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HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

An animated family fantasy film released by Dreamworks.

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The Dragons are coming out of their Dungeons!

  • Dec 8, 2010
Rating:
+5
Out from DreamWorks' animation studio is a tale based on two aggressive yet extinct species, dragons and Vikings. Interesting enough, How to Train Your Dragon strays away from stereotyping these two prolific breeds, giving them a fresh interpretation. Hiccup, the main protagonist (voiced by Jay Baruchel), is illustrated as the lanky outcast whose father is the leader of the violent pack of dragon hunters. In addition, his dragon counterpart, Toothless, isn't the barbaric creature that Vikings perceive them to be. Together Hiccup and Toothless form a relationship that is strengthened once pure knowledge defeats impractical assumptions. 

The film begins North on the Island of Berk with Hiccup hopelessly watching a battle of epic proportions unfold right before his very eyes, a battle between dragons and Vikings, after the dragons set down to steal the Viking's herd of sheep. He observes a female warrior named Astrid (America Ferrera) with admiration, and wants to get her attention. Hiccup is essentially an incompetent warrior who lacks the strength to fight against the menacing creatures; however, he has a knack for inventing. Desperate as he is, Hiccup plans to slay Night Fury, a rare dragon never stopped by Vikings later known as Toothless. Hiccup uses his inventing skills to construct a slingshot to take down the winged creature, an unorthodox method. Night Fury is merely wounded in the attack and proceeds to take refuge in a nearby forest. Unfortunately for Hiccup, there were no witnesses to his marvelous feat; in fact, he clumsily destroys the town's defenses in the process when an enraged dragon chases him. Seeking redemption, he ventures out into the forest for proof of his accomplishment. 
Hiccup is unable to slay the injured and vulnerable beast that lies before him. He lets the creature clumsily fly away. As the film progresses, the two characters bond is strengthened; however, Hiccup's obligation to his dragon-hunting squadron creates obstacles for him, forcing him to tend to his giant pet in ultimate secrecy. His father's role as leader of the Vikings, who doubles as dragon slayer extraordinaire, also puts him in a compromising position. Interestingly enough, Hiccup is enrolled in dragon training, despite his fixation with dragons, while the rest of the Vikings are out to find the dragons' nest. 

It’s refreshing that Hiccup and Astrid's relationship did not overshadow Hiccup and Toothless'. The foundation for Toothless and Hiccup's friendship is extremely durable; it’s demonstrated numerous times when they save each other’s lives. Hiccup emerges as sort of like a dragonology professor from spending time with Toothless. Nevertheless, the lanky composition and clumsy nature of Hiccup isn't anything refreshing or new. Countless animated features have already utilized Hiccup's character, the sensitive and incompetent predestined hero with superior knowledge. But it doesn't affect the film negatively. How to Train Your Dragon is simply a great and heartfelt story that delves deeper than one would imagine. How often are dragons and Vikings depicted as understanding and nurturing creatures? Underneath their differing exteriors, Dragons and Vikings are pretty much the same, with each unaware of the other's ability to be tame and civil. 

There is no doubt that this film displays great animation, but it also contains great pacing. For the majority of the film, an antagonist is nowhere to be found, yet there is not a dull moment in sight. Comedy is present yet not center stage, characters are able to develop, and action is readily available in small dosages. It does not end on a formulaic happy note either, but rather a bittersweet one. How to Train Your Dragon is wholesome family fun, although the presence of dragons and violence may be too much for children under five to digest. The film has set the bar so high that it’s impossible to envision a superior sequel. DreamWorks has struck gold with this animated feature; hopefully its franchise doesn't end on a sour note like Shrek's. 

It is also important to note that as Stoick, father of Hiccup, Gerald Butler's larynx is free, to once again, project his natural Scottish accent, allowing his masculinity to protrude through his character's 7'2 frame.


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December 13, 2010
I thought this was a great movie; your review does it justice. Thanks!
 
December 13, 2010
loved this movie!!
 
December 08, 2010
Great review! I'd been wondering about this film since I'm supposed to babysit my niece this weekend. Now, I'll think we'll have to check it out- thanks for sharing :)
December 08, 2010
No problem! I hope you guys enjoy it just as much as I did.
 
