Last week, various bloggers from across the country and surrounding areas got to spend time at DreamWorks Animation Studio in Glendale, California. We got to go behind-the-scenes with the directors and the animators of How to Train Your Dragon 2 (HTTYD2), to see what it really takes to create this type of animated film. All I can say is that I have way more appreciation for animated movies than ever before! Did you know that it takes three to four years on average to create an animated film? It took about thirty to forty animators, on average, but increased to about fifty animators to complete the film.
We spent the entire day at DreamWorks Animation which started with an amazing breakfast spread. After breakfast, they handed us our 3D glasses, and walked us right next door into the theatre to watch the movie (the first group to watch right after showcasing at the Cannes Film Festival). All I can say is that this is one 3D experience you don’t want to miss! After watching this amazing movie, we had a brief Q&A with Director, Dean Dublois, followed by a scrumptious lunch and tour of the entire studio where all the magic happens.
They literally walked us through just about every stage of what it takes (and what it’s taken) to create this film. We sat with several of the animators who gave us a crash course and even allowed us to play with the brand new Apollo technology first-hand. They also gave us a grand swag bag with all types of goodies and fun toys for the kids (I won coolest mom award when I got home by the way).
Ok so for those of you who haven’t even seen the first HTTYD (seriously, what are you waiting for?), here is a brief synopsis:
In the first movie we see that Hiccup (a Viking teenager) was yearning for the affection of his father, the acceptance of his community and the attention of the girl that he had a crush on. He discovers a mysterious Night Fury dragon but then couldn’t bring himself to kill it as the community would’ve wanted him to (and were training him for). Instead, he forms a special friendship with the dragon, whom he names Toothless. Hiccup soon realizes that his people have misjudged this species all along.
Fast forward five years and hiccup is twenty years old and at a completely different stage in his life. He’s on the threshold of youth and adulthood, and not really understanding where he fits into it all. This movie takes Hiccup through his own discovery of finding out who he is.
Now that we’ve got that covered, here are … reasons why you need to get out and go see HTTYD2 on Friday June 13th:
1. It’s in 3D.
Enough said. Isn’t everything better in 3D?
2. It’s for movie lovers of all ages.
This movie takes us through some of Hiccup’s growing pains and something we can all relate to: he’s at a point where he’s trying to find himself and figure out his purpose. Dean DeBlois explained that he likes to make a movie that he wants to see and that he would’ve wanted to see when he was ten. So they wanted to make a movie that spoke to the adults as much as to the youngsters (which they did with flying colors).
3. It teaches loyalty & leadership.
This movie goes beyond just a great film and gives us tangible life lessons we can all take away and relate to. But they are easy enough to understand for children to grasp the importance of these two things.
4. It gives us answers to the questions we had from the last film.
This film captured a lot of the answers to the questions that we were left with after the first movie; like what happened to Hiccup? And how did he and Tootless recover from the accident? What happened to Hiccup’s mother?
5. The animation is out.of.this.world.
With the new Apollo technology that DreamWorks created to use for this film, the animation felt so much more real. This technology allowed for the animators to follow their intuition and work more with their hands to create a new level of magic in the world of animation. There is really nothing they weren’t able to achieve in terms of the animation.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 definitely gets two thumbs up from me, and I think you’ll agree. So clear your calendars and be sure to reserve your family’s seat at your local movie theatre on Friday June 13th.
See official trailer from DreamWorksTV:
What’s your favorite thing about animated movies and what are you looking forward to seeing in HTTYD2?