A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely owner of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.
I've gotta say, after seeing Monsters vs. Aliens about this time last year - really for its amazing voice cast and pretty awesome premise - and the complete and utter shitfest that it was, I was DONE with DreamWorks.
But the 97% on RottenTomatoes - one of the highest rated movies of 2010 there thus far - and the fact that it's Chris Sanders (and you can definitely see Stitch in Toothless), I figured I'd give it a shot.
And at this point I'll tell you that if I suddenly completely cut off in this post, it's because my completely incoherent fangirling got the best of me because HOLY FUCKING GOD WOW.
I might be overstating it a tad right now. Miiiiight. But it's been three hours or so since I finished watching it and I'm STILL incredibly giddy and have an incredibly strong desire to just run back out there and go see it again as soon as possible, which is a little ridiculous, but I really really really really really really really really really really really loved this one.
Because it's DreamWorks this deserves a prominent mention: THERE WASN'T A SINGLE POPULAR CULTURE REFERENCE IN THIS MOVIE. Not ONE. And if there was one, then it damn well completely flew over my head and I totally missed it. But I'm pretty sure there weren't any. Man.
I was - so, so focused, and completely invested and immersed within the movie and its world. Everything - every damn little thing. The characters were fantastic, the plot was excellent, the visuals - good god, the visuals - it was all so perfectly, beautifully engrossing.
I'd never read the book before (and even though it's more of a tween audience I kind of really really want to now), so I can't necessarily comment on how well it was adapted or anything like that, but... nnngh.
So really, this movie was beautiful. So, so, so pretty. The animation was so much fun and the dragons all have really great designs (as do the rest of the characters, really. Perfectly complimenting their personalities and Hiccup's is a little cliche and expected, but it sets him apart from everyone else pretty well). It's so rich in colour and the world was so vibrant... The fire's great and just, man, it's BEAUTIFUL. Caught it in IMAX with 3D and... man. It's worth it. I'd compare the 3D more to Pixar's take on it, actually, in that it enhances the animation without being horribly blatant or gimmicky. And that one flight sequence - you'll know what I mean when you see it, but I could have pretty much watched that forever.
Right from the beginning I was just hooked in and... the film never really slipped up. I was expecting something initially but no... it develops itself pretty damn well. The pacing is fantastic. It doesn't waste time in getting into the story but the passage of time is still well-communicated and fully appropriate and... ah. It was just so fucking well developed and kept me completely in it.
It was pretty funny (the kids are all great) and the voice acting was really fantastic but what drew me in so, so, so strongly was the characters and all of the heart and behind this one. The emotional core is so, so strong. Scenes between Hiccup and Toothless in particular were... just beautiful and perfect and I got so, so invested in just those two. There was a lot going on in there even though one of them can't talk but it was really easy to relate to their relationship. And I'm basically trying to be as general here as possible because even I'm not a big enough of a dick to go without spoiler tags in the first post of a thread but I don't really feel like putting those in, so...
The one complaint I have - one - is that it got a little too cliche at the climax, along the lines of it being AN INCREDIBLY MASSIVE HUGE FUCKING DEAL, which threw me out of it a little bit because everything honestly felt really natural up until that point - but that was okay. I would've preferred something a little more subtle but there was really quite a lot of that sort of atmosphere earlier in the movie, and that's probably what made it so jarring, but it still worked well enough and it's not like the movie turned awful at that point. It didn't hurt it that there was an event that was a HUGE FUCKING DEAL and it still developed pretty well. It needed closure at some point and I guess it helped it along.
And the end - man, man, man the end. Just perfect. Perfect perfect perfect.
Iiiiiiii'm gonna stop right here, this is getting a touch long and I'm basically just rambling off a bunch of blanket statements in a really fangirly way and I'm genuinely surprised I haven't hit uncontrollable keyboard-smashing levels in this post yet, so this seems like a good place to, uh, stop. At least until someone else sees it so I'm not just rambling like a loon to myself. Aaah.
Because, uh. I went in shocked at the fact that DreamWorks pulled off a 97% movie and not really knowing how much I'd agree - and came out IN FUCKING LOVE.
Seriously you guys this movie is awesome you should watch it.