Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

 Written By: Adam F. Goldberg, Peter Tolan, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, Cressida Cowell (Story)

In the last decade or so we had animation movies about rats, toys, lions, aliens, monsters and even Ogre's  but a very important mythical character was missing, How to Train Your Dragon completes the bloc. The movie is based on the books by the same title by Cressida Cowell published in 2003. The story of this movie is filled with compassion and lots of fun, a high flying joy ride.

Hiccup is a usual boy thin, good looking with tons of energy and this usual side of his is the most unusual coz he is a Viking. Hiccup is the son of Big mighty Viking Chief of this small island of Berk. The place is beautiful and prosperous, with few little problems that stikes it time and again, these problem are  "Dragons" that raid the village at night, destroy houses and take the cattle and food away.  Though the Vikings are strong and have tamed most of the dragon types but there is one they fear called "Night Fury " , a high flying death in sky, no one has ever seen it and whoever saw it never lived to talk about it. The most feared and most dangerous of all.

In one such raid Hiccup shoots down a Night Fury with his bolon canon but since the boy is young, different and is not taken seriously even by his own father no one believes him and makes fun of him. To prove himself Hiccup starts on the search for this dragon. Meanwhile the Viking chief is greatly disturbed by the acts and behavior of his son and finally decides to put his son into dragon training, something Hiccup always wanted but his father never. Hiccup goes deep into the forest and finds his hunt lying there on ground motionless, Hiccup draws his knife out and goes for the kill but could not and sets the dragon free. As soon as Hiccup releases the dragon it jumps onto Hiccup and almost slayed him but lets him go and flies off.  The Viking chief and the warriors have decide to sail in search of the dragon nest to finish this nemesis once in for all. Hiccup joins the training school where he is taught that dragons always go for kill which makes him wonder why didn't that Night Fury. Hiccup returns in search of the fury and finds it in a Canyon. He notices that a wing on the fury's tail is missing, which holds it from flying. Hiccup makes contact with this dragon and finds that whatever he has been taught is completely false.He names his new friend, the Night Fury dragon as "Toothless". He makes an identical wing as the one still present on the tail which enables the Dragon to fly. This is story of Hiccup and his new found dragon friend Toothless. How Hiccup is able to tame all the dragons in training and save his village with the help of his new found friend and set of skills is what HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is all about.

Generally all the animation movies are very predictable and its the presentation which draws us elders into watching them but i felt this one had a nice n sweet story too. The movie is funny and is very much helped by the voice over done by the artists. The main character of Hiccup is voiced by Canadian actor Jay Baruchel, whom we have seen movies like Knocked-Up,  Million Dollar Baby, Tropical thunder and The Sorcerer's Apprentice and he does a fine job by keeping the voice such that the childishness and innocence is kept alive. Gerard Butler voice's Stoick,  Hiccup's father and the Viking chief. Butler is in command, I felt it must not have been difficult for him, as it was a bit like Leonidas with voice and rage a million tones lighter.     

What pulls people like me to an animation movie is the imagination of the people behind such wonderful work.  The characters created  by the animation team are very cute and all of them had a special and distinctive feature. May be the credit for it goes to the writers too but people who brought them on screen deserve a lot of it. Toothless the Night Fury dragon is  so cute, with big eyes and the way those eyes are made to work by the team is incredible. The scenes between Hiccup and Toothless do remind me of those between Draco and Bowen from the movie Dragon Heart. There are some remarkable scenes, like the one where Hiccup takes the first controlled flight on Toothless, or the one where toothless offers Hiccup his food. The movie is soft to the eyes and bright to the heart. No doubt it must have been very well written but to adapt to big screen is a very different task and the writers did very well here. The movie is short, which helps to keeps the interest intact. 

Its a wonderful movie, with a lot of spirit and a lots of fun. It will bring a big smile to your face and that's a bet. Watch it even if you don't like animation, I think it can change your perception.

Plus : Nice story, wonderful animation , brings joy and smiles.

Rating : 8.5/10

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