David Tennant (Doctor Who) is the voice for the How To Train Your Dragon AudioBook. He also voices a character in the film named Spitelout.
Hiccup lives in the land of Vikings, something which he is not. He can’t lift a sword, he can’t swing a hammer, and he has never killed a dragon, something every Viking aims to achieve in their lifetime. Instead he’s a thinker, an inventor, and as it turns out completely incapable of killing a dragon. When he downs one of the most elusive and dangerous dragon species known to his village he soon discovers that everything he and his people ever knew about dragons was wrong.
Prepare for adventure as How To train Your Dragon is just that. The film is unlike anything Dreamworks has ever done as it avoids the novelty of one liners and talking animals to incorporate a real sense of emotion, danger, action, and humor done right. Like Disney’s Pixar division Dreamworks abandons the cute factor (not entirely) to offer up a story that is life affirming for anyone that has the pleasure to see it. It’s a bit slow to start off but not mind numbingly slow. The director and writers take their time to signify the importance of character in their protagonist as well as hit upon subtle moral points that aren’t preachy but recognizable. Once you’ve settled into the film the action begins and its non-stop laughs, incredibly beautiful scenery, edge of your seat suspense, and all together heart warming. Definitely a step in the right direction for Dreamworks.
I had the pleasure to see this film in 3D and though I had been under the impression that Beowulf had been one of the better 3D films I’d seen How To Train Your Dragon takes the cake (excluding Disney’s Captain Eo which is in a league all its own). I’ve watched the HD trailers on my HD television set and the animation is simply fantastic. Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders go out of their way to make this film feel fleshed out and along with the power of the incredible story you start to give in to the realism of the world before you. In the theater though the 3D in the film was incredible. The size and magnitude of the Dragon world is massive and colorful and fluid. Pitting the image of thousands of Vikings against an inanimate mountainside creates a true 3D image of both the individual Vikings as well as the enormity and definition of the mountain. Battles scenes are given that extra boost to make them more realistic and for the first time in a 3D film I honestly felt like something that was meant to be 3D was actually in the theater before me instead of given just an extra level of depth on the screen. If you see this film I highly suggest seeing it in 3D. Forget box office numbers, forget media hype, I think this is the number one kids movie of the year hands down and the best in 3D so far.
Sidenote: Since the film began to screen there have been numerous postings on the internet about Toothless' likeness to Stitch from Disney's Lilo & Stitch. Sanders was Character Designer for the Lilo & Stitch film as well as played the voice of Stitch in the film and in various video game releases. Dean Deblois was director of the film Lelo & Stitch.