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.