Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"How To Train Your Dragon'

I took my daughter and her 13 y.o. son to 'How To Train Your Dragon' at Hisense Arena on Sunday, and we had a wonderful time. The show was beyond amazing, with life like dragons of all colours and shapes, and a set that made a whole new benchmark for theatre productions. 

It is hard to get photos to show how the set worked, as it is kept under wraps so we will be amazed when we see it.

We were.

The arena was walled off at half it's size... I suppose to keep the huge dragons stored out of sight, and to use that huge wall as part of the set. The scenery was projected onto the floor and the wall and the scenes rolled and shifted to all parts of the dragon's world. Everything moved, rocks, ladders and other stuff fell and crashed down, houses blew up, flames roared, water lapped and rippled, and fish swam. In one scene, a (real, life size) dragon was chasing a fish in the water. It would appear, and he would jump towards it, the water would splash around his feet, and then it would reappear again for him to chase elsewhere. 

The huge wall at the end would change to order, doors were projected and a real dragon or people would come out of that door.

The flying sequences were totally entrancing, with the scenery rolling up in the air, past mountains, over seas, into the dragon's nest, and the dragon and his hero moving around suspended from the roof, looking just like they were 'in' this scenery.

Down below us, there was a bank of computer guys in front of their screens working hard at timing everything right. Once upon a time, it was an orchestra, now it's computers, a sign of the times.

The dragons were spectacular with the attention to detail mind blowing, down to the smallest wrinkle, stained tooth and muscle definition. The designers said that the muscles were created with shaped bean bags under the skin, so when the dragon moved, those muscles would move realistically.

We loved it, and it was worth the long traveling times to get from Gippsland to Melbourne. It was Moomba weekend, so we were worried about crowds and parking, so the train was the go. I haven't been on one for many years, and I remember why I don't, but it got us there bang on time.


Andrew said...

Pleased to hear the train worked well. I used to often get that train when I was teen, but not in air conditioned comfort, but there was a rusty chain to pull to make the train stop. I heard the preview shows had lots of problems, but I guess they were ironed out, which is perhaps the point of them.

BlissHill said...

Now the trains have an emergency button to alert authorities of problems and activate CCTV. No graffiti though.... except for scratchings on the glass.

Re: Dragons... I could pick up no problems whatsoever. It was fabulous!