How to Train Your Dragon
Directed by Chris Sanders & Dean DeBlois (2010)
jusco’s Rating: ★★★1/2
Well done, DreamWorks. When you set your mind to it, you can create good animation films, despite being under the gigantic shadow of Pixar most of the time. How to Train Your Dragon is an excellent and enjoyable film with Vikings and Dragons, mixed with good, pure humour, thrilling, jaw-dropping actions scenes and chases – on dragons, of course. Jay Baruchel voices Hiccup, a Viking who is so not a Viking. He’s that puny, stick figure in comparison to his disappointed and huge, buff dad, Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler) who also happens to be the village’s chief. Hiccup can’t kill dragons to save his life. But what he does instead is accidentally catch the most powerful and deadly dragon in history, a Night Fury, and befriends it. He feeds him fish (no eel), makes a harness and trains him to fly while riding on his back.
It’s your typical story, and the dragon flying scenes are almost mirror images of Avatar’s grandiose scenes; Hiccup is that weakling and underdog, yet it’s just human nature to cheer him on. Along the way we want to see him defy the odds and succeed against everybody’s expectations. Quirky and fun, this extremely well-made animation teaches a great lesson for kids: don’t be afraid to be yourself and believe that you can achieve great things. Of course, it’s just as entertaining for adults, and along with Shrek and Kung Fu Panda, DreamWorks has struck gold with another animated masterpiece.