How To Train Your Dragon—Dreamworks Animation (Blu-ray)

Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 2.5/5

Hiccup is 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.

Animation is always a highlight when it comes to Blu-ray transfers. Especially from the big studios like Dreamworks and Pixar. How to Train Your Dragon is no exception and is one of the better CG animated titles I’ve seen from Dreamworks. This film was originally produced for 3D but this 2D Blu-ray release still looks incredible with outstanding depth and color saturation. Fine object detail is excellent, but a smidge down from the best I’ve seen on Blu-ray. I also thought the image had a slightly hard look when it came to dimensionality. This was reconfirmed when I watch the HD short “Legend of the BoneKnapper Dragon” that is also on the disc. This short is a revelation in terms of fine detail and dimension and outshines the feature presentation in these areas. If the feature had the same qualities as the short, I would have given it a perfect 5 for video. On the audio side there is absolutely nothing to complain about here (though I’m sure a few neighbors might have something else to say). Dynamic range is incredible and I loved the powerful LFE track of this disc. Surround envelopment is excellent and the imaging overall is reference quality.

Dreamworks has included a DVD copy of the film with the Blu-ray release but I was a little disappointed that a digital copy wasn’t included as well. I’ve become a big fan of digital copies (along with a lot of friends) as they easily integrate with my iDevices such as the iPhone and iPad. The feature disc includes the previously mentioned new short but also a great commentary and look at the animation process. You also get some deleted scenes, a great how to feature and more interactive features for the younger viewers.

How to Train Your Dragon is a great family film that is right up there with the best that Dreamworks has to offer. The Blu-ray presentation is superb making this one an easy recommendation.

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