in Review

How to Train Dragons and Influence People

How to Train Your Dragon

Well, I guess I should start this review by saying I had no idea there was a book behind this movie. From what I’ve read on Wikipedia, the plot of the original book has little in common with the film How to Train Your Dragon, so I don’t think that puts me at a disadvantage. But I’m not reading that book regardless.

This film tells the story of Hiccup, a wimpy but brainy viking in a village of dragon-hunters. His incompetence has always made him an outcast, but that all begins to change when he befriends Toothless, the rarest and most powerful of all dragons, and discovers the truth about dragons. Hiccup is played by Jay Baruchel, who is having quite the year for seemingly no reason. The cast also features Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson, who go full on Scottish, and some more comedians, who don’t.

Anyway, this movie is definitely the good Kung Fu Panda-Shrek 1-Dreamworks CG adventure people older than five can actually enjoy. I’d say it’s probably even bordering Pixar quality.  That’s because so much of what works in this movie is told through the animation, especially the big eyes of the dragons. Toothless is pretty much Dreamworks’ WALL-E, and though he’s not even close to that compelling, they’re certainly on the right track.

The reason to see this movie is for the action. There are some fun dragon battles and a couple great flying sequences. The 3D is nice, but I’m not sure you have to see it that way. How to Train Your Dragon actually has a lot in common with Avatar: the outcast befriends his supposed enemies, rides the best dragon, and ultimately saves the day. And just like Avatar, it’s fun to watch. Do with that what you will.


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