Review: How to Train Your Dragon

Thanks for checking out our How to Train your Dragon review.

Genre: Family
Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Staring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig
Released: March 26th 2010

THE GENERAL IDEA

Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesnt exactly fit in with his tribes longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccups world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

THE GOOD

Jay Baruchel is once again typecast as the awkward outcast underdog. Seems to work for him. And while I typically can’t stand Jonah Hill, his character was atypically Hill, but just enough not that it didn’t bother me.

And the visuals. Holy crap, you could watch this movie with the sound off and it would still be worth the price of admission. Dreamworks certainly took it up a notch here. Watching it in 3d, the flying scenes really had me feeling like I was on a dragon soaring through the air. James Cameron could learn a thing or two about filming flight from this movie. Seriously. And those scenes were so well done that even without 3D they would still be immersive. The battles, the flights, and even the little details in the landscape all contribute to a visual feast.

The story has more depth to it than I thought we would see. Watching Hiccup and Toothless bond with very little dialogue is a thing of beauty. They REALLY captured personality in form here. Powerful stuff.

THE BAD

I was still put off by the style of the character designs ever so slightly. The Dragons still had a “too clean” cartoony look to them with all the symmetry and clean line designs. But honestly it works with everything else and adds a unique flavour. So while I wont be collecting the toys, its a very minor thing to be bothered by considering in spite of the hokey dragons, they really work in this.

OVERALL

Very enjoyable and a heart pounding visually stunning movie that kids and adults will get a HUGE kick out of. There are some obvious moral lessons but they are not preachy and not shoved down your throat. I can’t say enough good things about the movie. Just go see it.

I give How to Train Your Dragon a 9 out of 10

Comment with Facebook

31 thoughts on “Review: How to Train Your Dragon

  1. Me too!, just for the flight scenes cause they looked awesome. and the final battle scene where the huge dragon fire breathed on the ships and the vikings were shown falling under water looked incredible, my mouth fell open during that spectacle!

  2. Saw it..
    Gotta eat my words before from basically sayin’ it looked lame.

    Movie had me and the little one captivated the entire time.

    the flyin’ scenes gave Avatar a run for it’s money and felt awesome(saw it in 2-D) loved Toothless’s expresions and interaction w/ Hiccup.

    awesome final battle!
    This is Movie-making.
    story and execution were great!
    loved it!
    DreamWorks got this one right.

  3. And I totally agree……THE best movie so far……just like The Fantastic Mr. Fox last year……

    Animation’s the new “IT” thing.

  4. I dont get the whole Kung-fu panda love, Sharks Tale was better than that lame excuse for a movie.

    Pixar is Pixar.

    Shrek(first and 2nd) rocked but thats about it.
    Meatballs was cute fun
    monsters vs aliens was just O.K.
    Madagasgar is played out

    and the (other studio) Ice Age films look cheap

    IMO
    the thing that put me off with this was the different dragon looks, early trailers didn’t help. BUT after hearin’ the Rave Reviews I’ll give it a shot and be open-minded.

  5. lol, I know it sounds crazy to be disappointed by Wall-E. I think I was just expecting sooo much from that movie I had no choice but to be let down. I’m a sci-fi freek so I had high hopes. I was just expecting something completely different than what it turned out to be. I didn’t like the human element at all in that movie. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to, but it spoiled it a bit for me. And honestly, it just kind of dragged for me. When I compare that movie to Finding Nemo and Incredibles and both Toy Stories it really pales in my mind.

    I gotta say, though, hearing all your comments on “dragon” does motivate me to see it. I really had written it off. But maybe i’ll give it a chance.

    Anyway, i agree with you Mykrantz, Up was good but not THAT GOOD for me. Although watching it with kids definitely helps.

  6. I LOVED Kung-Fu Panda, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and Shrek, but they just don’t have that certain thing that Pixar movies have. I always forget the lackluster Pixar movies, and compare all animation to the best, so I guess I should have said they don’t compare to the best Pixar movies.

    Dreamworks is making amazing animation that is catching up to Pixar and as they are doing their own thing and not trying to be Pixar, which is what I think is working so well for them.

    I always forget Monsters Inc. was a Pixar movie. The 3 movies above are better than Monsters Inc. I won’t start an Up debate, but I still think that movie is WAYYYY overrated.

  7. To Ryan:
    I can respect your love for Pixar. The Incredibles is my favorite animated movie of all time. And they have made the biggest strides in animation hands down. But I can’t honestly say I’ve loved every movie they’ve put out. I was disappointed in Cars and Wall-E. Ratatouille didn’t do much for me either. On the grounds of technical animation, yeah, they make masterpieces. But as far as overall entertainment, I’ve been bored a few times. I would take Kung Fu panda and Shrek over those few Pixar movies I’ve mentioned any day as overall enjoyment. If I had to pick one animation studio to go with it would be Pixar…but we don’t have to pick one! So I’m not going to say every movie they’ve ever done is better than any other animated film ever. Especially not on overall enjoyment.

