Franchise Weekend – How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Writer: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, William Davies (Screenplay) Cressida Cowell (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jay Baruchel, Gerald Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

 

Plot: A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.


Tagline – One adventure will change two worlds

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Highly Entertaining Animation

 

Story: How to Train Your Dragon starts as we meet young Viking Hiccup, he isn’t like the rest of his village including his all powerful father Stoick, the village has been getting attack by dragons for centuries and Hiccup is being forced to follow in his father’s footsteps.

When Hiccup’s form of defence is creating inventions, which could aid in defence, he wounds a young dragon known as a Night Fury, Toothless. Hiccup goes through dragon training he becomes top of his class from learning from Toothless and truing to stop the war between the Vikings and the dragons.

 

Thoughts on How to Train Your Dragon

 

Characters – Hiccup is the outsider of the community of Vikings, he is smarter than the rest and want to fight dragons using ideas which could change everything for the people of his village, he can’t match the rest of the villages strength and his dragon training sees him learn how to control and work side by side with them, can he help the village change. Stoick is the all powerful leading for the community and father to Hiccup, he will be first in line when it comes to fighting the dragons only he doesn’t know the anything other than fighting, he relationship with his son is being put on the line because of the difference in opinions. Toothless is the young dragon which Hiccup wounds, he is raised back to health and becomes friends with Hiccup showing the Vikings can be in peace with the dragons. Gobber is the dragon trainer, he trains the next generation of dragon killers and believes learning the hard way. We do get plenty of support characters which mostly add the laughs to the film.

StoryThe story follows the ideas of a son not living up to his father expectation with the world of Vikings and dragons. This is the simple version of the story and will be related by parents and children alike because we now parents would like their kids to follow in their footsteps, while the child will look up to follow and have their own dreams. Away from the morale side of the story we get a world filled with different dragons which have their own strengths and weakness with terrify the Vikings and the Viking community which is just doing what it can to survive. This might well be a simple story, but the world created is near perfect, it is a story people can relate to without even being part of the Viking community.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe action in the film is big, this has battles on mass scales against the dragons which edge of the seat with peril. The adventure takes Hiccup into a world along side the dragons, one he never thought he could be a part of. We get comedy along the way too which only lightens to mood at times. The whole family can relate to the events of the film here which is important too.

SettingsThe film creates a world of Vikings which are at war with dragons, each element looks and feel authentic for the lighter version of the world.

AnimationDreamworks gives us a brilliant animation that could easily go toe-to-toe with Pixar for quality levels.


Scene of the Movie –
The flight with the nest.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best animations of recent years, it brings us a unique spin on the proving yourself to a father storyline we know so well.

 

Overall: Must watch animation.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Mulan (1998)

Director: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook

Writer: Rite Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZbnik, Raymond Singer, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer (Screenplay) Robert D San Souci (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Pat Morita, Miguel Ferrer, BD Wong

 

Plot: To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process.


Tagline – This time, the princess saves the prince.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Dark Adventure Film

 

Story: Mulan starts in ancient China with Shan-Yu and the invading Hun attack. Mulan is a young woman that hasn’t been following the traditions on the family, she isn’t ready to just be a bride, when her father is summoned to serve in the impending war, she wants to help, running away to fight in her father’s place. Spirit dragon Mushu is sent to be her guardian on this adventure, to return her safely, but Mulan has other plans.

Mulan sets out to join the army in her father’s place under the leadership on Captain Shang, in a hope to rebuild her family honour that she has disrespected.

 

Thoughts on Mulan

 

Characters – Mulan is a young woman, she has been raised to follow tradition, something she wants to break and taking her father’s place in the army shows the independence she wants to achieve. This is a strong anti-princess role which is something Disney broke the mould with. Mushu is the guardian dragon that needs to rescue and watch over Mulan, though he mostly just causes trouble for her. This character is here for all the laughs in the movie. Shan-Yu is the leader of the Hun that are attacking China, his armies are ruthless when it comes to battle, with him being a great and powerful warrior.

StoryThe story follows one young woman that wants to make a difference in a world where only men can become the leaders of the armies, she breaks tradition to make a difference and become great. This brings us the idea of breaking away from the tradition just because the people tell you follow that path. For Disney this movie broke their own traditions of have a princess in distress needing rescuing and now feels like the trailblazer it wanted to be.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure side of the film does give us real peril because it takes Mulan into a war battle which has taken lives of many, this could be slightly too dark for the whole family to enjoy too.

SettingsThe film brings us to Ancient China which brings us a new animated setting for an American movie, we have the mountain range which looks beautiful and the towers that show the empires built.

AnimationThe animation is the usual top notch from Disney never looking out of place for their level of excellency


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain range attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me For me Mushu got annoying after a while.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful animated movie that does show us the courage one woman showed to save her country against tradition.

 

Overall: Disney’s last good movie of the late 90s.

Rating

 

 

The Croods (2013)

logoDirector: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders

Writer: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders (Screenplay) Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders, John Cleese (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Chris Sanders, Randy Thom

 

Plot: The Croods are a prehistoric family who battle to survive everyday against creatures while at night they hide out in a cave because the creatures of the night are more terrifying. After their cave is destroyed they have to enter the unknown along with new age cave man Guy. The group enter into an adventure with new danger that will change their history forever.

 written

Verdict: Fun Family Adventure

 

Story: So what hasn’t been done in the world of animation? The answer is this, yes we have had the changing of the world during caveman time from an animal perspective but not the human perspective. You add in the difficulties the leader of a family would have when a smarter young male comes along to take away his daughter and all the fun of the prehistoric period. Everything fits together very nicely to create an easy to watch family film that will be enjoyed by all. (8/10)

 

Characters Reviews

 

Grug: The leader of the family, protector if you like, he makes sure the family is always safe because to him that is his only job. Grug struggles with change after Guy comes along as well as feeling left out due to Guy’s inventions to help make things easier. Add in that Nicolas Cage is the voice you know this character will be one too remember. (8/10)

 grub

Eep: The young adult of the group who is the best hunter of the next generation, but also the most adventurous. She always wants to see more of the world and is always being held back by her father and family. (8/10)

epp

Guy: The lone wanderer who after an encounter with Eep helps open her family’s eyes to what is going on in the world and that they should be changing to survive rather than hiding. (8/10)

 guy

Director Review: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders – Good direction to create a fun family film that everyone will enjoy. (8/10)

 

Adventure: The adventure side of the film shows how one family has to do everything they thought was wrong just to survive. (9/10)

Animation: Top animation throughout to create a wonderful story. (10/10)

Comedy: Good simple animated comedy throughout which never takes away from the serious side of the story. (7/10)

Family: One for the whole family here, filled with everything. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting is used to create the world perfectly adding to the story as each scene unfolds. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is a great pick for all those with families; you can all sit down together and watch this film occupying nearly everyone. (Family Time)

 

Best Part: Belt scene stealing.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final chase.

Funniest Scene: Every scene with Belt in.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Ice Age

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Box Office: $587,204,668

Budget: $135 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Are you better off now than you were 4 million years ago?

 

Overall: Great Family Film

Rating 88