Had a special treat tonight and saw an early screening of Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon. As I had guessed from the well-edited trailers and teasers I had previously seen, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even if it wasn’t for the free tickets (Thanks, Billiam via ASIFA.), soda (I had a water.), and popcorn (I ate it all by myself.).
I like weeknight randomness and I was prepped for this. I wore my best dragon shirt (GSUS Industries – I’ve had it since high school, thanks!) for the occasion. When we sat down I was just really excited. That my feet didn’t touch the ground when I scooted my butt all the way into the crook of the cushions made me swing my toes like a giddy six-year old. Then I thought about how we weren’t paying fifteen bucks a head for the show, and started feeling appropriately smug.
Then this LOUD GRATING STATIC SOUND FILLED OUR EARS AND THE ENTIRE THEATER DOUBLED IN AUDIBLE PAIN. I groaned, but there was no point, because you couldn’t hear anything beside THE STATIC, “What the fuck is that? Turn it off! Ughghghghgh!”
Down below, near the stair landing, a couple of theater employees were fiddling with a couple of mics. Eventually THE STATIC stopped, but only just in time for me to hear some doofuses blowing into the mic. Do not blow into the mic. I don’t know where people get this idea from. Tap on it. “Test, one, two.” Don’t blow on it. A few more mini static blows went off and two non-theater employees walked in front of the screen.
Feeling haughty for having lost 4% of my hearing and general snobby mood, I glared at these men. “Who are you and why did you hurt my ears.” I wanted to say. But then they spoke,
“Hi, I’m Dean DeBlois,” said one.
And “And hi, I’m Chris Sanders,” said the other.
Whattamafuck! I then recognized them in their Laurel and Hardy-esque large-and-skinny creative duo-ness. One evening way back when, Billiam, Brit Sketch, Davipalooza, and I were gathered around Billiam’s old TV (in that shitty ass apartment which is his home no more! Ha-ha!) to watch the making of feature of Lilo and Stitch. The background on that Disney flick is especially revealing, telling the tales of how September 11th changed the originally planned action scene, how Stitch’s breathing was basically DeBlois’ dog, and how Stitch’s voice was basically Chris Sanders.
The co-directors of the film we were about to see were standing there before us. What an unexpected treat! Unfortunately, DeBlois and Sanders were off to a celebratory dinner of this that and the other, so interaction ended at the hypotenuse of our noses in the back row and theirs at floor level. Still cool, though. Almost as cool as the absolutely lovable oversized Stitch Night Fury cat/dog/dragon. (And look! You can learn how to draw him here! So cute.)
This movie is tortuous if you’re a pet lover who can’t have pets. Sigh. From my enthusiast standpoint, the animation was great. Loved Night Fury’s eyebrows. Such wonderful timing on his micro expressions!
I was particularly impressed by America Ferrera’s voiceover talents. Jay Baruchel kind of annoyed me. And as much as I love McLovin’ and the chemistry of the Superbad ensemble, I’m getting kind of tired by the Jonah Hill/Christopher Mintz-Plasse/Judd Apatow brat pack junior league. Still enjoyable, though! They all do a solid job as character actors, even through just their voices. I’m sure most viewers won’t and don’t feel the same way.
I am very confused, or at least made curious, by the Celtic musical influences and Scottish-ish Gerard Butler accents because I have no idea how those groups are related to Nordic viking culture, but…That is because I am completely ignorant about those worlds. Enlighten me! (Other points of confusion: David Tennant as a VO actor, too? [Get excited, Adorkable Grrl.] And did you know Jack in the Box serves grilled sandwiches now? There’s a certain level of respect that one should have when they don’t know the latest additions and subtractions to fast food menus.)
Does this one top Kung Fu Panda? (Thus far my favorite Dreamworks animated feature.) I don’t know. I might be biased toward Po because, well, you know. Pandas.