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.