How To Train Your Dragon

Training your dragon can be as easy as training any pet......supposedly.

Indeed, anyone can tame these magnificent mythical creatures. In fact, it's as easy as cake. Want to know how? Simple, watching Dreamworks' new animated feature film, "How To Train Your Dragon", will show you the way. When I first saw this movie, I had no idea what to even expect. However, it was surprisingly better than I thought it would be, but it's no where near the level of it's hype.

The story features an unlikely hero named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who is essentially a social outcast who has no friends. The girl he loves, Astrid (America Ferrera), hates him, and his father isn't too fond of him either. If that wasn't bad enough, his father, Stoick (Gerard Butler), also happens to be the Viking leader and hero many of the other Vikings wish to emulate. Quite a shadow to live under, especially when almost everyone in the village hates you. However, what puny little Hiccup lacks in size and strength, he makes up for with ingenuity and knowledge as he always tries to invent things. Sadly, none of them ever work.....that is until one day he manages to capture the fabled black dragon; a dragon so deadly and fast that nobody has ever seen one and lived to tell the tale. That is....until now! Hiccup, in his quest, to impress his father and the other villagers manages to capture and tries to kill the beast, but it seems he has a change of heart as he couldn't go through with it. Therefore, he sets it free. Little did he know, this would be the beginning of an unlikely friendship. Discovering that the dragons aren't fierce and violent creatures his people thought they were, but they're actually more like cats and dogs, where they're not really bad. They only killed the other hundreds of Vikings, over the years, out of self defense when they slaughtered over thousands of dragons. In fact, the food and livestock the dragons steal from the Vikings is only to keep a much larger creature at bay. They're not so bad, just misunderstood.

For years the Vikings and dragons have been at war, with neither side coming close to defeating the other. The dragons having a clear advantage due to size and strength, but the Vikings own the advantage when it comes to intelligence. Although you probably wouldn't know it from hearing them talk with Scottish accents while speaking Americanized English. Which I doubt seriously Vikings talked like that, but hey it's a kids film.

Indeed, Hiccup is the perfect hero for this kind of kid based novel series adaptation, where it has a character who is unsure of himself, that the audience can deeply relate to. You have a father, who views Hiccup as something of a failure, and Hiccup is an outcast among the rest of the villagers. Of course, this tired old formula of having a social outcast as the unlikely hero is a bit cliched and predictable. Even the viking girl that Hiccup loves, who happens to be the most popular one by the way, is another tired story telling cliche as well. Since this is a children story, I doubt seriously most people will care about these details. However, it's a bit redundant sometimes to say the least.

Sadly, the story isn't that great to be honest, as it's entirely too predictable. As I was watching this film, I felt it would've made a much better video game story than a movie one. As the story elements seemed like they were primarily used to move the action sequences along. Filling in the gap between each action and fight sequences, which is essentially what a video game story arc does. Unfortunately, most video game stories have deeper and less predictable story lines than "How To Train Your Dragon."

However, the visuals were amazing, and make up for some of the stories short comings. Although some may not want to fork out the extra few bucks for the 3-D show, I can promise any skeptics it'll be worth it. As the 3-D truly does make the difference for this film. Watching the visuals on screen were too beautiful to describe with words, as it was like watching a 3-D arcade game come to life. Although the characters had a surrealistic look about them, the visuals were very well detailed. Everything from the fire that the dragons breathed to the visual references, when Stoick led the Vikings against the dragons, inside their home, in a "300" style manner....were just amazing.

"How To Train Your Dragon" is obviously a cliche ridden movie geared towards your kids, as I doubt most adults will enjoy this film as much as they do. For what it's worth though, "How To Train Your Dragon" isn't the worse film out there, but I would hardly call it one of the best animated family movies of the year or of any other year for that matter. It's a decent film to take your kids to, but I wouldn't expect too much out of it though, as most people would be better off waiting for it to be released on DVD.

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Comments 10 comments

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I thought it was cute, at least from all the promotions. But as you said it is entirely focused for the children so unless I am feeling rather kiddy I doubt I will be watching it. Thanks for reviewing this and it's great of you, steven, to review films that might be boring for you. Good stuff here!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

Thanks Ann. I appreciate you stopping by. :) Don't worry, the film isn't that bad. It's fairly decent, but it's a bit over rated that's all.


getmyback 6 years ago

SO FABULOUS

THANK YOU

BillY


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

I'm glad you gave your honest opinion. It looks great, anyway, and if the story line leaves a lot to be desired, maybe kids (even as sophisticated as kids are these days) won't notice it so much because of the awesome visuals.

Thanks for the review.


