Monday, March 08, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon An Awesome Title?

I'm betting many would think not.

But I'm also betting it's attached to a movie that will end up doing quite well.

The first previews ... were not all the impressive. ... Then I saw the trailer in 3D in theaters and it was awesome. ... Then a screening went down, and the buzz was that people really, really like the film. ... Then we got a new trailer, which yanked my ass off the fence and brought me in line to support CG dragons. But it hasn't stopped there. DreamWorks is taking advantage of their new momentum. ...

The kind of burbling I've heard about Dragon is similar to the talk about Toy Story that was making the rounds before that film's release. Which of course doesn't mean that DreamWorks' latest is going to bust box office charts open the way TS did, but it certainly bodes well.

The more that animated features do good, the better we like it.

49 comments:

Tim said...

I just took my 15-year-old daughter to see "Alice in Wonderland" where we caught the HTTYD trailer.
She turned to me and said, "That looks like it's not gonna suck!"

High praise indeed.

Anonymous said...

I'm betting many would think not.

Well, it does arguably play better on a marquee than "How To Train Your...Seriously, What the Heck IS That Thing, Some Mutated Muppet Salamander?--No, Really, I'm Asking!" ;)

She turned to me and said, "That looks like it's not gonna suck!"

(Which, considering that was the same mass-audience consensus MvA got, seems to be the default good review for a Dreamworks movie these days.)

Anonymous said...

At a minimum, that's a title with boy market potential, something absent from "The Princess and the Frog" or "Rapunzel" (yes, I know hey're changing it.)

C.M.B. said...

Steve, not to steer off topic, but I just found a very unintentionally funny short about bicycle safety from many many decades ago called "One Got Fat." In this short, several kids wear monkey masks and tails. Each of these monkey-child hybrids wind up getting killed because they don't obey the rules, and are usually accompanied by animated effects.

And who is credited as the art director, as well as having a visual part? Ralph Hulett. Is this THE Ralph Hulett?

Anonymous said...

All the murmurings I've heard coming from DW is that it's the best thing since sliced bread that they've worked on yet.

Based on the trailers and marketing I'm not yet convinced, but I've got my fingers crossed.
The dragon designs look neat, the humans.. meh, the comedic slapstick. blech. The world looks so sterile.. but here's hoping the 3D might kick ass

Anonymous said...

Ive also heard its the best CG movie ever.

And no, Im not being sarcastic.

If it beats The Incredibles or Ratatouille, Ill be surprised, albeit pleasantly...

Tim said...

Yes, I want to be clear about my daughter's comment. It was sincere. I think this film will strike a chord with a teen-age audience.
I hope to enjoy it, too.

Anonymous said...

My kids are really excited for this. They are young, so maybe that's why they like the trailer as opposed to all the other reports I've heard of youngsters not liking it.

I would love to see them show a shot of John Lasseter's face when Chris Sanders picks up the award for best animated feature next year. Can't wait.

Anonymous said...

The trailers are kind of a yawn, but I'm looking forward to Dean and Kris's cartoon.

Anonymous said...

Ive also heard its the best CG movie ever.

And no, Im not being sarcastic.



Are you meaning to pump this up a bit though, or are you really hearing "the best?" That's a pretty strong claim.

I wouldn't doubt it being one of the best, but there's a lot of steep competition for the top spot; and I don't think anybody's even figured that out either.

And no, 100% or Rottentomatoes don't count.

Anonymous said...

No, Im not trying to pump it up. I work for one of their competitors...

But yes, I did hear that

Anonymous said...

I hope Pixar is enjoying their Oscar win for Up because that is going to be their last one for quite some time.

I honestly did not think I'd ever see the day where Dreamworks' upcoming slate would look much better than Pixar's.

But I'm sure Disney is excited their merchandising monster known as "Cars" will be back on screen next year.

Dreamworks on the other hand will probably not complain about taking the prestigious accolades in their stead.

Anonymous said...

No offence to those that are looking forward to this movie. But to me it has 'one trick pony' writtenall over it. Dragon movies will almost always do well. Why? Because people love dragons. Will it be the best thing dreamworks has ever made. Time will tell. Movies like old dogs did well in early screenings did well but look how that turned out.

I have no doubt dragons will do well and get two or three sequals like madagaskar or shrek. But unlike shrek I really don't see much coming from this story wise.

Anonymous said...

People say its emotional and touching, like ET

Hence the ET-like poster...

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:25:00

Did Old Dogs have people who worked on it and screened it saying it was the best film ever?

No offense but Dragon is generating some really really good buzz, and you're being ridiculous comparing it to Old Dogs. The anticipation for the two is incomparable. Please stop it.

Anonymous said...

Dragon movies will almost always do well. Why? Because people love dragons.

Are you serious?!? People love dragon movies? Since when?

You mean films like 'Eragon,' Dragon Heart,' Reign of Fire,' 'Dragon Slayer,' 'Lair of the White Worm'? Not a blockbuster among them, not even a major hit. And those are the best known/most successful of the genre.

This sounds like a 'jury nullification' strategy: if HTTYD is a hit, it's not because it's an excellent movie, it's just because "people love dragons."

In fact, if we exclude basement-dwelling geeks who grew up with 'Dungeons and Dragons,' most of the movie-going audience has little use for dragons. If this film is a big hit, it's not going to be because it tapped into some presold audience, because there isn't one for dragons.

Anonymous said...

Jesus.

I am absolutely staggered that there are people who bother to post here who are so foolish they can't BELIEVE that Chris Sanders and Dreamworks AND their story and animation crews can't possibly make a beautiful film.
I guess it must be the "fans" again. This sure as hell isn't coming from TAG members.

I love this comment: "the world looks sterile"--what were you looking at? Because I've seen the finsihed film and it has the most gorgeous, richest look I've seen yet in any CG film.
Oh, and the story is great too. There's humor and it has heart.

By the way, the title is from a popular series of children's books. The first book has the same title as the film. How tiresome that some dweebs can only think in terms of masturbation. Feh.

Anonymous said...

The original books are cute enough (although we have Shrek as testament to how faithfully DW adapts children's literature)--
But, I take it you've heard the "Ohh, 'TRAIN', never mind!" joke too, then? ;)

Anonymous said...

I guess it must be the "fans" again. This sure as hell isn't coming from TAG members.

But unless there are one hundred million TAG members all planning to see it on opening day, think it's the mythical "fans" who will have more say in the longrun--
DW are becoming a harder and harder sell to the public...And like the girl who hoped it Wouldn't Suck, the mindset seems to be that most of them Probably Will until proven innocent.

(Or at least that DW's, like Panda or Monsters, will have to work harder to earn their keep to escape the Big Lovable Lamp's shadow. And it's part of the negative image that the public doesn't think of DW as working very hard to begin with.)

Anonymous said...

DW are becoming a harder and harder sell to the public..

LMAO

Seriously, the public doesn't care who makes the movies. I can't tell you how many times people call Shrek a "Pixar movie." They just don't care like movie-nerds do.

In fact, think of the amount of people who were turned off by Ratatouille and Wall-E because they were so boring. Those are the same people who won't be listening to critics anymore.

Shrek and Kung Fu Panda (and looks like soon, How to Train Your Dragon) have more appeal than any Pixar movie has, save probably Nemo and Toy Story - and that's questionable. The adults might love Pixar, but who do you think the kids will love when they grow to be adults?

I absolutely can't wait for Pixar to fall off their pedestal - not because of the artists there, but because of their snotty fans who think they are the only ones who can do well. That day is coming, I tell you. Just look at the upcoming movies for all the studios. Tell me who has the worst and unoriginal slate coming... Take a poll of the "public."

It sure ain't gonna be Dreamworks, I can tell you that now.

Anonymous said...

To the 12:49 PM poster, it won't be any 'fans,' mythical or otherwise, who will decide the fate of this film. It will be the general movie-going audience. And that audience generally does not care less which studio made a film. They see it if it appeals to them, and they skip it if it doesn't.

In case you haven't noticed, if you look at the box office numbers of the DreamWorks' CG films and compare them to the Pixar numbers, you see that the box-office success of the two studios is almost identical. The idea that there is a negative public image connected to DreamWorks is something that I'm sure you believe in, but the facts don't support you.

Anonymous said...

That should be, "...could not care less which studio made a film."

J said...

A movie cannot be loved or un-loved before it's official release. Will dragon become a hit for it's quality and storytelling, and action adventure comedy. or maybe it will be because it's about dragons. Or maybe it'll be a complete flop. No one knows what the public will take from it just because previews say one thing.

People need to calm down and stop defending something they have not seen. At the same time people need to stop bashing something they have not seen. Is Dreamworks capable of making a good movie? Yes. Are other studios capable of making a bad movie? I think we all know the answer to that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Off topic but. But how come people get all hot and bothered and bash.make fun of pixar for suddenly making a few sequels. And dreamworks makes sequels and spin-offs too yet no one says anything?

