How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

“How to Train Your Dragon” (2010)

IMDb

motion – under, above, through

I’ve seen this film almost a month ago. I’m commenting on it now, as a preface to the viewing of Spielberg/Jackson’s Tintin. I want to see that film, because I think Spielberg is a valuable filmmaker when he moves inside is native area, that of energetic electrifying adventure films, being “adventure” a wide term. I want to see what’s his word on motion capture, the concept he so willingly defends, and that his long time friend Zemeckis began to explore a few years ago.

Watching films is, as many things in life, a matter of personal choices. You choose what you are looking for in a film. Animation is subject to those decisions as well. I made my choices. I go to animation because a virtual camera can do things that a real one can’t so easily do. Of course we than watch Soy Cuba and this statement becomes pretty much useless. But that film is an alien.

As an architect I care about space. Built space, integrated or not, but always built. In an animation, everything is built space. Even mountains and landscapes, the sea and the caves. It’s all chosen and designed to appear as we see it. And it is built to look as it does depending on the also freely chosen framing, and movement of characters in the space. So, it’s total freedom. Of course this is a several million dollar project, and it has to appeal to a certain crowd, so you hang the thing in a story, and this one is well put. But I don’t come to films like this for the characters, although the black dragon does seduce me, as well as a number of other characters. This film is rich in its textures, and character construction, within the constraints of the genre. But I don’t want to talk about that.

The really good things here for me come from the motion scenes. In the sky, and in the cave. One uses fluid motion, following the path of the dragons or inventing a virtual path for the camera that dances with that of the dragons. In the cave, the camera use is more conventional, but the design of the space is intelligent. Pixar has made the biggest progress in recent years, but this has a specific vision of its own, maybe a consequence, or even an iteration of Avatar. Worth watching on those terms.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb

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