I feel bad, I only got around to seeing How To Train Your Dragon last Sunday. When the Oscar nominees were announced, when the Globe and BAFTA winners were announced, I said things like “Toy Story 3 is the surest win ever”. But how do I feel now I’ve seen How To Train Your Dragon?
I was wrong. That’s not to say Toy Story 3 isn’t the better film, it is. But it’s by no means as sure a thing as I thought.
Toy Story 3 is in some ways the greatest film that’s ever been made, has any other film been universally loved by critics, fans and been the most successful film of the year? Ok clever cloggs, yes, there was Shakespeare in Love, but can you name another? If you can I’ll take my hat off to you. I would be glad to see Toy Story 3 surprise everyone and walk away with Best Picture at the Oscars, but one should not discount just how good How To Train Your Dragon is.
It’s wonderful, a tale of discovery, of a boy trying to fit in, but who finds that what makes him an outcast is also what makes him special. Yea yea we’ve all been there before, seen it a thousand times, but there is a certain magic to an age old tale being told exceptionally well, like Cars before it, HTTYD is a story we all know, told with fun, character and love.
Toy Story has some some great moments, but many have been built up from characters over two films, not to down play them, it is an advantage in the tear jerk stakes. HTTYD has a sweet and honest relationship with the young Hiccup and the dragon he befriends. It’s nice to see animal characters who cannot speak and have to communicate via gesture and expressions making a return (Tangled also does this and I think we should all thank Wall-E for starting this renascence).
I could nit pick that the Vikings all appear to be Dwarfs off the set of World of Warcraft – in that they’re burly rough jolly fighters sporting Scottish accents – but when they’re lead by the perfectly cast Gerard Butler you are frankly being petty. The romantic interest in the form of Astrid is both great as a non traditional female stereotype and for having a running “catchphrase” if you will which made the soppy side of me audibly “awww”.
I can heartily recommend you seek it out and enjoy this wonderful movie, you know, before Dreamworks rinse the series for all they can like they did with Shrek