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How to Train Your Dragon (2010) - Film Review

Updated on October 26, 2010

Film Animation is Back!

DreamWork’s film How to Train your Dragon brings back an honest child view of the animated films and delivers action, a successful story, enjoyable humor, and stunning visuals that will have you soaring through the skies alongside dragons. Among recent pixar films such as Wall-E and Up, there has been underlying thematic elements that call into question whether parents might want their children exposed to it at such a young age. Wall-E having the premise of “go green” hammered to you so much that you can’t really enjoy the story, and Up having the exposure of loss of innocence through the death of a loved one. Both forcing parents to have discussions with their children after the films about very adult themes. DreamWork’s How to Train your Dragon however, is the simple tale of a boy and his pet, and how he proves to his family that sons and daughter’s can shine in different ways.

The story is set on an ancient mythical island of rough and tough Vikings who are constantly bombarded by raiding dragons. Their fearsome leader Stoick (Gerard Butler), is their best dragon slayer and has a son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who is more than a disappointment. Hiccup was able to shoot down however, the most feared dragon of all, the Night Fury, whose speed is so great and destruction so vast, no true account of its appearance has ever been noted. On the hunt for the downed creature Hiccup finds it captured and comes to the decision that he couldn’t slay it. He then finds the thought to be “terrifying” creature to be simply misunderstood and quite loyal once its trust is earned. Thus begins the awe inspiring bond between animal and man, or in this case, dragon and boy, and their journey to showing the species of both worlds what they can do. A magnificent blending of color and use of background, brings you and leaves you in this mythical world of dragons and celtic landscapes. It begins by giving you the stereotype of the dragon as a frightful and feared creature, but then shows it for its humane and serene natural and childlike aspect, in a kind of dog-like quality.

Rising ticket costs have attributed to 3D film tickets costing almost twenty dollars in some places. Some might call into question whether watching in 3D would be worth it in some cases. This film however, is more of an experience as well as a cute story, giving you the sensations and freedom of experience driven from Epcot’s Soarin’ ride. The human vision to drive for more and reach new heights is revitalized in this film through spectacular atmospheric visuals through the back of a dragon.

A truly different approach on the dragon genre, How to Train your Dragon, will leave you longing for more and inspired to be your own character in life, and not break away from tradition, but make tradition your own. With an all star cast, excellent and moving score from John Powell, a stunning use of 3D visual effects throughout, DreamWork’s most recent project will be one for the film library that can be enjoyed and understood by all age groups. An entertaining “in-theater worthy” experience, this film is an entertaining relief from is competitors at the box office and holds at a 9 out of 10 stars.


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      Makingsense 7 years ago

      Thanks for the review. I kinda miss seeing films directed at children now that my kid is grown up. I'm sure that they're getting more and more impressive.