subscribe to rss feed
subscribe by email

Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular

A few weeks ago, I went to this show called How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular. It’s based on Dreamwork’s animated movie. It has life-size dragons (well, life-size according to the recently discovered dragon fossils), and is quite spectacular.

Take a look at this preview:

I went to the show fully expecting to thoroughly enjoy the show, because, you know, GIANT PUPPETS! I was sort of expecting it to be just Walking with Dinosaurs all over again, though, since it’s using the same technology. Well, wrong!

First of all, we have dragons. Dragons are different from dinosaurs, and that’s common knowledge that anyone should have. Seriously though, with dinosaurs, they were more focused on these gigantic creatures walking the earth with heavy steps and might. The dragons, however, felt a lot more light and flexible, because, after all, they fly. Oh, and they spit out smoke and light things on fire. Since when do dinosaurs do that, huh?

Second of all, this one actually has a story. The premise of Walking with Dinosaurs is that they are shooting a documentary in the creatures’ natural habitat, so there is not as much of a plot. With the How to Train Your Dragon story, there were so many interactions between the dragons and the humans. The humans fought, trapped, petted the dragons. And of course, they hopped on to the dragon and flew into the sky on it! The human performers were a delight to watch too.

On the technical note, they’ve definitely improved on the puppets. If I remembered correctly, the entire Walking with Dinosaurs show had only one flying dinosaur and it pretty much stayed in one place. This show had a few different flying dragons and they flied all over at different heights and angles. Some of the human actors also did stunts on wires. All these made for a very busy flying rig. As for the movements on land, they were not that different from two years ago, but definitely looked more polished.

There were also a lot more theatrical elements. The characters were great, both the actors and the puppets. The massive projections onto walls and the floor worked really well creating the environment. I was really impressed with the precision of execution in the scene in which the main character ran through the forest, encountering various terrain and dangers. The landscape was an animation projected on the wall, and the performer was on a wire running on the wall. That was one impressive stunt.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I highly recommend it. Los Angeles was the last leg of the North American tour, though. So it was probably too late for most of my readers if you haven’t seen it. The world tour is up next.


  1. February 13th, 2013 | 12:24 pm

    Kelvin — I miss all the fun, but get to read about here:~) I doubt my city would have EVER been on the tour for this show, but I can wish. It’s amazing how technology outdoes itself in such a short time. It must have been fun for you to watch the dragons flying at different levels and to see the change in screnery as the hero runs.

    Thanks for sharing your joy of watching this show:~)
    Sara recently posted..Story Photo: Valentine PictureMy Profile

  2. February 13th, 2013 | 12:40 pm

    Sara, do you live in a little town?

    It’s true that all major tours will come to Los Angeles (and often stay longer than some other cities). I know someone that used to live in Pittsburgh and said it’s wonderful. It’s big enough that the shows will come, but small enough that the ticket prices aren’t nearly as high as in Los Angeles (or New York, for that matter). However, I also know someone that lives in Milwaukee and they have to drive all the way to Chicago for any major event…
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..How to Train Your Dragon Live SpectacularMy Profile

  3. February 14th, 2013 | 2:03 am

    Hi Kelvin,

    I didn’t know about this show, and I don’t think they stopped here in Denver, or at least I didn’t hear anything about it. What a pity since after watching the video I would have really enjoyed going to a show. It really looked like a must see! Thank you for letting us know about it :)

    Alien Ghost recently posted..Aspie World 2 – SocializationMy Profile

  4. February 14th, 2013 | 2:46 am

    Looks like most of their stops are on the coasts. They hit quite a few places in the New York area, and many cities in California. The closest leg to you was probably Salt Lake City, but even that was a ways to go from Denver.

    Here’s the tour schedule:
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..How to Train Your Dragon Live SpectacularMy Profile

  5. Naomi
    February 17th, 2014 | 2:46 am

    Really wish I could have seen this. I saw all the behind-the-scenes stuff that Creature Tech did and was really impressed with the projections as well as the puppets. I think I’d rather see that than King Kong, which had less of a plot and rather incomprehensible choice of design.

  6. February 17th, 2014 | 8:57 pm

    I liked How to Train Your Dragon better than Walking with Dinosaurs. I have a hunch that I would like Dragon better than King Kong as well. Don’t know, and it didn’t look like it will be touring the US any time soon.
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..Merry Christmas! Deck the Halls!My Profile

  7. Naomi
    February 20th, 2014 | 4:58 am

    I believe King Kong has already left for the states… or at least some other country. I think I’d like Walking With Dinosaurs only because I liked the TV show and am generally into science/docos. But otherwise, it didn’t look as impressive as How to Train Your Dragon.

  8. February 20th, 2014 | 11:49 pm

    I know they are getting ready to put it on Broadway. Haven’t heard anything about a tour yet.
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..Merry Christmas! Deck the Halls!My Profile

  9. Naomi
    February 24th, 2014 | 4:47 am

    Yeah, I don’t see any info on their website. I hope it goes near you. Despite its flaws, the puppet is amazing and worth watching.

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge