How to Train Your Dragon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This became an excellent visual presentation.
No issues with sharpness occurred, as the movie offered crisp and detailed images from start to finish. If any softness marred the presentation, I couldn’t find it.
Jagged edges and shimmering remained absent, and no edge enhancement appeared. I also found no source flaws.
Dragon went with a fairly earthy palette. It favored greens and ambers, with a somewhat subdued feel. The hues seemed well-developed at all times.
Blacks came across as deep and rich, while shadows presented good clarity and visibility. This was a very satisfying transfer.
I also felt pleased with the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Dragon. With a variety of dragons and all sorts of action sequences, the movie boasted many opportunities to feature all five speakers, and it did so quite well.
Various effects zoomed around the room to create a fine sense of immersion. Throughout the film, the components meshed together smoothly and transitioned well.
Localization was clean and precise, and the score featured solid stereo imaging. The mix turned into a broad, encompassing piece.
Audio quality also was very good. Speech seemed crisp and distinctive, as I noticed no flaws like edginess.
Music seemed warm and full, while effects added a real bang to the proceedings. Those elements showed good clarity and accuracy, and they offered tight, deep bass as well. The track seemed vibrant and dynamic as it accentuated the movie.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of the film. The picture comments above reflect the 2D edition – how does the 3D compare?
Visuals seem virtually identical. A few nighttime scenes may be a smidgen darker on the 3D, but any differences feel insignificant, as this version looks excellent.
In addition, the movie’s stereo imagery dazzles. Sometimes when I watch a 3D movie, it comes with such mild stereo presence that I forget it’s 3D, but that’s never a concern here.
Instead, the Blu-ray offers consistently broad and engaging stereo material. These factors make the movie much more immersive and vivid, as the visuals open up and swallow the viewer.
With all those dragons, we get lots of flying scenes, and those offer very good movement and involvement. A few underwater shots actually fare best, though.
Whatever the setting, the 3D Dragon excels. It becomes a fine presentation to show off your TV’s 3D capabilities.
On the Blu-ray, only one extra appears: a 3D trailer for Puss In Boots. However, an included DVD copy brings a few components.
There we locate an audio commentary from writers/directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois and producer Bonnie Arnold. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, visual design, animation, cast and performances, music and editing, and a few related topics.
Though it sags at times, the commentary usually offers a good look at the film. It starts slowly but becomes pretty informative before long. From there the track continues to be largely engaging as it tells us a nice mix of details about the production.
Two featurettes follow. Viking-Sized Cast goes for 11 minutes, 44 seconds and provides into from DeBlois, Sanders, Arnold, and actors Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, and TJ Miller.
This one covers cast, characters and performances. We don’t get many insights here, but I like the shots of the actors in the studio.
The Technical Artistry of Dragon lasts 10 minutes, 13 seconds and provides statements from Sanders, DeBlois, Ring, Hordos, DreamWorks Animation Chief Technology Officer Ed Leonard, DreamWorks Animation Head of Digital Operations Derek Chan, Head of Research and Development Lincoln Wallen, and Research and Development Manager Neil Okamoto.
“Artistry” looks at effects, dragon design, 3D and other visual elements. The program offers a good overview of some technical areas.
If you click Keep Out! from the main menu, you’ll find promos. It brings ads for Megamind, Shrek Forever After, Penguins of Madagascar, Last Airbender, Shrek: The Musical and some videogames. We get no trailer for Dragon.
Note that this package loses a slew of extras from the Dragon Blu-ray. DreamWorks consistently pairs 3D BDs with DVDs instead of separate 2D Blu-rays, which stinks for fans who want all available bonus materials.
As an animated adventure, How to Train Your Dragon offers a moderately entertaining affair. While it never quite excels, it gives us a likable affair without obvious flaws. The Blu-ray delivers excellent picture and audio along with a small but informative set of supplements. I don’t love Dragon, but I think it usually works well, and the 3D Blu-ray becomes the most fun way to watch the flick.
To rate this film visit the original review of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON