Monday, April 12, 2010

Dragon Taming

Last night I watched "How to Train your Dragon", and really liked it. I was very impressed with the animation of the main dragon, and most other things besides. It was well-observed and well-imagined. It had a solid plot. There weren't too much extreme distortions and endless visual jokes going on for my taste (I get very bored with that pretty much instantly), and the parts that kept the narrative going were well-chosen and worked in neatly. I enjoyed it as a piece of craft, but while I watch most movies with an analytic distance I found I actually cared about this one (unlike, for example, Wall-E, which made my eyes water but not with emotion).

It's so wonderful when children's movies bother to have a real story. Most animations seem to me like party bunting strung across the audience, some flimsy plot decorated with emotional moments and stapled together with one-liners, they are only meant to hang together for the party. When the credits roll I can never fully remember what actually happened, and am normally mostly happy it's over.

It made me look at my own work, which unfortunately this week is mostly working through a really difficult scene in my graphic novel, and question again whether I tightened up the plot enough, if the adventure is exciting enough, if I have enough small moments that make the reader connect with the characters and big moments to entertain them. Hm.
I'll just go out for coffee and get drawing, and try to do it well.


Swati said...

After your recommendation we went and saw it today too. Not in 3D unfortunately - that would be amazing. But it is beautifully made. I wouldn't mind watching it again!

Swati said...

We did watch it again, and the story paled a bit for me though the imagery didn't. I also checked out about the original book and there doesn't seem to be much resemblance between the two - as usual Hollywood dumbed down I think. But I still need to read the whole book rather than excerpts.

Also, have read all new posts as well but somehow too blue to comment.

Viviane Schwarz said...

Hmm yes, the story isn't the best ever, but at least it goes all the way through. I'm mostly just grateful for it mostly making sense. - My least favourite thing was a sense of lack of emotion in the main character.

I had a quick flick through the book and noticed the dragons talk in it - makes me think it's a completely different approach of sorts.

Oh, I hope you'll cheer up soon!