If you have kids, they'll enjoy it, or even if you don't have kids it's worth going to see anyway.


  1. I enjoyed it tremendously. Jackson sat through it, sort of, which says a lot, see how his little 6-year-old mind can't focus on anything for that long. In reference to the D&D comment, at one point, a trainer was introducing the different types of dragons to new viking recruits, and the geekest one (obviously), was quoting D&D-type stats for each one.

  2. I will have to check it out ..... good review

  3. Gonna take my girls to see it today!