Is there something I'm missing here? Or am I just completely out of touch with what people expect from studios. I thought we expect a enjoyable movie from any studio. No more, No less. No matter who makes it.

Anyways,

Everyone continue loving and hating on each other.

Anonymous said...

But how come people get all hot and bothered and bash.make fun of pixar for suddenly making a few sequels. And dreamworks makes sequels and spin-offs too yet no one says anything?

You must not have ever read anything a Pixar fan has written before to ask this question.

Pixar gets bashed for making sequels because their nose-up-in-the-air fans have long been bashing Dreamworks for making too many sequels. It's fitting that they get a taste of their own medicine now.

All of a sudden, sequels are okay? Hah.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, the public doesn't care who makes the movies. I can't tell you how many times people call Shrek a "Pixar movie.

Well, that's just it: They do have a tendency to confuse, and will often call the DW's they LIKE "Pixar movies".
Has it ever occurred to anyone why, or more specifically, how this confusion gets about?

(Or, to extrapolate further, what particular mental block keeps them from immediately remembering them as DW movies?)

Anonymous said...

""Pixar gets bashed for making sequels because their nose-up-in-the-air fans have long been bashing Dreamworks for making too many sequels. It's fitting that they get a taste of their own medicine now.

All of a sudden, sequels are okay? Hah.""


To have such a notion as "a taste of their own medicine" makes you just as hypocritical as the people you're criticizing. Does it make you enjoy a movie any more or any less knowing that you defended it by bashing something someone else is looking forward to? Does it make you enjoy it any more or less knowing people aren't looking forward to something you're looking forward to? Does it really make a difference what studio releases what. Why does it matter what others say when in the end you're own opinion will only matter most to you.

Back to sequels being nothing new. They're just that. Dreamworks didn't invent the sequel, pixar didn't invent the sequel. This is just child's play. Learn how to share the monkey bars on the playground and stop the pettiness.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's just it: They do have a tendency to confuse, and will often call the DW's they LIKE "Pixar movies".
Has it ever occurred to anyone why, or more specifically, how this confusion gets about?


You do know the whole point of that post was to show that DW movies are not harder to sell to the public because people will go to a movie they like regardless of who makes it?

So yes, let's say I concede your point and say - sure, all those people call Shrek a "Pixar" movie because they like it and they equate Pixar with quality.

DW still sold the movie. Many people still went to see it and loved it. The notion that "DW is getting harder to sell now" is fanboy buffoonery.

Anonymous said...

All a studio cares about is that their films are successful. Truly. If they're not there aren't going to BE any more films. Period.

The gerneral public does get animation studios confused-just the way they really couldn't tell you if Iron Man is from WB, Sony or Ishkabibble productions.

The general public doesn't do what we do for a living nor do they have to "get it" to enjoy it. They have other things in their lives to chew on-studio identities and politics aren't among them.

dracula said...

HTTYD will not only be the best film ever, it will make us re-evaluate our live's. It will make us wet our pants in the theater. They'll have to re-write the history of cinema and write about the periods before HTTYD and after HTTYD. Grown men will cry. They'll have to close the streets and call the military to contain the audiences...

dracula

Anonymous said...

This is hands-down the absolute dumbest thread I've ever read. Yet another reason why comments here should be restricted to TAG members only. The fanboy comments are just becoming too numerous.

This thread could only get worse if the 'Astroboy' fan shows up.

Aurora Dawson said...

"This thread could only get worse if the 'Astroboy' fan shows up."

Shh, dude! They could be lurking here. Like I am. *lurks*, lol.

Back on topic:
I'm actually looking forward to this movie. "How to Train Your Dragon" looks like it could be an amazing film. Judging by the trailers I've seen it looks awesome. I like how DreamWorks is upping their ante on their films.

-Aurora

PS: The backgrounds in this film seem fine to me, very realistic and sort of whimsical.

Astroanimefan said...

Astro Boy fan here.

Astro Boy was the b0mb! N pixworks movie could never touch it. I'd like to see the Astro Boy take on the dragons and incredibles all at once. He kicks the old school butt all the way to the hole.

I know better becauSE i SAW it. anD i LIKED it, so therefor I know better then anyone else. PLus i read a lot of these blogs and news pages so that gives me lot's of knowledge above the rest of you. And when you compare that with my knowledge and passion no one compares. It just makes sense I'd be right and you'd be wrong (insert name calling here).

Derrick said...

I'm sure they are not fanboys.
SAD.
I'm very... very happy for Chris and Dean. Tangled will be awesome too.

Anonymous said...

