My Father’s Dragon | Official Trailer | Netflix

And while it would certainly be unfair to lean too hard on the film’s animation for not living up to Cartoon Saloon’s previous standards, it’s hard to deny that this is the studio’s least visually engaging film. The hand-drawn characters are all lovingly rendered and fluidly animated to a degree that is still unique in modern feature animation, but the color palette and environments are less textured, and less willing to lean into abstraction than The Secret Of Kells or Song Of The Sea. Though not without its moments of spectacular splendor, particularly in the climax, this relative blandness leaves the film without much of a distinctive visual identity, planting it in an uncanny realm of competent anonymity.


None of this is to say that My Father’s Dragon isn’t charming on its own terms. The core of the film is in Tremblay’s and Matarazzo’s portrayal of a budding friendship, and the resulting adventures that Elmer and Boris have are certain to entertain plenty of families looking for a comfortable evening on Netflix. It will just be difficult for fans of Cartoon Saloon’s previous films not to notice that My Father’s Dragon has more modest goals than its forebears. They’re adequately achieved, but disappointing when it’s known that this animation studio is capable of so much more.