Monday, 19 November 2018
How to Train Your Dragon
Monday, 29 March 2010 10:44
How to Train Your DragonHow to Train Your Dragon might be another addition to a seemingly never-ending stream of 3-D films, but I for one feel that a film should prove its worth not only as a special-effect gimmick. This animated fantasy from Dreamworks has great characters, a heartwarming story and beautiful animation – the 3-D is only the icing on an already decadent treat.

Hiccup is about as un-Viking like as can be. He’s brainy instead of brawny and can barely lift a battle-axe. He’s an outcast the other Vikings, including his heroic father who wishes for a strong son to fight alongside him. Hiccup’s biggest dream is to kill a dragon to fit in, but he’s not exactly good at it.

Hiccup and ToothlessOne night luck strikes and he downs the rarest dragon of all, a jet-black Night Fury. Looking into the beast’s eyes he realizes he isn’t cut out for killing and when the dragon returns the favor a friendship is born between man and beast.

If the boy and dragon story sounds a little recycled you might be thinking of Eragon, a film that came out a few years back. This is way better, and it actually makes my list as one of the best films so far this year. The story may be a bit predictable, but it is always fun, always exciting and entertaining.

Voices include Jay Baruchel (currently starring in She’s Out of My League) as the nerdy Hiccup; Gerard Butler as Stoick, his father; and America Ferrera playing against type as a skinny, tough blonde named Astrid.

Hiccup and AstridBut the real star of course is Toothless the dragon, who reminded me more of my housecat Kai than of anything ferocious! Despite his cuteness, Toothless is a wild creature and the relationship that develops between he and Hiccup is an honest one that requires a lot of time and trust.

This is a great film with a strong message, and fun for all ages.

SIDEBAR NOTES:

Character designer Chris Sanders partially modeled Toothless the dragon after another of his creations, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.

Jay Baruchel will soon be starring in a live-action version of Disney’s The Scorcerers Apprentice.