How To Train Your Dragon Wonderfully Moving

How to Train Your DragonIt was only recently in February when I saw an oversized poster for an upcoming animated film called How To Train Your Dragon.  I really wasn’t over-enthused or anxious to see it, but anything with a dragon is intriguing enough for me so I did have at least a little bit of anticipation in looking forward to this film’s release.  It is a DreamWorks production and while they typically put forth good quality, they never seem to reach that level of animation stardom that Pixar’s works do.  As of today, move over, Pixar.  You’ve got serious competition because How To Train Your Dragon was absolutely brilliant. 

This piece of work was beautiful in every sense of the word; from its appearance on the surface to the entertaining story that played out on the screen.  The film’s aesthetics were so beautifully rendered, especially in 3D, that you could make out the bumps in the rough, scaly skin of the dragons, the barnacle-laden bows of the Viking vessels and even the individual strands of hair of the movie’s human characters.  The lush coloring was appetizing to the eyes and the animation was playful and lifelike.  The original music, courtesy of John Powell, suitably accompanies the visuals, which, as they say on HGTV, “…ties it all together.” 

 How to Train Your Dragon

Starring Jay Baruchel (She’s Out of My League) as Hiccup, a rather scrawny and clumsy Viking, he dreams of having his first crack at a dragon so that he may garner even a fraction of respect that his clan leading-father Stoick the Vast commands on a daily basis.  Stoick is voiced by Gerard Butler who quickly rebounds here from the recently disastrous comedy, The Bounty Hunter.  Butler does a fantastic job as the island’s fearless leader and truth be told, I didn’t even know it was him until the credits rolled.  It’s the first time I’ve heard Butler with his Scottish brogue, though it may be a bit exaggerated for this film, but that’s a good thing (and a bit comical to hear from the mouth of a Viking).  After all, it fits the mood of this very strong and capable barbarian.

Hiccup, while unable to live up to the stature of his father or any other Viking for that matter, spends his days as a blacksmith, sharpening blades and creating new contraptions and weapons of war.  When he finally has his opportunity to claim his first dragon kill, it becomes a life-altering event.  Hiccup makes it his duty to befriend the beasts while the rest of the Nordic island is out to slay them.  Even his peers wonder why the weak Hiccup continues to hang around his own kind.  Speaking of his peers, these characters are voice-acted by some well-known names such as Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera as Astrid and Supebad’s Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Snotlout and Fishlegs respectively.  Also lending his talents as dragon-fighting instructor Gobber, is The Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson. 

 How to Train Your Dragon

The story is touching and offers something enjoyable for the whole family.  This is especially true in the way the movie’s main dragon interacted with others, as it reminded me of a creature that’s a cross between a dog and a friendly house cat.  If you’ve ever had either, you’ll know what I mean.  There is a lot of sword-wielding (no one gets stabbed) and fire-breathing (no one gets burned alive) so if the little ones get spooked by this, you may want to hold off on introducing them to this movie.  Then again I saw Star Wars when I was 5 and it did not make me want to enact harm on people.  That kind of stuff gets overblown.   When this wonderful film ended, the woman next to me exclaimed, “This movie was about violence!” to which my reply was, “No, it was about coexisting.”  Her counter was, “Well, two-year olds shouldn’t be exposed to this.”  Well, two-year olds shouldn’t be in a movie theater anyway so I guess we solved that problem. 

The animated-Viking view of dragons in this movie runs parallel to some real life human views on a variety of creatures.  It instantly reminded me of this ignorant bloke in Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater documentary who basically said all sharks are blood-thirsty man eaters out to do nothing good.  Whether we’re talking about sharks or mythical flying reptiles, How To Train Your Dragon drives home the point that people need to learn to live in harmony with nature, not work against it.  


How to Train Your Dragon Theatrical Poster 

 How To Train Your Dragon Sweepstakes



1 Response to “How To Train Your Dragon Wonderfully Moving”

  1. Brian White

    I think this one line says it all “The story is touching and offers something enjoyable for the whole family.”