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Title: How to Train Your Dragon
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller
Directed by: Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders
Written by: Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders (Screenplay), Cressida Cowell (Novel)
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Rated: G
Runtime: 98 min
Release Date: October 15, 2010



Movie::5stars:

Synopsis:

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a viking, or at least he's supposed to be a viking. A member of a small but proud island settlement Hiccup is the son of the village chief Stoic the Vast (Butler) - the only problem is that he's a runt, all brains and no brawn. On Hiccup's island every day is a battle for survival against hordes of dragons that constantly seek to steal their livestock and destroy their buildings. Without the strength or will to fight, Hiccup is an obvious misfit with an unfortunate tendency to break things and cause accidents. Working for the blacksmith Gobber (Ferguson) Hiccup gets the opportunity to invent contraptions to make up for his physical shortcomings, and one of these is a net launcher. Most vikings can capture a dragon by putting it into a headlock and wrestling the beast to the ground - but poor Hiccup doesn't have a hope. Instead, Hiccup plans to use his net launcher to catch a Night Fury, the most fearsome type of dragon there is - completely silent and never before killed or captured.

Hiccup sneaks from the village one evening in the midst of a battle to kill his first dragon, he sits on the clifftop watching when a streak of purple flame shoots accross the sky. Hiccup takes careful aim and fires, and is astonished to find that his shot knocks the invisible target from the sky in the nearby forest.

The next day Hiccup treks out into the forest to see what he has captured. What he finds is a large black dragon tangled in nets and breathing with difficulty. Hiccup draws his knife, all he has to do is make the killing blow and finally he will become an accepted member of his people. Hiccup raises the blade over his head and closes his eyes - wincing at what he is about to do. Hiccup hears the dragon turn its head in resignation and pauses - realizing that the dragon is as scared as he is.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3839&w=l[/img]

In a moment of reckless impulse, Hiccup slices the lines holding the dragon in captivity and attempts to turn and run. The beast has Hiccup on his back within a heartbeat - Hiccup is terrified. His people believe that a dragon always goes for the kill, without exception. Hiccup is convinced he is about to die - yet the dragon simply roars at his face and bounds away through the forest.

Over the following weeks Hiccup learns he is going to be forced to take the dragon training course in his village - he cannot bring himself to kill a creature after his recent experiences and runs to the forest in desperation. Hiccup heads in the direction where the Night Fury ran off - hoping he will see where it went. What he finds is that the dragon is trapped in a large depression, unable to fly due to damage to his tail. Over the course of weeks Hiccup befriends the dragon and earns his trust, naming him Toothless.

When Hiccup's village eventually learns of Toothless' existence and captures him Hiccup must confront the realization that everything he and his people believe about dragons is false and risk everything to save an unlikely friend.


Rating:

How To Train Your Dragon is rated PG - this is a family movie with a wonderful story presented in a tasteful manner.

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3840&w=l[/img]


Video::5stars:

Many readers here will recall that in the early days of Blu-Ray as a format one of the best looking (and sounding) discs around was a DreamWorks title, Kung-Fu Panda. Since the release of How to Train Your Dragon in theaters, I have been eager to see what a modern DreamWorks title can do to best the already impressive Kung-Fu Panda. So, on to the important bits:

How to Train Your Dragon comes to Blu-Ray with an utterly jaw dropping 1080p AVC encode with an average bitrate of 22 Mbps. I was hoping that this title would best its predecessors and it does more than that, it completely destroys them. The video quality of this disc is without question reference quality, colors are superbly rich and accurate, blacks are infinite and shadow gradation and detail is incredible. The film has such incredible sharpness and detail that from start to finish I was noticing things that the 4K IMAX presentation left out, flames, dragons and vikings literally pop off the screen during this film and the result is in a word: breathtaking. I have only seen one film on Blu-Ray to date that left me with the same impression of raw video perfection, and that was Avatar. As is the trend with most animated titles, How to Train Your Dragon looks far better than any live action film out there, Avatar included. As a title produced entirely in (and for) the digital domain there are no flaws to speak of: no DNR, no noise, no grain, no banding or artifacts, and no black crush.

This is the best looking Blu-Ray disc in my collection bar none. If you want to own what in this reviewers opinion is the best looking Blu-Ray in the history of the format, go out right now and purchase How to Train Your Dragon.