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More How to Train Your Dragon reviews
review by . March 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ Stars: MAY Well Become the BEST Animated Movie of 2010!! ....it's NO Son of a
Dreamworks animation has often been regarded as the “Poor man’s Pixar” since its animated films are more or less a hit or miss. Well, after the sleeper hit "Monsters Vs. Aliens", the company is once again poised to redeem itself with “How To Train Your Dragon” which is based on the book with the same name. This latest film directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois has enough thought-provoking morale themes, stunning animation, as well as an invaluable …
review by . February 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     You can count on animated films to be good when live action films just aren't. While this is definitely a good thing to count on, some animated films are just bad, and yes, as bad as the live-action flicks are. This is not the case with Dreamworks Animation's first of three 2010 animated offerings. In fact, "How to Train Your Dragon" is the best thing that Dreamworks has had to offer since "Shrek". Yeah, they've come out with some pretty solid stuff from time …
review by . December 30, 2010
i hear so much hype about this movie, so i decide to see it. the animation was unbeliveable,i forgot i was watching a movie. i am really intrested about the movie, so i check out all the special features and all(i watched it on DVD) that, and all the effort into this movie, the hundreds of crew and cast, the animation, like i said, was great,it was fantastic. but i am looking forward to see some other great animation hits, so for right now, this is the best  9.5 out of 10 stars  4.5 …
review by . November 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
DreamWorks Builds its Masterpiece
   With a review title as ambitious as mine, some justification is definitely in order.  See unlike Pixar (with a little help of the Disney promotion machine), animated hits with the potential to become pop culture icons aren’t a given for DreamWorks.  Sure they’ve had Shrek but ask anyone and you’ll discover that 4 feature films and a variety of spin-offs have milked the franchise past its worth.  Kung-Fu Panda came next with signs of brilliance.  …
review by . April 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dragons have had a pretty checkered history on the silver screen. There have been some good efforts (Reign of Fire, Dragonslayer, Dragonheart) and some terrible misfires (Dungeons and Dragons, Eragon) over the years, but all have fallen short of delivering the definitive dragon movie. The rather clunkily titled How to Train Your Dragon, directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, may well be that movie.      Since its formation in 1994, Dreamworks has always been standing in …
review by . March 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   We always seem to go through phases when it comes to popular genres and topics of entertainment.  We have the year of 3D (which I'm still debating as to whether I should actually be excited or not), the year of remakes (that has become YEARS and I wish would seriously end), the year of cheapquels/sequels (which some films have promise and others are straight to DVD quality), and of course the year of the "underdog"/geek(which is by far my favorite).  3 months …
review by . April 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dreamworks has always been dominant in the the animation field, but that has never made their movies that were great.  They had Shrek, which was very clever and very unique and original.  But most times when watching a Dreamworks production you're hit with a lot of pop culture references and whatnot.  The exception being Kung Fu Panda which showed a different side of Dreamworks.  How to Train Your Dragon merely perfects what Kung Fu Panda began.  It focuses on being a heartfelt …
review by . April 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a young boy living on an island with the great vikings. He explains in the beginning that it is a very old land, but with new houses. This is because their houses are constantly being burned down by the firery breath of dragons, who they are always in battle with. Hiccup is the son of a high in rank viking Stoick (Gerard Butler) who is ashamed of his son because he fails to be the dragon fighter he is supposed to. So to prove himself Hiccup shoots down a never before …
review by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
How to Train a Dragon is a coming of age movie. The usual stuff. The overbearing father, with the son who embarrasses him because of his lack of mini-me-ness, tries to force said son to man-it-up and get on with it already. Son does the one thing he can think of to impress his whole village but screws even that up. But while doing so he discovers truth that will change everything his dad, his whole village, his whole world believed. Add humor, fighting, action and a few scary moments, make it animated, …
review by . August 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I'm a middle aged adult, but you'll never hear me whine, 'We didn't have 3D when I was a kid!' Well, part of the deal is being a middle aged adult nowadays means you can keep making up for lost time. Oh, yes, we had 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,' 'Oliver!' and the first release of 'Star Wars,' but kids nowadays have never had it so good. Call it middle life crisis. Call me the middle-aged man who can't grow up, or call me just genuinely honest, but I was thoroughly satisfied with this …
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Wiki

How to Train Your Dragon is a CGI animated fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the 2003 book of the same title. The film stars the voice talents of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, and David Tennant. The story takes place in a mythical Viking world where a young Viking teenager named "Hiccup" aspires to follow his tribe's tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After finally capturing his first dragon, and with his chance at finally gaining the tribe's acceptance, he finds that he no longer has the desire to kill it and instead befriends it. The film was released March 26, 2010.

Poster art for "How to Train Your Dragon: An IMAX 3D Experience."

Characters

  • Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is the main character in these books. He is an unusual Viking who thinks before he does anything. He has red hair and is very thin. He is one of the only people ever to understand and be able to speak Dragonese, the language of the dragons. He is abnormally clever for a Viking, and a good swordfighter. His hunting dragon isToothless, a small dragon that is a common or garden dragon. Hiccup's best friend Fishlegs claims that Hiccup's dragon is a Toothless Daydream, a mythical and rare type of dragon, to fool Hiccup's father Stoick the Vast and those around him.
  • Toothless is Hiccup's hunting dragon. Just like his name suggests, he has no teeth. He used to have one tooth, but it fell out in a ...
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Details

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: March 26, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks
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