Saturday, November 20, 2010

FILMonBLU-RAY: How to Train Your Dragon (Review)

How to Train Your Dragon
2010 - Dreamworks
Released on Blu-Ray & DVD on October 15, 2010

# of Discs: 2 (Blu-Ray, DVD)
Runtime: 98 minutes

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has struggled to live up to his calling as a Viking. He is skinny, inquisitive and inventive, everything a Viking is not. His father is chief of the village, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), and has pretty much given up on his teenage son and apprenticed him to the village blacksmith Gobber (Craig Ferguson). Worse, Hiccup knows the village loser has not a chance of impressing Astrid (America Ferrera), the girl of his dreams and a formidable dragon fighter in her own right.

When one of Hiccup's inventions actually works, he hasn't the heart to kill the young dragon he brought down. He names it Toothless and befriends it, although he has been taught to fear and loathe dragons and discovers that everything Vikings know about dragons is wrong.

The majority of the film takes place in three locations: Hiccup's Viking tribe's Village, the cove area where Toothless and Hiccup meet and the island where the Dragons roost. The Vikings' home is located on the island of Berk and is beautifully captured in the animation. Their village is beset by dragons and some of the best visuals come from the opening dragon attack and later when the Vikings set sail for the dragon home.

Most of the bonding between the film's main two characters comes in the cove that Toothless is unable to escape from alone thanks to being injured by Hiccup's wild shot to the sky. But the most terrifying location is by far the nest of the Dragons where the gigantic Red Death lives and is waited on by the other smaller Dragons.

Extras on the disc include an all-new adventure featuring the characters of the film. In "Legend of the BoneKnapper Dragon", Hiccup and his friends join Gobber in his search for a mysterious dragon that he claims to having crossed paths with several times during his lifetime. The short consists of several different styles of animation to tell the story but that does not affect the story and help supports the idea that this Dragon world can support multiple stories beyond the feature film.

There is also an instructional video on how to draw Toothless, deleted scenes and a series of fun shorts starring the characters in the Viking Winter Games.

How to Train Your Dragon is a fantastic surprise of a quality story combined with endearing characters that made it easily one of the best films of 2010. Everyone should see this movie and I am excited with the news that the film's success will be leading to sequels and a TV series. I might even check out the book the movie was inspired from.

Look to buy the How to Train Your Dragon Blu-Ray over at Amazon for only $17.99.
Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's How to Train Your Dragon themed picspam.

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