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It was great.

Of course, it had all of the necessary moments of disappointment and revelation you expect from a movie kids are supposed to enjoy as well. Those usually kill a family movie for me but Dragon didn’t hit any of them unreasonably harm. They were covered with a little honey but I wasn’t even near nauseated by the end. It was still really funny on top of it, both physical humor and some pretty clever writing. The main character can be especially funny whenever he proves how self-aware he is. To top all of that off, they pulled a little twist at the end that made me and Sean very happy. Neither of us thought they would have even the little bit of guts it takes to break with a certain tradition- producers, directors, and writers usually just don’t- but they surprised us this time.

We saw it in 3D and it was really fantastic. Avatar made pretty good use of the 3D just to make scenes feel more real, I thought. It didn’t feel the need to remind you that it was filmed in 3D in every single shot but now and then a Na’avi would hiss at the screen and you’d get a great view. This movie made use of the gimmick much more often than that but, to be fair, it’s already an over the top animated feature! I thought that it added a lot and at least it was no detriment. Some fights and the POV flying scenes were incredible.

I’ve missed out on a sizable chunk of Dreamworks Animation’s catalogue. I’ve only seen the first of the Shrek’s, for instance. But if you track their progression from Shrek to Madagascar and through Kung Fu Panda to How to Train Your Dragon (those being all the ones I remember seeing), they’ve made impressive progress catching up to the leader. This one deserves the stellar reviews it’s getting and it’s probably the first one that deserves to rival a Pixar film. It’s not perfect but, just like there’s that unmistakable Pixar tone in all of Pixar’s movies, I think that they’ve pretty much found their voice.

And the crackling, exploding, rolling fire effects were amazing!

-Matt (ranted, not proofread)