Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon
Year: 2010
Director: Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson

In My Own Words
Finally a film that makes me believe that 3D may actually be all it is cracked up to be. “How To Train Your Dragon” really made me believe that 3D does definitely have the ability to add to the movie experience. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that 3D shouldn’t be flaunted and used in every single film that is either animated or has action sequences. Take “Alice In Wonderland” for example. The film did not need to be in 3D as there was very little in the film which actually benefited by it. Falling down the rabbit hole was pretty impressive, but that is the only part I can even remember in 3D. Truthfully during “Alice” I had forgotten it was in 3D and was getting annoyed with having to wear glasses. “How To Train Your Dragon” was the complete opposite and I am so glad I saw it in 3D rather than in 2D. I came out of the cinema in complete awe of what I had just seen. And I do believe,that if you are in a cinema filled with children under 10 and you forget that they are these as they are so quiet, you have seen something truly captivating.

I really, really enjoyed this film. I loved the childlike nature of it, but how there was also so much emotion in it. As my fiancĂ© said when we were leaving the film “It’s funny how an animated film can sometimes provoke more emotion than a non-animated film”, and he is completely right. Is it because animation has really come that far? I think not. I look back at the early Disney movies and some of those films can make me sadder than some recent films that are supposed to be tear-jerkers. Who will ever forget Bambi losing his mother or even Lady rejecting Tramp? Animated or non-animated, it all comes down to the talent of the filmmakers and their ability to stir up the emotions of the audience. That’s what great filmmaking is.

These are my own words and here is my review.


Welcome to the world of “How To Train Your Dragon”, where Vikings rule and slay dragons to show their strength and dominance. The newest animated release from directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders is sure to be a favourite for people of all ages, not just children. Unlike many other films, it has the ability to combine an air of playfulness with an action packed adventure while tugging on your heart. This combination is one which so many films struggle to achieve, let alone animated films. Hiccup ( Jay Baruchel) is a black sheep in his Viking hometown, and his father, Stoick (Gerard Butler) has no problem telling him so. It is a Viking’s duty to slay dragons, so when Hiccup captures one, instead of killing it, he befriends it. The dragon, which he names Toothless, becomes much like a pet to him and teaches him that their violent ways are merely survival instincts, a revelation in Viking society.

“How To Train Your Dragon” is more than just an animated film for children. Children will definitely enjoy it, but adults will enjoy how the film mixes fantasy with reality. The main attractions of the film are the mythical dragons, but it also has some very real issues. Many of people will see parts of themselves in Hiccup, who is the underachiever who fails to live up to what society and his family want him to be. The film also has the underlying theme of “Never judge a book by its cover”, as the dragons are perceived as being murderous beings, but are misjudged. The film, like many animations, does lean towards a happy ending, but it does also show that human beings (and cartoon characters) are not invincible and indestructible. These themes allow “How To Train Your Dragon” to stir up many emotions inside the audience and therefore how successful a film it really is.

The visuals are absolutely beautiful in this film and, whether the film is viewed in 3D or not, some of the shots are absolutely breathtaking. The characters are very well constructed and the majority of the dragons, especially Toothless, are extremely lovable. Many people will come away from the film wanting a dragon that acts like a domestic dog or cat of their own. There are many different types of dragons and each type is extremely well constructed and original. The film is almost like a dragon handbook, if dragons did actually exist. The dragons make the films content completely original and great fun to watch. The only downfall of the film is that the musical score did not seem to fit in with the film. It felt like there was almost a lack of a score, but the movie didn’t need to much help from background music to add to the emotion as the story and characters did this themselves.

“How To Train Your Dragon” is a rare animated film which is funny, sad, suspenseful and even romantic at times. Although fantasy, it can be extremely realistic at times, which may seem like a challenge, but the filmmakers pull it off and do so with style and subtlety. The best animation of 2010 thus far.


  1. I saw this movie last night, and man, I loved it. I thought that all the voices were perfectly cast. You're right about animated films sometimes evoking more emotion than non-animated films. This was true for me with Toy Story when I saw it as a kid, and The Lion King and many others. I think a lot of it has to do with Disney or Dreamworks or whoever it is, knowing exactly which buttons to push inside of us, and knowing exactly how to do it. They must have it down to a formula.

    I also thought that anyone who loves dogs would need to love this movie since so much of it has to do with loyalty and friendship and those sorts of dog-like traits.

    Really enjoyed reading your review! Great job. I'm looking to write a review of my own on this one sometime soon.

  2. I definately agree with you that any dog owners will love this film. I actually thought that cat owners would love it too. My other half came out of it just wanting to go home to see the kitty.

    Thankyou very much! Glad you enjoyed reading it!