DreamWorks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury / Book of Dragons (BLU-RAY)

If your going in expecting a full blown film like so many people have when purchasing their copy, one word, DONT! These are short films and most will probably only consider the first to be a proper film. Still, well worth the price. You have been warned.

How To Train Your Dragon is one of my favorite animated films from last year and among one of the very best reference BD’s that I own. The original film on Blu-Ray was flawless with sharp line definition, deep perfect black levels, and an animation fluidity that made the CGI film seem almost like you were peering into some strange real life world with oddly shaped people come to life. Just amazing. When I found this little gem in my review package it was the first thing I opened and watched. Like the original film on BD, Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury is just as perfect as well as a loaded package full of goodies that make this release worth every cent, plus it looks like all the original voice over cast returns for the two films.

Included in the features is Gift of the Night Fury. Though its never mentioned, it has a very Christmas feel to it, but the story runs even deeper as the Vikings find themselves being abandoned by their dragons for some unknown reason. This new adventure truly felt like a sincere addition to the story of HTTYD adding to the dragon mythology within the HTTYD universe. Then you have Book of Dragons, a feature that felt, to me, like those old Disney shorts being narrated as Goofy attempts to display how to do, or not to do, something or other. It has a bit of an interactive feel to it at first and the animation becomes a mix of hand drawn and CGI. Less of an adventure but a great addition to the collection.  

Perfect. Black levels again are deep and undisturbed by video noise of any sort, colors explode on your screen, line definition is fantastic, and the CGI process for this series continues to amaze with its perfect fluidity. If you’re a fan of the original film this is a must own. Audio comes at you with a 7.1 (yup, 7.1) Dolby TrueHD Digital  Surround Sound track. Fantastic. You get plenty of sporadic immersion from front and side channels as well as a bit of rear speaker action as well. No complaints.

~DVD version
~BD Version
~Animator’s Corner (BD Exclusive)
~Gobber’s Training Secrets: A very enjoyable bonus that has your favorite child characters from the film facing off against dragons. Really funny. These can also be found on the BD exclusive Ultimate Book of Dragons as clips.
~Ultimate Book of Dragons: You get a family tree, so to speak, of all the different types of dragons that there are. When you click on their names you can find all these little spots where you can click. Some of them simply highlight while others work as sort of Easter eggs and provide clips from another bonus in the bonus features.
~Spot The Difference: Ever flipped through a Highlights Magazine and spent time looking from picture to picture trying to find all the differences? Its pretty much what you get here. You can choose to spot the differences between Vikings or Dragons and for every challenge the number of differences rises. There were one or two very challenging finds but nothing smaller kids wouldn’t be able to handle.
~Learn To Draw A Baby Gronckle
~World of Dreamworks Animation
~Hatch A Dragon: This section looked to be pictures that kids sent in of dragon drawings that they animated for the kids. That is so cool. It must have blown whoever these kids are away to see their dragon come to life.
~Deleted Scenes: There are about four or five with introduction from Director Tom Owens. Most of them are either fully converted animation mixed with unfinished animation or simply unfinished animation.
~Dragon Lair (DVD-Rom) found on the DVD only.
~On-line Video Game: Inside you’ll find a video game card that you can use for you and a friend to go on-line and play the HTTYD on-line game.
~Game Preview

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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