News / Arts & Entertainment

'How to Train your Dragon 2' Showcases Latest in Digital Animation

'How to Train your Dragon 2' Showcases Latest in Digital Animationi
X
Penelope Poulou
June 13, 2014 3:34 PM
Animated films are constantly reaching new heights in technical innovation and depth of narrative. One of them, "How to Train your Dragon 2", surpasses filmmaker Dean Deblois' blockbuster first installment from four years ago. VOA's Penelope Poulou reports.
'How to Train your Dragon 2' Showcases Latest in Digital Animation
Penelope Poulou
Animated films are constantly reaching new heights in technical innovation and depth of narrative.

One of them, How to Train your Dragon 2, surpasses filmmaker Dean Deblois' blockbuster first installment from four years ago.  

Deblois tells VOA the sky is the limit in the evolution of digital animation.

In 2010, we watched a Viking teenager named Hiccup catching and bonding with a dragon he named Toothless. The bittersweet 3D film became an instant hit.  Four years later, How to Train your Dragon 2, pits Hiccup and Toothless against an evil dragon lord.

The sequel is also in 3D, but DeBlois says, there has been a huge technological leap -- in clarity, colors and details -- from his original.

 “Things like water, clouds and ice and everything else that used to be a real challenge, looks fantastic now," DeBlois said. "So, I wonder in 10 years from now, if How to Train Your Dragon 2, will look primitive.”

That's what animators might have wondered back in 1937, when Walt Disney Studios rolled out its cutting-edge fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Each frame of the Technicolor film was hand drawn.

Fast forward 80 years, and Disney’s movie Frozen channels our inner princess through empowered Queen Elsa in a picture-perfect digital world.

Digital animation has also influenced the video game industry. The Last of Us, a mature game of survival in a zombie-infested world uses the latest in motion capture technology, where real actors’ performances are transformed into a digital avatar.

However, filmmaker DeBlois feels the hyper-realistic motion capture technology lacks the liveliness animators infuse into their hand-drawn characters.

“Because they make a living out of studying human expression and movement and they add a little caricature to it so that it becomes more real than reality," he said. "It comes with great experience and great talent but a simple motion capture doesn’t really capture that yet.”

And though an impressive 3D digital animation draws the crowds in the theater, DeBlois says it is the tone and complexity of the story that keep fans interested in the genre.

 “Animated films have a real power to them," he said. "But I am kind of on a personal crusade to lift the stigma that is often put upon them where adults feel almost embarrassed to go to an animated movie or [feel] that there won’t be anything for them.”

DeBlois says animated movies are no longer just for kids. Their unpredictable storylines offer gravitas to digital animation and digital animation provides realism to extraordinary fantasies.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Maeda Atsukoh from: Nagasaki,AKB
June 13, 2014 9:08 PM
The motion captured animations are emotionless and we are not impressed by seeing them.
It is also difficult to feel gravity in 3D computer graphics, so we feel discomfort when we see the moving 3D CG objects.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs