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

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”