Norah Casey profile image

Norah Casey 6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

I was surprised at how good this film was. Granted, I hadn't heard anything about it before seeing it and I watched it in IMAX 3D. As a history major, the Scottish and American accents, along with other accuracy issues, were sometimes ridiculously distracting, but that is to be expected from Hollywood. My 8-year-old nephew let out numerous "woooaah!!!"s, so it was money well spent. Thanks for the review! Now I'm going to sift through your reviews and find out what films you actually like. :)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

@getmyback

Your welcome, and thank you for such the nice compliment. :)

@paradise7

Your welcome. Well I'm sure kids will love it, as I haven't met a kid yet that told me they didn't like it. I just wish it could've been better. However, the visuals were very impressive.

@norah casey

Your welcome Norah. I'm glad you liked the review. I hope you like the rest of the hubs I've written, and I look forward to reading some of yours as well. :)


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 6 years ago from australia

Wow I went and saw it on Saturday night. It was so cool, I give it a big thumbs up. :)


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 6 years ago Author

That's cool. i'm glad you liked the movie bp, and thanks again for stopping by. :)


Tommy 5 years ago

Did you seriously just say that the voice acting wasn't accurate to real life? He was flying a DRAGON, and you choose to question the accuracy or the voice acting to real life.

It sounds to me like you went into this movie expecting a watered down kids movie so you didn't let yourself interpret it as anything else, and ignored most of the movie that wasn't action.

I'm 18 and went into this expecting the same as you but I was very surprised at how deep the story really goes if you pay attention to all the little things, and how mature some of the themes are. In fact, more adults I know enjoyed this movie than little kids.

I could waste all the space on this page to explain what I mean in detail, but I just don't have that kind of time.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago Author

@tommy

First of all, nobody said anything about talking dragons, other than you. Secondly, did you even watch the movie? Seriously? If my memory serves me correctly, the dragons didn't talk at all, as they just grunted and snarled. Oh and they laughed too. My bad. Thirdly, if you actually read my review, you would've known that I was referring to the Vikings Americanized English with Scottish Accents. Something every historian, that I've spoken to, has actually agreed with me on, as it's historically inaccurate. Please, if your going to criticize something I say, then please have the decency to not take what I said out of context, and make sure you actually understand what I've written before making a comment. thanks, as it just makes you look ignorant commenting on something that you barely understood. not trying to offend you, but just offering free advice in the future, so you won't embarrass yourself again.

thirdly, I don't know where you got this notion of what you think I was expecting from this movie, as I clearly stated in the first paragraph that, "I HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT COMING INTO THIS MOVIE." Therefore, this shows again, that you didn't read my entire review. Let alone even understand it. Look, when I go into a movie, I don't have any preconceived expectations okay. Sure, I knew what the movie was and what it was about going into the theater, but I had no idea how good or bad it would be. Therefore, I always keep an open mind when I watch any movie. If you read my other reviews, you'll clearly see that.

As far as finding more adults than kids that liked this movie, I guess you must associate yourself with different social groups than I do, as every parent and child I talked to, it was the other way around. However, to each their own, and if they loved the movie, then kudos to them.

As far as your adult themes of this movie goes, I noticed them too. I just didn't bring them up in this review because for one, these same said themes your talking about did little to nothing to enhance the film at all. Therefore, they weren't worth mentioning.

Look, you seem to have gotten highly emotional over my review just because I didn't like it as much as you did. However, that's life. Get over it. Who cares? It's just a damn movie. Do always get this emotional when somebody disagrees with you? So you like the movie, that's great. I'm glad you liked the movie. I never said that it was wrong to like the film. You think I always agree with Roger Ebert or Peter Travers? No, but i never get upset about it like you are. Besides, the only important thing is that YOU liked the movie, so why should you be offended if one person out there disagrees with you? Does it really matter? Does everyone have to like the same exact movies as you do?

Lastly, from reading your comment, it's fairly obvious that you not only didn't read my entire review, as it seems like you just skimmed through certain parts, and took a few things out of context, it also seems like you didn't even understand the very same movie your trying to defend. Seriously, there was no talking dragons in that movie, so where did you even get that? Did we watch the same movie here? Or maybe you meant to leave that comment on another review that actually did have movies with talking dragons, huh? Look, I think it's great that you like the movie. I really do.

However, if your going to criticize my review, then all I ask of you is to do the following. one, please be sure to actually read my review word for word, and not just skim over it quickly as you obviously did, and make damn sure you understood what I said in my review before leaving a comment. Leaving a comment when you obviously didn't understand my review, just makes you look petty. and second of all, please try to make sure you have all your facts straight about the very same said movie your trying to defend, as THERE WAS NO TALKING DRAGONS IN THIS MOVIE. NONE! If you think there was, then your obviously talking about a different movie.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by Tommy, and I'm glad to hear you liked the movie. I really am. Just try not to take it too personal if someone disagrees with you, okay?

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