Trailer Tuesday: How To Train Your Dragon
I went to watch Avatar in 3D last week and one of the most enjoyable parts of the experience was all the trailers - which left the audience drooling by fully exploiting the 3D format. Now of course I'm most excited for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland in 3D (how desperately I wish we had 3D IMAX in South Africa!). However, I was also pleasantly surprised when I watched the trailer for How To Train Your Dragon for the first time.
How To Train Your Dragon is the latest CGI-animated film from DreamWorks Animation, and is loosely based on the children's book by Cressida Cowell. A fantasy comedy-adventure, How to Train Your Dragon is set in medieval Scandinavia and centres on a wimpy but smart-mouthed young viking, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who doesn't fit in with his bloodthirsty, dragon-slaying clan. A chance encounter with a small black dragon, named Toothless, however changes Hiccup's life, as he learns that dragons aren't the winged pests and vicious monsters he's been taught to be believe. Assisted by Toothless and his young friends, Hiccup sets out to convince his community to change their ways.
DreamWorks animated movies can either be frenetic, superficial nonsense that coasts on the appeal of their all-star voice cast (Madagascar, Bee Movie, Shark Tale) or they can actually have a heart and/or something to say to accompany the goofy but rousing action (Kung Fu Panda, the original Shrek).
It's my hope that How To Train Your Dragon is an example of the latter. Then again, perhaps I'm biased because I'm already completely in love with Toothless, who has a very strong Stitch vibe.
The cutesy factor aside, How To Train Your Dragon has a lot going for it. The setting is great and the film's apparent base concept, a comic take on the over-serious likes of Eragon and Beowulf, is similarly enticing. Then again, there's also the obvious appeal of the dragon riding. Who hasn't dreamed of flying one of those big beasties? It's one of the staples of childhood imagination. And by the looks of things, in How To Train Your Dragon we'll get to experience it to the vicarious extreme.
Oh, and for the record, the voice cast of How To Train Your Dragon includes Gerard Butler as Hiccup's short-tempered chieftan father, Jonah Hill as Hiccup's burly teenage rival and America Ferrera as Astrid, Hiccup's love interest.
How To Train Your Dragon is set for release in the United States AND South Africa on 26 March. Although it is predominantly being released as a 3D film, I'm sure it will also be screening in traditional 2D at those cinemas still unequipped for the new format craze.