I finally got to see How to Train Your Dragon last week. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, truth be told- it was something to do with my kids on spring break- but I was really blown away at how much fun it was. I liked it even better than Avatar. Yeah, I went there.
Aside from the fact that I got to see the IMAX version, and I don’t know how much that added to my enjoyment, I think Dreamworks finally took a hint from Pixar and focused on telling a really fantastic story. Took those guys long enough- I’ve been waiting since the first Shrek movie for something this good.
What they did brilliantly, if I can analyze a moment, is make the main dragon, Toothless, a sufficiently ambiguous creature that the audience members could compliantly anthropomorphize and see in him a family dog. Or, say, a favorite ocelot.
Come on. Tell me that isn’t uncanny.
And then as soon as you see how adorable and cuddly Toothless is- oh look! He’s just as lovable as my kitty! awwwwww! – then they have you, a weepy puddle of goo for the climactic scene at the end as you realize that OH DEAR GOD WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
It may not be the most subtle message, but I’ll forgive it for two reasons- one, this was a movie geared to kids where subtlety is not always a virtue; and two, Avatar was so ham-fisted with its USB-ponytail-enabled Na’vi protecting their Unobtainium (dopiest name ever) that I must accept that American moviemakers have thrown in the towel when it comes to subtext and assume we’re all morons.
To summarize: See the movie. And be nice to animals, especially really cute ones.
Tammy S says
So funny you should describe the movie that way. First time I saw the commercial I thought, “Gosh, that black dragon completely reminds me of my first Boston Terrier, Pugsley”. Looks like a cute film, I’ll have to go and see it now.
Tammy in Maryland
How did you get that picture of Apollo?!?! Or should I ask what you were doing to him to get a face like that? I do see the resemblance. 😉
Dave Z. says
Hmmmm, is there a connection between dragons and cats? Or that just the dog person in me thinking out loud? (Just kidding – I really miss my Casey Cat).
Camila F. says
OMG, that is so cute!!! They look like brothers! 🙂
Rose D. says
Dr. V, I felt the same way! I loved the movie SO much more than I thought I would. The whole time Toothless was on screen I kept going, “My Eesa does that” “That looks just like Eesa” and so on. I love the resemblance too the Ocelots in our lives. Everyone should see this movie!
There definitely some resemblance there! I’ve been waiting since Shrek too… Glad to hear it was good! 🙂
Dr V says
Congratulations, you won the book for today! Send me your mailing info to drv (at) pawcurious (dot) com!
I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’ve heard lots of good things about it. I’m with Tonya on this one…how did you get that picture of Apollo?
I haven’t seen this one yet either, but I keep hearing really good things about it! I LOVE the resemblance in the photos – that is just too funny!
(and I’m right there with ya on “unobtainium” – I actually groaned out loud when they said that one!)
Susan Montgomery says
Now this movie is doubly on my list..
LOL! I knew I saw Toothless somewhere! I did see the movie. I looved it! and yeah I went home to play with my 3 little “dragons” (2 dogs and a cat…the cat rules).
A must see.
I wanted to see this movie, but I’m thinking that a dragon dies or something. Crying hysterically in a movie theater isn’t my idea of a good time.
Another, how did you get that picture of Apollo!? Pretty hilarious though!
I completely agree that movie makers seem to have thrown in the towel when it comes to the story and heart of movies. It’s like they’ve put graphics, 3D-ness, explosions, and who can bag the biggest star above everything else. The story is always the most important, and yes, subtlety is good. It’s awesome in fact. I don’t need the entire storyline to be spelled out for me word for word.
I’m glad HtTYD isn’t like that. I had hope for this movie, the trailers always looked so cute and I’m quite the sucker for all things mythical. It’s now on my list of “must see”s.
Oh and “Unobtanium” deserves to go in the record books as a giant *facepalm* moment.
I loved the movie! So cute!
Yay! A kitty post! Love love LOVE that pic of Apollo, what a great shot! And a beautiful boy!
p.s. Apollo’s teeth look to be in excellent condition, my kitty is about to go have his teeth cleaned, the whole anasthetic thing is a bit nerve wracking. But your blog has made me realise how important dental hygiene is in animals.
I LOVED this movie. I read somewhere that Chris Sanders was involved in the project. He was the artistic director or something like that on Disney’s Lilo and Stitch – they based the art on his style. Toothless looks remarkably like a kitty, and bears an uncanny resemblance to Stitch as well. I loved Lilo and Stitch and I love my kitty, hence I love Toothless.
It was also a great story to boot. That always helps.
Lisa W says
Okay so now I can’t wait to see the movie. But am I gonna cry? Again?
Lisa W says
BTW, awesome pair of pics. Long-lost siblings perhaps? LOL!