#118 / 365 – ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ (2010) – 98 mins
IMDb Challenge #72 / 250 – Ranked #173 – Via Sky Movies
Hiccup (voice of Jay Baruchel) is a thin, weakling Viking teenager who doesn’t fit in with his tribe’s long-standing tradition of heroic dragon slayers. It’s a constant source of shame for his father Stoick (Gerard Butler), the tribal leader. But when one day he comes face to snout with one of the most feared dragons, he inadvertently discovers a more powerful way of dealing with the Vikings’ ‘dragon problem’ than using a sword or a sledgehammer and goes on to change the lives of his tribe – and the dragons.
Dreamworks Animation have always been in the considerable shadow of Pixar and never matched the relentless consistency of Disney’s seemingly unstoppable CGI animation house, both on the story and visual effects front.
Well now they can stand up and be proud, because with ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ even if the story is predictable (Pixar still retain this crown) in terms of the animation Dreamworks have not only finally caught those Pixar boffins up but dare I say maybe even beaten them by setting the bar to a very new high level. How to Train Your Dragon features some of the most detailed photo realistic imagery I have ever witnessed, which ranges from beautifully shots of the harsh sea and the jagged rocks to absolutely breathtaking shots of the heavens during the flying scenes – my only regret is that I wish I had caught this dragon in all its 3D cinematic glory last year.