“I wouldn’t kill him because he looked as scared as I did. I looked at him and I saw myself.”
If everyone looked at each other like that before coming at them, the world would be a better place. But you can always dream of such a future, especially if that vision is supported by spectacular visuals and an enchanting story. The aforementioned dialogue comes from the critically acclaimed animated film How to Train Your Dragon and is first spoken by lead character Hiccup as he explains to his tribe why he couldn’t defeat the dragon as his community expected him to do. Hiccup, like the hero of any other underdog story, is the stereotypical misfit. He is skinny, scared and can’t do what most Vikings naturally do, like slay dragons.
Aided by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, with a screenplay by Will Davies and the directors, the feature film is based on the book of the same name, written by Cressida Cowell. How to Train Your Dragon lasts 98 minutes and is a fantastic story about a Viking teenager who goes against his traditions and instead of killing a dragon, befriends it. The bond shared between Night Fury (the dragon) and Hiccup (voiced by a great Jay Baruchel) is special because they travel together to break stereotypes and help Hiccup’s people against some powerful foes. The script is tight, the dialogues contain the emotions and the voice acting is top notch. Having talented actors like Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig and David Tennat on board certainly helped.
Usually the idea is that animation is meant for children, just like comics are read by nerds and fairy tales are for little girls. Both largely held beliefs are wrong. Anything that has meaning and soul, that exists for engagement and connecting with people, can be consumed by people of any age group. And How to Train Your Dragon is exactly that movie that will appeal to you no matter how old or young you are, especially since the themes it deals with are the topics that our little ones need to know more about, and the adults need to remember. The main motive is kinship and you can find it in everyone, in this case even a deadly dragon! The story is simple, yet beautiful, and the camera work on those sequences is just as superb, if not more so. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the film consultant here was the revered Roger Deakins.
Hollywood rewind: Crazy Friday | Disturbia | Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse | Free Willy | career | Crash | Persepolis | The sisterhood of the traveling pants | Philadelphia | Mrs. Doubtfire | Easy A | Romeo + Juliet | Coraline | gone girl | Spaceship Troopers | Bridget Jones’s Diary | Almost Famous | unglorious bastards | Beginners | Woman with a pearl earring | Juno | night crawler | Little Miss Sunshine | moana | The sound of music | Benny and Joon | Crimson Peak | The holiday | My Blueberry Nights | The help | Mission Impossible | chef | Revolutionary way | I’m not here | Donnie Brasco | Sicario | Edge of tomorrow | Spying on children | 1998’s Godzilla | The others | Phone booth | Wild | scream | The Godfather Part II | A nice day | True love | petite women | face off | Pulp Fiction | Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon | The Age of Innocence | mean girls | die hard | Never been kissed | burger Kane | Kill Bill Volume I | Terminator 2 Judgment Day | Titanic | Heat | Home alone | Jerry Maguire | Short meeting | The Truman Show | the deer hunter | The shining | ignorant | Ferris Bueller’s Day Off | Blue velvet | Cab driver | The Lord of the Rings I | Zero Dark Thirty | the godfather | Say something | Warm bodies | bright star | Malcolm X | stardust | red eye | Notting Hill | fargo | The Virgin Suicides | The breakfast club | enchanted | Walk the line | Blood diamond | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Mortal Kombat | Madison County Bridges | Edward Scissorhands | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | she must have it | Even after | The Devil Wears Prada | the matrix | Beliefs | Mulan | Ratatouille | Shutter Island | Hair | Dead Poets Society | Sleepless in Seattle | Waitress | Pride and Prejudice | The Dark Knight | Before sunset | School of Rock | about a boy | Some good men | 50/50 | Start over | Brooklyn | Motive | Chocolate | Batman Begins | 10 things I hate about you | the deceased | freedom writers | Beautiful woman | Then in real life | Jurassic Park | confused | Meet Joe Black | Monsters ball | Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind | You’ve got mail | Half Nelson | fight club | doubt | american psychopath | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman holiday| American history | tropical thunder | Before sunrise | Fragrance of a woman | Find Forrester | Sixteen candles
The vibrant colors and landscape of Berk, the Viking village, are striking. The CGI is beautifully done, making you fall hopelessly and irrevocably into that world. Night Fury, aka Toothless, is cute. All in all, a stand-up job from the team that earned them two Oscar nominations that year – for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score (a fine job by John Powell). And as if the nominations weren’t enough, How to Train Your Dragon also managed to make a killing at the box office and earn nearly $500 million, which was a hit.
You can watch How to Train Your Dragon on JioCinema.