This Week at the Movies: How to Train Your Dragon

This Week at the Movies: How to Train Your Dragon

Will Hazzard

College life can be hard. Whether it’s term papers, regular homework or the quickly approaching reality that is adulthood, it can be a little overwhelming at times. We go to the movies to escape all of that, but are oftentimes met with a world we are all too familiar with. Sometimes the only real way to break from the norm is to go out and see a children’s movie. It gives us all a chance to remember how we started watching movies in the first place and to relive some of that magic. There is no better place to find that magic than in How to Train Your Dragon, directed and written for the screen by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. With its adorable story, clever wit and superb animation, it’s the perfect change of pace in any moviegoer’s usual choice.

Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) is a scrawny misfit Viking who’s father (voiced by Gerard Butler) just so happens tobe the mightiest Viking chief their island village has ever seen. On the island, fighting the dragons that periodically raid the village is everything. One day while trying to prove his worth, Hiccup shoots down the most notorious of the dragons: Nightfury. However, instead of killing the beast, he nurses the injured dragon back to health and learns that the creatures aren’t as terrible as they seem and even hold a dark secret. While the themes and plot devices may not be the most original concepts ever to grace the silver screen, to call this movie anything but brilliant and imaginative would be a shame. It is all too easy to get lost in the wonder and beauty of this animated word.

By far, How to Train Your Dragon has some of the highest quality computer generated animation in the world of cinema today. It’s important to take notice of both the lager images and subtle details the animators have weaved into the film. The craggy island and towering fjords are excellent achievements in setting and the harsher colors really stand out against the normally pastel colored animated worlds. The animators also put careful detail into each character model without a single hair out of place. It’s amazing when you can practically see each individual fiber on the Vikings’ bear skin coats. The lighting effects should also be given special attention. The flickering flames and subdued sunlight do well in creating an atmosphere while also keeping the tone upbeat and enlightening.

It may not be the latest raunchy comedy or groundbreaking new drama, but How to Train Your Dragon is a movie that should not be missed. It’s fun, well made and will take you back to that time you watched Toy Story for the very first time. If you’re too embarrassed to see it by yourself with friends, maybe you have a younger companion you can take as an excuse. No matter the circumstances, this is a movie that will make you laugh and put you in a good mood. Now who can deny not wanting that?