About the voices – most do a fine job. I’m always happy to see Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jonah Hill get more gigs. Even if it is weird to think that they’re so in the mainstream now that they can get animated movie jobs through name recognition. The only voice that takes you out of it a bit is Jay Baruschel’s.
He chose, or maybe the director did, to go the way of making his voice try to sound like a cartoon. If he had just gone with his regular voice (as the other actors had), it wouldn’t have come across as off-putting as it did. There are times when it borders on Baruschel sounding like he was trying to do a Muppet impression instead of finding his own niche in the V.O. world.
I mean aside from the movie nerd viewpoint, the voices are fine. They’re where they should be mostly. Gerard Butler is the true star of the show in that department though.
Where the movie completely succeeds is in the dragon department. Looking at the movie, that is pretty much the most important thing too. Every single breed of dragon (and there are plenty of them, but every one manages to put a smile on your face at some point) that flies or crawls across the screen makes you want to see its real-life counterpart in a zoo somewhere. They’re designed with as healthy combo of originality and traditional “dragonosity”.
The star of the dragons is pleasantly enough the one that should’ve been the star. His breed is “Night Fury”, but his given name is “Toothless” (due to his ability to hide his teeth when he has to). He was animated in such a way that he never loses strength amidst all of his incredibly endearing puppy-like behavior. A good shot of ferocity chased by a sugary sweet swipe of house pet fun.
The other breeds of dragons each get introduced in their own way and upon every introduction, the animators did a great job in keeping all of them separate without making them feel apart. Does that make any sense?
The action scenes are fun to get into and the 3-D definitely played a part in getting you further wrapped up into the fight. Speaking of that, the 3-D was really well done. Of course I’m a bit of a 3-D enthusiast, especially the new fangled “no more piercing headache” polarized glasses version of today. (It was that red/blue anaglyph Jaws 3-D-era that did such a thorough job in killing the public’s bizarre want for 3-D films) But this movie is served well by the 3-D, adding another layer of realism to the great textures that the artists gave the dragons.