“How to Train Your Dragon” LOVE IT, just not the title…

Genres: Kids/Family, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Animation and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 38 min.
Release Date: March 26th, 2010 (wide)
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language.
Distributors: Paramount Pictures

Directed by: Christopher Sanders & Dean DeBlois

JJ Rating: A

Watch It Again: Yes.
Buy It: Yes.
Recommend: To anyone with kids, especially boys. It’s very enjoyable for not only kids but for the adults. Fun times.

Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) isn’t as big or strong as any of the other Viking children. He also fears that he disappoints his father Stoick the Vast (voiced by Gerard Butler). Hiccup captures a dragon and he’s excited, but he releases the dragon because he couldn’t kill him. Soon he finds a friend in who he’s supposed to hate. How to Train Your Dragon.

How to Train Your Dragon is one of the better DreamWorks’ animations I’ve ever seen. It’s fun, pleasant and enjoyable. There isn’t a lot of anger pent up in sarcasm and dry wit. It was free from the anger anchor like their other films and it felt more like a children’s film than any of the others thus far. It is also the winner of the double entendre award. I really dislike the title.

There was great voice by the actors. The characters came to life and were their own even when the voices were recognizable. The children that train in the same class as Hiccup have smaller parts but still had enough time to create amusing and fun characters. I liked every character. I really liked Hiccup. He’s a great balance of knowing what he wants and feeling bad because his father isn’t proud of him.

The story for How to Train Your Dragon is simple. A boy is supposed to be a strong Viking, but all he can muster is making weapons. He lacks the ability to fight or kill dragons as he should be able to. He ends up inventing a sling that shoots and captures one. When he sees the captured dragon he struggles between making his father proud and what he believes to be the right choice: let the dragon go. Several stories have all trounced upon this same predicament. There is ample room to be redundant and boring. However, that is not what happens. The film is nicely paced, amusing, fun, and above all enjoyable. There’s a lot of wit and levity that goes hand in hand with the positive vibes.

A great scene between Hiccup and his dad is when his dad is trying to speak to him in Hiccup’s room and Hiccup quickly hides some pictures (double meanings again) of the dragon designs. The conversation that ensued was uncomfortable (in a good story telling way) and true to life amusing. Hiccup is that character that all guys are. Some are more so on the outside while others hide it better and therefore it’s not seen because their outside looks like a “Viking”.

The dragons reminded me a lot of cats. Maybe it’s just my cat, but they growl. When she’s held and she’s sick of it she’ll growl. I find it funny, but I warn other people that she’s about to bit or scratch. Toothless (the dragon Hiccup captures) just reminded me so much of a cat because of the cautious movement, the looks, the falling and the getting back up and acting like nothing happened, and especially the attitude.

The Princess and the Frog was for the girls (great movie, but still so female) and How to Train Your Dragon (double entendre included) is for the guys. It connected with me on that male mind level. I understood the mentality behind the story and enjoyed it more because of that. Though I find the title to be too much and not really about the film as a whole (like an exasperated effort to just name it), I think that it’s a very solid film that made me feel like a little boy running around with a wooden sword killing imaginary whatevers who were attacking from every direction. How to Train Your Dragon has got the goods, I’m not afraid to say it.

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