Posts Tagged ‘Dreamworks’

How to Train Your Dragon

March 31, 2010

Rousing. Like ET in some ways.

I rose from my seat, slow, deliberate. I moved outside, my head in a fog and can hardly remember my walk from the theatre to the train station, except for seeing a billboard high above the Hollywood city streets with a young man riding atop a dragon as they burst through a circle of fire with the title scrawled above it How to Train Your Dragon.

It’s true. I have an affinity for fantasy, but a very grounded fantasy. Rules have to exist as do emotions. Simply because you carry a sword and wear a loin cloth doesn’t mean I’m automatically going to love you. In fact, I love fantasy so much, it has to work even harder to impress me. I feel that I can continue now with this review with absolute sincerity.

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Kung-Fu Panda

June 11, 2008

Kung-Fu Panda

In recent years I’ve largely been disappointed by animated movies. Even Pixar’s Cars couldn’t draw me to the theatre. Finally Wall-E opens this summer, but before that, a surprise. And a surprise worth everyone’s 14 dollars. Kung-Fu Panda does what other animated films now forget to do. It tells it’s story without choosing a different aspect of pop culture to reference every 5 lines (even the puns that litter other movie posters were thankfully lacking during the marketing campaign, as were the annoying references to all the starts that lent their voices…who cares???), but the film also takes full advantage of the fact that…it’s…animated.

Drawing loads of inspiration from the Chinese Fantasy Martial Arts films in which Kung-Fu masters fight on mountain tops and forests; these animals balance, jump, dive, fly, roll and hurtle through the air like pieces of paper in a tornado. It’s beautiful and on occasions visually overwhelming in scope – almost scary. But never once is it not fun or thrilling. The first five minutes alone exceeds the level of visual/visceral film making and personality/humor than any other Dreamworks animated film I’ve ever seen (including Shrek — I enjoyed the second one a little…)

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