THis looks like a cute kids movie. I'm looking forward to taking my little niece (3) and nephew (4). I think they might like it. Dreamworks makes cute kids cartoons!

Anonymous said...

Is "buffoonery" a word? Hah.

RayChase said...

The title "How to Train Your Dragon" is just too darn long and has too many words..how will kids remember all those words! They should have gone with "Scaly" or "Fire!" ..which are easier to remember and fun to say.. better luck next time DW..

Jeremy Bernstein said...

I saw the film two weeks ago. The film kicks ass... you are taken into the land of the vikings and dragons and you don't want to leave! Lighting, story, characters, and animation are just brilliant. Congrats to all my friends at DW!

Anonymous said...

"Because I've seen the finsihed film and it has the most gorgeous, richest look I've seen yet in any CG film.
Oh, and the story is great too."

Just watched the trailers and I believe it's a a combination of the shading, set dressing and lighting that contributes to the flatness and not very organic look of the film. But a few money shots looks fairly nice.

Story-wise it seems that DW often lacks the sophistication to appeal with older teens and adults. The movie may have heart, but from the trailer the heart is sounds generic and tiresomely predictable.

And regarding sequels, I think if each successive DW's sequel were to top the previous film, there wouldn't be any of this talk of milking a dying cash cow to the last drop. I'm sure those folks at Pixar and DW are just as sick of working on sequels are we are of hearing about them.

Everyone desires Dragon to be successful and beautiful and touching. We all know the industry needs more decent jobs.

Anonymous said...

Well, you haven't exactly watched the film you know. You've only seen the trailer. I'm pretty sure you'll get the full experience in the theaters no doubt. This film looks and sounds awesome from what I've heard. I'm seein' it the first day it comes out! :)

yahweh said...

Let's be clear...no amount of Pixie wishing and posting will change the real facts. Pixar films tend to skew young (yes, even Up) - they purposely make their films 'family friendly' and so even a young child can get it. DW films tend to skew older - they purposely don't worry about very young kids. Maybe that's why most Pixies don't like DW films as much as Pixar films.
This is probably why both comapnies are very successful - thye both have staked out their own territory and why other films seem to have trouble creating their own identities. Though Fox seems to have found one as long as they continue to make IceAge films.
AND for the boob who thinks that the reason why DW sequels are ridiculed by the Pixies is due to their poor performance: while it's true Shrek 3 wasn't a megahit (it only made 322mill domestic) Shrek2 is the highest earning earning animated film of all time (441mill) - unless you include Avatar.

Anonymous said...

Saw the film last week. It's better than Shrek 3. Action scenes are fun, although the cinematography is a bit confusing and the lighting muddy. The slower/character scenes are very cliched--standard stuff. Should have worked better. Characters all look like they're from different films. It's certainly a good film for kids, though.

Anonymous said...

although the cinematography is a bit confusing

Yeah, that's what they get for bringing in a hack like Roger Deakins.

As for the characters, I guess some people prefer the cookie-cutter approach to character design. Me, I love the fact that so many of HTTYD characters are distinct and fun to look at. And yeah, I've seen the movie too, and it won't be just kiddies who make this thing a blockbuster.

Anonymous said...

You know, is it me, or do I get the strange feeling that the die-hard Pixar fans are afraid to admit Dreamworks might have just stooped up on their level? Just a hunch. I would really like this movie to succeed as much as the people who worked on the film. Alot of people might be wishful thinkers, hopeing the movie will die or thrive. Alot of people are critical for their own good saying they could do better, but we all know they can't. I will leave it up to me when I see it prsonally, and not from a 2 minute trailer or by what standards or ability a company has shown. I hope this movie does great, and that the rest that are unsure will be satisfied.

Anonymous said...

They copied Pixar by bringing in Deakins? He did better work on Wall-e.

fish said...

"They copied Pixar by bringing in Deakins? He did better work on Wall-e."

Yes, as is evident in all the Annies that he helped Walle win over Kung Fu Panda ... oh wait, scratch that.
Nothing spells "FANBOY HACK" better than making definitive comparative statements about a movie that hasn't even been released yet - kudos!

Anonymous said...

This film looks like it was animated at dreamworks India.

Anonymous said...

...and you sound like an idiot.

Keep drinking that kool aid.

Unknown said...

Well, im 15 years old and i wasn't really fond on seeing it, but my 19 year old sister dragged me along...and i absolutely loved it! I was expecting it to be another silly Dreamworks film, but it had so much heart, and i really, really enjoyed it.

Its one of the best CG films i have ever seen. Even better then toy story 3 in my opinion...

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