Saturday, March 12, 2011

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon

Hey you guys!

Today, we will be discussing.... How To Train Your Dragon!

You never would've guessed, huh?

Well, anyway.... here goes! (Watch out for spoilers....)

How To Train Your Dragon
Rated PG

Okay, right off the bat, let me tell you: this is one of my favorite movies ever. It's one of the few that I saw more than once in theaters, haha, and now we own it on DVD and I have it in my iPod! Need I tell you that I love this movie?

'Cause seriously, who doesn't love dragons???

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Based off the first book of a series by Cressida Cowell, How To Train Your Dragon is incredibly charming, almost like a fairy-tale in the world of Vikings who are at odds with, you guessed it, dragons. Hiccup is an immediately likable, but scrawny, under-par Viking kid with a hilarious, dry sense of humor. All he wants to do is fit in, but alas, 'tis not meant to be.... even after he brings down a dragon that no one else has ever even seen before. 

Instead of killing the dragon he catches, which any other Viking would have done, Hiccup lets it go, to discover later that it has a wounded tail and can't fly. But Hiccup, being handy with tools and all that, realizes he can make a tail for the Night Fury dragon, dubbed Toothless, and thus begins Hiccup's adventure as he trains his dragon, and trickier yet, how to keep from blowing his cover in the midst of dragon-fighting-training, and keeping Toothless a secret from his father and his tribe. 

Toothless is just about the awesomest, most adorable thing in the world, and remind many of people of their pet dog or cat... or ferret, in my case. Can't help but love him. 

There is bloodless, but somewhat intense fighting throughout (especially the intense climax fight), as it is a story about Vikings and dragons- so what would you expect? And while it may be frightening for younger children, my nine-year-old brother was fine with it, it that helps any. (It's also less intimidating at home than it might have been on the big screen, of course.) 

There is also a slight dosing of mild potty humor. Me- I hate potty humor. Can't stand it. But what little there was wasn't even enough to bother me- it was practically nonexistent. Though, there was a little crude humor in reference to Stoick's helmet, which he mentioned to be made from half of his wife's, er, breastplate. Slightly awkward, but it wasn't a big deal or anything- brief scene, moving on, right?

Hiccup and Astrid... yes, there's a little romance thrown in the mix of everything: two kisses, once on the cheek, the other on the lips (but actually, you only see the back of Astrid's head when she steps over and kisses Hiccup, so it's not even that bad of a moment). And a slightly awkward movie-moment early on while Hiccup's narrating and introduces us in voice-over to Astrid. But that's all. 

And also, numerous characters mention the false Viking gods Odin and Thor and what-have-you. However, I wouldn't consider that a stumbling block for anyone-- besides, it's historical accuracy if you think about it. Excusing that this is fiction, anyway. 

Definitely a lot of fun, witty exchanges, and lovable characters. Don't look for major character development, though. 

The animation is amazing, let me tell you... I really regret not seeing it in 3D while it was in theaters- it would have actually been a good movie to see in 3D. And the music soars just as high as Toothless and the other dragons do. 

The really great thing was that while Hiccup lies a little and tries to hide his dealings with Toothless from his dad, he's never actually rebellious-- rather, we see him trying to clear things up, but simply making mistakes- he does try to get everything to rights and is apologetic about not telling his dad the truth. So, no worries about Hiccup being a bad role model for the kids.

As well, there's a very sweet bond between Hiccup and Toothless, to the point where they will both risk their lives for each other. Besides that, in the end, the two opposing sides, Vikings and dragons, end up reconciling and being able to live together instead of be enemies, which is always a neat thing to see. Of course, this is not without some bad guy getting killed, that being a giant dragon that is something of a menace over the other, "normal" dragons, and that's the creature that ends up getting taken down by the other dragons and Vikings who are working together. 

And plus, who wouldn't love zipping around through the sky on a dragon?? The flying sequences are one of the coolest things ever.

'Cause seriously, who doesn't love dragons???

Breathtaking, charming, and awe-inspiring, I'd highly recommend that anyone in the mood for some adventure and a few laughs watch How To Train Your Dragon. It's an almost fairy-tale like, whimsical, pretty wholesome film that's just about as family-friendly as you can get. 

Aha, and here's the trailer in case you needed any more convincing that this is an awesome movie.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention Stoick and Gobber have awesome scottish accents!! I love this movie too! :D


Jake said...

Epic movie, epic accents (for the adults, anyway), and epic dragons. I didn't like how they were turned into pets at the end, though. :P

The Director said...

@ Jake- I didn't see them as "pets" (indulged and placid) at the end. They seemed more like horses, in that they worked together with people for common and greater good.

Surprisingly, I loved this movie too. I thought I was going to hate it ;P

The Director said...

SORRY!!! I am signed into Abby/The Director's account! The above comment is from her mom :D

Corey P. said...

Love this film. Great review! :)