How To Train Your Dragon Review
I usually like animated movies, but I worried a bit about "How To Train Your Dragon." Would it be too silly and gimmicky? would it just be flashes of birgh colors to distract the kiddies?
I shouldn't have worried. "How To Train Your Dragon" is fantastic, with interesting characters, the appropriate amount of humor, and a story that, while it may not be utterly original, was satisfying and fulfilling. This is not even mentioning the beautiful flying scenes, which I think are the high point of the movie.
The plot takes place on the island of Berk, inhabited by stubborn Vikings who are undaunted by the constant raids by dragons who come to steal their sheep and burn down their houses. The hero of the story is a gawky and intelligent teenager named Hiccup (played by Jay Baruchel), who really doesn't fit in with his community: he's clumsy and accident prone, not to mention not particularly strong, and is more likely to come up with unique technical solutions to problems that the other Vikings would just smash through with an axe or sword.
However, everything changes when Hiccup manages to capture a Night Fury, an elusive species of dragon no one had ever seen before. Naming it Toothless, he proceeds to learn that dragons are not at all like the Vikings thought they were...
Hiccup and Toothless are really the biggest draw to the movie. It's awesome to have a hero who is legitimately intelligent and creative, and it's awesome to see Hiccup's creative solutions to the problems set in front of him. The fact that he's voiced by Jay Baruchel, who's able to capture both his nerdiness and his snarkiness very well. And Toothless behaves like an actual animal probably would, being initially suspicious of Hiccup, and only becoming more trusting as Hiccup discovers more about him. Their relationship as it develops over the course of the movie s beautiful to watch.
The flying scenes are also wonderful, making me wish I had seen the movie in 3D. It takes your breath away watching Toothless swoop and dive, and the film seems to really spring to life when our two heroes take off into the sky. It is amazing to see what CGI can accomplish in this day and age.
There are a few minor complaints to be made. Something about Hiccup's father Stoick didn't seem to be right--his eyes just didn't seem to be as alive as the other characters. It was strange this seemed to only be a problem with him. Some of the humor is a little too jokey as well--there were a few cracks about soiling underwear in terror and that sort of thing, which just threw me out of the movie. most of the humor was OK though.
All in all, "How To Train Your Dragon" works well as a movie. It's adventurous, funny, has a great lead in Hiccup, and has those beautiful flying scenes. If you haven't seen it, go out and see if it's still in theaters. It's worth seeing it as soon as you can.