This marks the second time that Dreamworks has created something that I believe will be timeless. The first was the Excellent-On-All-Counts Kung Fu Panda, which I saw in theaters 7 times, I believe. They’re getting there slowly, but I hope, and Dragon fuels that hope, that they’ll soon join Pixar as makers of films that are truly timeless, instead of flavor-of-the-week things that you can’t watch after a few years.
I like Dreamworks, to an extent. They have the desire, they have the drive, they have the talent to make some truly great films. But, when it comes to story, they lack something, and I don’t know how to describe that. They use bits in their stories, like songs and jokes and cultural references, that are only fresh for a few years, and then they hit their expiration date.
Panda didn’t have that problem, and neither does Dragon.
First off, let me say that Dragon is beautiful. Like, really, really beautiful. They put a lot of work into making this film gorgeous, and it shows. But honestly, that’s kind of par for the course for Dreamworks: they’ve got the art down, it’s the story where they usually fail. No fail here, kids, no fail here.
The story is there. It’s solid. I think I’ll show this movie to my grandkids and they’ll love it, even though the BluRay disc I have it on is incompatible with their viewing implants, so they won’t be able to watch it on the screen inside their brains, but I think they’ll still dig it. The jokes work, the acting works, the visuals are gorgeous, but most importantly: the story is there. And that gives me hope for Dreamworks’ future.
The only thing I have any problem with, and this isn’t really a problem as much as an observation, is that the people who did the voices are all flavor-of-the-week actors. Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler (unless he gets his act together), America Ferrara, they’re all going to fade into obscurity within the next 5 years, probably. I don’t want that to happen to any of them (especially you, Gerard), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. Still, I guess if there was one part of this movie that I would be okay with if it didn’t stand the test of time, I’d be all right if it was the fame of the voice actors.
The rest of it? I think that’s here to stay, baby. If you know a kid, take them to this, but even if you don’t you should go by yourself, or take a friend. It’s a fun movie, and I think you’ll enjoy it.