Lord of the Rings
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How to Train Your Dragon
Commentaries on this disc:
Screenwriters/directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, and producer Bonnie Arnold
Rating:8.0/10 (1 vote) [
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Reviewed by iwantmytvm on October 10th, 2020
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Sanders, DeBlois, and Arnold provide a conversational and accessible track. They talk about how the story evolved from the source book, and the changes they made. Roger Deakins originally was only invited to deliver some lectures on cinematography but wanted to stay on for an expanded role as visual consultant. His participation was integral in adding elements of lighting and texture not enough seen in animation. They lament that there was never enough time, and some scenes had to remain as is when there was just not time to revisit them and incorporate improved techniques they had since discovered. As a result, some of the scenes that were finished first out of sequence depict characters as less evolved than in other instances, even earlier in the film. They point out which scenes were the most difficult, and that the animation of ice, water, mud, hair and beards made for the most challenging details to complete. The characters were a blend of sessions with the voice actors that they filmed and some physicality integrated by the animators themselves. They were fortunate in being able to record some of the voice actors together which offered some natural interaction. They remark on some of the choices made to use more or less dialogue, musical score and voiceover. They reveal that test screenings yielded unexpected reactions from audiences which led to valuable feedback. Dreamworks executives Spielberg and Katzenberg also contributed with useful suggestions that were implemented to polish the film.
There is also a trivia track on the blu-ray disc which is sometimes redundant, but usually lists more anatomical details about the dragons themselves.
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