    1. You were disappointed by WALL*E????? How is that friggin’ possible?! Dude, that movie, storywise or ANYwise, is probably Pixar’s best film to date. I rate it even higher than Up…..and Ratatouille was brilliant, as well!

      But I agree where you say Shrek is a kickass film…..possibly not better than some other Pixar stuff, but way up there…..definitely in the top 5 best animated films.

      The Lion King still floats my boat the most…..and now it’s How To Train Your Dragon at a close second.

  8. Nice to see Dreamworks making another good animated film, and not just one filled with pop culture gags and half-assed voice casts (seriously, someone give Billy West some more work).

  9. Visually, the movie was an 9 out of 10, but everything else made this movie kind of dull. The 3D was a complete gimmick that was completely pointless in this movie, and the flight scenes were not near as good as Avatar’s (since Rodney made the comparison, remember film is subjective so that is MY opinion). The story was dull, the characters, except Gobber, Toothless, and Ruffnut were straight kiddie movie stereotypes, and they made a huge gaff in making the adult vikings Scottish, especially with the Shrek 4 trailer before the movie, as Gerard Butler sounds A LOT like Mike Myers doing Scottish.

    Now reading all that you would think I hated them movie, but I didn’t, I just wasn’t as blown away as the rest of the comments. The movie is a solid 7.5 out of 10, but it wasn’t as good as the worst Pixar movie, but it was on par with Kung-fu Panda, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Meet the Robinsons, and the first 2 Shreks, despite all its flaws.

    1. dude, I think you are quite taken with pixar. Kung Fu Panda and the First Shrek are definitely better than some of pixars’ worse films. It makes me wonder what you would be saying if this same movie had Pixars name attached instead of Dreamworks.

      1. I disagree completely, at least when it comes to Shrek. I haven’t seen Cars, but Shrek isn’t as good as any of the other Pixar movies I have seen. If “Shrek” is the best non-Pixar CGI cartoon movie, then it pales in comparison to the monster that is Pixar. Movies just don’t get better than Finding Nemo, Up and Wall-e, and they don’t get more fun than either of the Toy Stories or The Incredibles. There are some right up there with them (Aladdin, the Lion King, etc.), but you can’t deny Pixar’s genius.

        I look forward to checking this one out, though. It would be nice if Dreamworks could even match an average Pixar movie.

  10. That is EXACTLY the same score I gave it. (91% A-)

    The only beef i had with it was that 90% of the characters changed their mood and feelings almost immediately. On second they where dicks then the other scene they where the nicest people ever.

    I almost cried twice, in the end when the ____ fits perfectly with Toothless’ saddle and in the beginning when Hiccup is sneaking out and hanging out with Toothless

  11. I agree…..I saw it in 2-D and it’s still AMAZING…..10 outta 10 from my side, I found absolutely nothing wrong with this film…..

      1. I personally think this is the best animation flick since The Lion King…..3-D or no 3-D, what EPIC storytelling! Great voice cast, great characters, AWESOME Toothless :-D

        I loved every second of it…..but yeah, I was watching this with a friend, in 2-D, like I said, and we kept thinking that it would’ve been great in 3-D…..stupid woman at the counter didn’t bother telling us she was selling us non 3-D tickets :-(

  12. I agree with this review. The dragon designs were a bit weird at first, but I got used to them.
    I saw the film in 2D (3D makes the friend I was going with nauseous), and let me tell you, it was no less visually stunning. I might go see it again in 3D someday, but for those who can’t, for whatever reason, rest assured it’s just as enjoyable.

  13. Completely agree with the dragon design comment… I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw it, but the rest of the movie was so good that I forgot about it.

  14. I just saw this one on Saturday and would agree TOTALLY to all of the statements in “THE GOOD” section of this review and also overlook “THE BAD” section entirely because the dragons designs didn’t bother me at all.

    10 out of 10!

    I also saw it in regular 2D film format and let me tell you it was just as stunning without the 3D mumbojumbo!

    Allow me to advocate NOT seeing this film in 3D, PLLEEEASSE! The more we as movie viewers shell out good money to see the 3D versions the more they will make them. There are NO reasons for anything to be 3D and I oppose everything about this gimmick.

    1. If 3D was that offensive, they wouldnt get people going to that format, making TV technology available to show it.

      People DO go to see it in 3d, and you still have the choice not to at most theaters. So if you choose not to, then don’t.

      You act like this technique (not gimmick) is a personal stab at you and your character. Why be so offended by it?

      Don’t like it, then don’t go. But why protest trying to ruin someone else’s enjoyment when they clearly want to see it in 3d?

    2. I’m really into the whole 3D thing and I’m planning on spending at least $7,000 on new a new PC, 73″ 3D HDTV, and other stuff so I can do 3D gaming and 3D movies. I like fun new technology to keep me from getting bored. I’m glad that Hollywood is embracing the 3D technology.

Leave a Reply