March 27, 2010 4

Here be Training of Dragons

By in Movies, Soundtracks

Toothless' Ticket

(SPOILER-FREE) All four of us at MAMA’s House ventured out to an advance screening of “How to Train Your Dragon” last Saturday morning, with few to no expectations. I like me some animation, but I wasn’t enthralled by the trailers I’d seen beforehand. And maybe that was for the best, because the movie turned out to be much more engaging and touching than I expected from Dreamworks Animation (the studio “Shrek” built), and it was a fantastically fun time! All four of us left smiling and really enjoyed it! The 3D was impressive and used tactfully (flying scenes are thrilling!), the dragon designs were very original, it was both funny and beautiful, and a real crowd-pleaser while still maintaining some original and unexpected elements. Props to Chris Sanders, who co-wrote and co-directed “Dragon”, who’s been absent from feature animation since he shared the same job titles on “Lilo and Stitch” (not counting his falling out with Disney over “American Dog” / “Bolt” which is probably the reason for his absence). His involvement also explains why the “hero” dragon, Toothless, looks incredibly similar to Stitch at times. We all loved it, though, and would highly recommend it (check out Anna’s review, including her account of shushing the Queen of the Movie Gypsies). Tonight, a week later, Anna, Adam, and I decided it was high time a Night Fury joined MAMA’s House, so we hunted down some toys and dragon Happy Meals across Monroe County.

On the score:
John Powell always seems to excel at animation scoring, and “Dragon” is no exception. “Robots” is possibly my favorite score of his, period, but right from the start “Dragon” is a fantastic, excellent work. The tone is not out of the realm of his big-fantasty-action style, and often resembles the orchestration of “Shrek” and the action scenes of “Robots”, but the inclusion of (Scottish? Irish?) pipes and ethnic instruments gives it a vaguely viking-esque sound (Do we actually know what viking music sounded like? Katie?). In any case, it works really well, and Powell occasionally applies the tone to his rousing main theme, which he puts through the paces in both the action and more tender scenes.

LISTEN TO: “Coming Back Around” from “How to Train Your Dragon” by John Powell

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4 Responses to “Here be Training of Dragons”

  1. Katie says:

    I like to imagine Viking music consisting of furious bongo choruses supplemented every so often with a triangle, but that is probably not the case. Pipes and probably lyres are more likely.

    I must say I’m impressed with how much you guys liked this movie. I wasn’t completely blown away by the trailer either, but maybe now when a viewing of it is someday offered to me I will actually watch it.

  2. Kara says:

    I loved that movie and we did the same merch hunt afterwards. I have a Night Fury sitting on the cablebox right now.

    Clark has also been called Toothless a few times. Especially this morning when he got up first and did the bouncing around thing.

  3. Love Shrek movies, great animation film.

  4. Hi, I like the Toy Story movies, super film!

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