How to Train Your Dragon

The hubby and I went on our 4th date since the birth of our little princess last week. Grandma was in town for the week, so we took the opportunity to head into the city for a movie. “How to Train Your Dragon” was much anticipated in our household – we love our animated films – and it definitely did not disappoint.

I hate giving stuff away, so I’m not going to go into too much detail about the movie. I’ll just highlight some of my favorite aspects…

The humor. Dreamworks usually takes the cake in this department over Disney/Pixar, who tend to be on the cuter, more heartfelt end of the spectrum. But Dreamworks almost always makes me laugh out loud, and “Dragon” was no exception. The opening sequence alone, where the lead boy is introducing the villagers, had us both rolling with laughter. They aren’t afraid to use modern day lingo/references or heavy doses of sarcasm (my personal brand of humor.)

Action. I don’t know how to explain how Dreamworks’ action scenes are different from Disney/Pixar’s action scenes, they just are. Perhaps the difference lies in how the action comes about – it seems the DW characters deliberately seek out action and adventure, where with D/P, danger seems to find them. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but there are definite themes in each that make them different. The fun of this movie is that the action scenes take place on the back of a super cool (and super cute!) dragon!

What I find really cool is that even though both Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks use the same formulas for their movies – and they both have beautiful animation – they are different. I can say almost immediately when a movie starts whether it’s Disney, Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks. Why is that? Well, it’s the “voice.” We’re used to talking about it in regards to writing. In the romance genre, there are certain formulas, concepts, ideas, etc… that we all use, but I know when I’m reading a Julia Quinn, or when I’ve picked up a Sabrina Jeffries. Despite the fact they write the same genre in the same era and in the same style, I can definitely pick them out of a line up. I’ve always known this about directors, too. You can usually tell if you’re watching a Spielberg or Tarantino film. But it’s only recently occurred to me in the realm of animated films.

At any rate, I highly recommend “How to Train Your Dragon” for kids and grown-ups alike. It’s a fun romp and another home run from Dreamworks! Plus the 3-D is really great!

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