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Old March 28 2011, 04:14 AM   #282
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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2011

30. Gigi (B-)
31. I Love You Phillip Morris (B+)
32. How To Train Your Dragon (A)

I remember when this came out in theatres last February (I think), I considered seeing it, but I never got around to it. Having gotten around to it, this is that rarity, a film I wished I'd seen in 3D; I can imagine the flying scenes would have looked ever more amazing in that format (which is generally much more suited to animation than live action).

Dreamworks Animation has historically specialized in reference- and irony-heavy stories, in contrast to Disney/Pixar's more classical approach (though the former style is really just a progression of what Disney did in Aladdin and Hercules, and to a much lesser extent, Mulan). Shrek was a hilarious breath of fresh air in 2001, but the progress of that franchise is emblematic of the whole formula: it's tired. This, though, is a pretty straight story, and that much better for it. The flying scenes, as previously mentioned, are stunningly animated, as good as anything Pixar has produced. The animation on the people is also well-done (I was very impressed with Hiccup's skin texture). The main characters are nicely handled - I liked the reversal of typical character types by having the girl be the brute-force-type who learns to give peace a chance. Though the message about befriending the dragons is somewhat muddled by the inclusion of the dragon queen - though I suppose that could just be taken as not painting groups with too broad a brush.
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