How To Train Your Dragon

Featured In Issue 151, November 2010

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
DreamWorks Home Entertainment
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Sequences of intense action and some scary images, and some mild language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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(Full Screen Edition):
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
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(French Language):
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Based on the book "How To Train Your Dragon" by Cressida Cowell, the story is about Hiccup (the voice of Jay Baruchel), a young Viking who defies tradition when he befriends one of his deadliest foes—a ferocious dragon he calls Toothless. Together, the unlikely heroes must fight against all odds to save both their worlds in this fire-breathing action, epic animated adventure. "How To Train Your Dragon" is also available as a Blu-ray™ 3D release as part of the Samsung Starter Kit and as a single Blu-ray Disc from Walmart. A standalone Blu-ray 3D release is expected sometime in 2011. (Gary Reber)

Special features on the Blu-ray Disc™ include filmmakers' commentary; the animated adventure "Legend Of The Boneknapper Dragon" that introduces a brand-new, never-before-seen dragon and features the original voice cast HD 16:33); five featurettes: the filmmakers' "Viking-Sized Cast" (HD 11:44, "The Technical Artistry Of Dragon" (HD 10:13), "The Story Behind The Story" (HD 07:40), "Racing For The Gold" in five segments (HD 02:19), and "How To Draw A Dragon" (HD 10:52); "The Animator's Corner and Trivia Track Bonus View; three deleted scenes (HD 07:33); DWA Video Jukebox previews; and BD-Live functionality, featuring "Making The Story" with Directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. There is also a DVD and a digital copy of the movie.

Theatrically released in Digital 3D and IMAX 70 mm horizontal DMR blowup dual-strip 3D, the non-3D 1080p AVC picture is terrific, with an impeccable computer-animated rendering. The detail is sensational, down to the finest textures exhibited in Viking armor, wooden structures and ships, dragon scales, and earthy landscape and sky nuances. The color palette is vivid and richly hued, with impressively saturated imagery. Contrast is impressive, with deep solid blacks, as seen in Toothless' black body. Shadow detail is as impressive and reveals extraordinary textural resolution. Fleshtone hues are believable and are as natural as animation will permit. The picture is colorfully exciting, as are the adrenaline-charged action sequences. This is a phenomenal visual experience that is absolutely reference quality. Originally rendered in 3D, the dimensionality in the 2-D version is impressively layered. The 3-D version should be even more satisfying, as it was in its theatrical presentations. The flying Dragon sequences are absolutely thrilling in 2D and should be breathtaking in 3D. This is one of the most perfect animated presentations to be released on Blu-ray Disc™ and is a fantastic visual experience. This is absolute state-of-the-art computer animation that won't disappoint! (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack is wonderful! Every element works well and fidelity is richly layered. The soundfield is exceptionally spacious and dimensional, with an aggressive directionalized surround presence contributed by atmospheric effects and other sound effects and a lush orchestral music score. During battle scenes, in particular, the surrounds are fiery aggressive, and the sense of holosonic® envelopment is impressive. Even during quieter scenes, low-level ambiance is rendered with artful dimensonality. Dialogue, while ADR, sounds nicely integrated spatially. The spectacular, soaring music score is sweeping, with a wide and deep soundfield presence that extends effectively into the surrounds. The imaginative world of Vikings and Dragons is excitingly portrayed in engaging soundscapes. Explosions are dramatic and fully energized, with .1 LFE extension to sub-25 Hz frequencies. The climatic scene engages all the channels in an intense SPL display of energy that is so exciting! This is a reference-quality soundtrack throughout! (Gary Reber)