Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Movie Review: "How to Train Your Dragon" (2010)

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Movie"How to Train Your Dragon"
Director: Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders
Year: 2010
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes

Berk is a small coastal Viking town. It would be a great place to live except for one small problem: dragons! Berk is under the constant threat of dragon attacks and the children of Berk are raised their whole lives to simply hunt and kill dragons. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), the son of Stoic (Gerard Butler) the chief of the vikings, is a little different. He is physically smaller and much more timid than the other children, but he has a knack for inventing machines. He uses one of his inventions during a dragon raid to bring down one of the most feared dragons - the deadly "Night Fury.". When no one believes him, he heads to the forest to find the downed Night Fury, which he eventually finds tangled in his trap. Hiccup then does what no other viking has ever done, he lets the beast live and doesn't slay it. Instead, he cuts the dragon lose and is surprised to find they aren't necessarily the mindless killing machines he was raised to believe. He and the Night Fury, which he has affectionately named Toothless, become friends, and he learns how to train him through a mutual understanding.  Hiccup must  find a way to convince his father and all the other vikings that they have been wrong about dragons all along. He decides to prove his worth by completing dragon training so the people of Berk will listen to him. 

BigJ and I watched this movie a couple of years ago and I didn't really pay attention the first go-around. I thought it was sort of boring but I was only half paying attention. Upon watching it again in order to know the story for the sequel, we watched it again. And boy, am I glad I gave it another chance! This movie is truly fun and a really great story in general. It's a movie that can be enjoyed by younger kids as well as their adult counterparts. The kids who see this movie will enjoy the dragons and their house pet type mannerisms, and adults will enjoy the jokes that are specifically written for the older viewer.

Though this is an animated film, the story as a whole conveys many lasting and important messages. The first is that you don't necessarily have to be the strongest person physically in a community in order to be a leader. Being smart, patient and understanding are equally if not more important than being athletic. Hiccup is perceived as weak because he is scrawny and does not want to fight and kill dragons, but in the end, his patience and mindset while training Toothless is what makes him a good leader and gives him an advantage while completing his dragon training. Another good message is that conflict often comes from mutual misunderstanding between two parties, but it just takes one person to change the mindset of many and find common ground for the greater good. Hiccup and Stoic don't always see eye-to-eye, but Hiccup's relentless affirmation that dragons are not monsters lead Berk as a whole to embrace dragons as part of their everyday lives.

The only downfall of the movie is Jay Baruchel, not his performance, but that his voice is so ridiculously annoying it's not even funny. Otherwise, this is a heartwarming tale with great animation and gives kids and adults something to look forward to watching.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 98%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great Odin's Beard! I agree! It was a fun movie and a great family experience. I laughed and cried. <3