Audio::5stars:
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3841&w=l[/img]


DreamWorks must read forums and make lists of things that we AV junkies love in movies:

Crystal clear picture, check. Perfect color reproduction, check. Amazing sound quality, check. Bass that will kick you in the chest, check.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack in How to Train Your Dragon defied all expectations, proving a match to the reference visuals. The sense of scope the soundstage conveys is enormous, with palpable depth and pinpoint accuracy. The opening attack on the village will see your surrounds shedding any dust that may have built up as they are seriously put to the test. Fireballs and explosions come from all directions and give the viewer a complete sense of immersion. The dialogue throughout is clear and completely intelligible, no matter how much other noise is present. Quiet scenes in the film are full of natural ambience with the wind sighing behind your head and twigs crackling on the forest floor. There is plenty of cause for subwoofer maniacs to rejoice here as well, I found that my sub was active throughout the film and in such a way that it never stole the stage - well, except for one mega-explosion at the end of the film which many of you will no doubt replay many times.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable surround sound experience that completely surpasses all expectations.

Extras::5stars:

An excellent collection of HD special features rounds out this incredible disc.

Legend of the Bonekeeper Dragon [HD] – Short film (16 min) with 7.1 TrueHD audio.

Soaring Special Features:

Viking Sized Cast [HD]– 11 minutes
The technical artistry of How to Train Your Dragon[HD]– 10 minutes
Deleted Scenes (3) [HD]
The Story Behind the Story [HD] – 7 minutes
Racing for gold [HD] – interactive game
How to draw a dragon featurette [HD]– 10 minutes
Your Viking profile [HD] – interactive
Filmmaker’s commentary with directors/co-writers Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois and producer Bonnie Arnold
The animator’s corner – Bonusview pop-up interactive feature
Trivia track – Bonusview pop-up interactive feature
DreamWorks Animation: Video Jukebox [HD]– Featuring Shrek, Madagascar, Over the hedge, Bee Movie, and Kung Fu Panda


Overall::5stars:

[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=3843&w=l[/img]

How To Train Your Dragon is a superb story told with a perfect balance of humor, seriousness and respect for the intelligence of the viewer. The actions of each character have real and plausible repurcussions and the story is both uplifting and engrossing. The film is diminished in no way by the move to Blu-Ray, with a reference video and audio presentation, a great collection of HD extras and a bonus disc thrown in for good measure this is an incredible value.

As family films go, rarely do I find myself enjoying them quite as much as the intended audience (kids). How to Train Your Dragon is the exception to that rule, and as a film it remains my top pick of 2010 thus far. Whether your motivation for purchasing films is that they be family friendly, great to look at, or incredible from a sonic perspective, you have no need to worry. How to Train Your Dragon is a no compromise package deal with everything a good film needs to have. Whatever your qualifications are to enjoy a Blu-Ray disc (or a film in general) this film has something to offer to both you and your family. If you want this reviewer's advice, go out right now and purchase what I'm willing to bet will soon be your favorite disc.



 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

This is one i'll be buying for the kids (and myself:heehee:). Thanks for the great review.:T
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

I gotta agree with the review: I really liked the movie, however, my wife and I saw it in the theater and the presentation was, well...we haven't been back since. The audio sounded like it was missing the rear surrounds, as well as any form of driver larger than a mid-bass :rolleyesno: Going to rent this one and see what it does at home!
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

I got to watch this one on Saturday night and really have to say that your review is spot on. I really felt like everything about it was of better quality than Kung Fu Panda and I really love showing off Kung Fu Panda! Great review Dave!
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

Thanks for the review! My wife and I really liked this one when we saw it in theaters. It was pretty amazing in 3D. One of the few films that I really thought the 3D was worth the extra money spent. I picked my copy of this up and am hopefully going to have enough time to watch it this weekend!

Keep up the good work all you Home Theater Shack Reviewers!!!
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

I agree. The commercials looked good, but I figured it would be ok. Me and my girlfriend went to the theaters to see it, and couldn't believe it. I was totally blown away with how great the movie was. Don't let the G rating turn you away. This is one of those greats like UP, but this one is more action packed and fun.

10/10
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

I got this movie when it first came out on disc and I agree with the 5 star rating. There is one part where Hiccup had a close-up shot and you can see his hair moving ever so slightly with the wind. It just doesn't quite fit well since Butler has an accent and Baruchel doesn't but the characters were just amazing.
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

The audio on this movie is also fantastic there are many parts with deep bass and it rocks the room. This is one of those movies that is a must have for a collection.
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

A friend of mine was one of the graphic designers for this movie. I still need to see it.
 

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Re: How to Train Your Dragon - Blu-Ray Review

I have to say this movie is pretty fantastic. One for the grown-ups and the kids to enjoy. I would put it on par with Kung Fu Panada.
 

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Can't say anything about BR release but the movie itself was very well done and I agree with OP, I tend to like it more than slapstick KFP - not big fan of Jack Black in general...
Like Avatar, "How to.. " was worth the extra charge for Imax 3d version. Must see if you have kids or have kid in you :D
 

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Kung Fu Panda was a fun movie but this was just a better movie overall and one of the few 3D movies that I really enjoyed and felt was worth seeing in 3D. Some will probably think that I lost my mind but I really think it was a better use of 3D than Avatar (which I also loved)
 
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