Hiccup is a young viking who wants nothing more than to slay a dragon. When he finally has his chance he realizes that the dragons aren’t as dangerous as he has been taught.
Directed by – Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Written by – Cressida Cowell, Dean DeBlois, Adam F. Goldberg, Chris Sanders, Peter Tolan
Starring – Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Robin Atkin Downes, Philip McGrade, Kieron Elliott, Ashley Jensen, David Tennant
I think this movie only proved that 3D should be strictly for the animation category. After a poor showing of Alice in Wonderland in 3D I was worried that this would turn out the same way. I was in the exact same theater for both movies but How to Train Your Dragon was amazing. Scenes of flying, when in 3D, always turn my stomach. An effective sign that the 3D is working and since most of this movie involves flying dragons, my stomach was on a ride yesterday.
Everything about this movie was amazing. I’m considering going to see it a second time just to enjoy the 3D again. The story won’t disappoint and there is plenty of great laughs as well. On top of all those great qualities is the fact that Toothless, the dragon that Hiccup befriends, is the freaking cutest damn thing I have seen since my children. The dragon is like a giant, flying cat. It rolls in the grass, chases light reflected off a shield and shows more interest in Hiccup when he’s being fed. My girlfriend now wants a dragon and both the kids took their imaginary dragons to bed last night. A sure sign that the film is a winner in their eyes!
The plot is simple enough. The vikings want to destroy the dragons and at the beginning Hiccup would like nothing better. Except he’s too small and weak to actually fight dragons. Being resourceful he comes up with a weapon that shoots a bolas (I believe that’s the name) and manages to capture a Night Fury, one of the most fearsome dragons. Nobody has even seen one before. Hiccup knows where the dragon landed and sets out to kill it. When he finds the dragon he can’t bring himself to do it and realizes that the dragons are actually friendly when you are punching, kicking or shooting at them. Hiccup’s Dad is the leader of their village and sets out to find the dragons nest leaving Hiccup to train as a dragon hunter.
Since Hiccup has an inside source on dragons he quickly becomes the best trainee, using techniques like a scratch behind the ear to put a dragon to sleep to overcome his challengers. Eventually he is taken to the dragons nest by Toothless where he learns what’s really happening there. Once his dad finds out about Toothless the vikings take him and use him to lead them to the nest. That leaves it up to Hiccup and his dragon trainee friends to save the day.
It’s got all the messages you would expect from a kids movie. Be yourself and you will succeed, you can do anything you put your mind to, all that kind of junk but it isn’t obnoxious about it. Or at least I didn’t notice because I was laughing so much. The movie is really funny but not in a punchline kind of way. A lot of the humour comes from the silent interactions between Hiccup and Toothless. Toothless, being a dragon, doesn’t really say much so everything is conveyed through his body language and it was damn funny. Watching him chase a light on the ground or try to smile was cute and funny.
Wow, I’m gonna need to hit up the horror movies again soon before all the readers out there wonder what happened to me! Now I mentioned before that I was worried about the 3D. This one was a million times better than Alice in Wonderland and is probably the second best use of 3D I have ever seen. Surprisingly Disney’s A Christmas Carol was still the best but there were a couple of moments where I had to blink quickly because I thought something was gonna poke me in the eye. I wish I had the cash to see this in Imax because I can only imagine how great it would have looked then.
This is a great film for both kids and adults. The 3D is used to great effect and the animation for the flying was incredible. Character design was also well done with all kinds of different dragons to look at. The final battle of the film, because you know there has to be one, was an impressive spectacle. I actually can’t think of a thing wrong with this movie. I swear that if nothing more interesting comes out within the next few weeks I’ll actually come up with the cash to see this in Imax. I need to experience this film one more time in the theater.
And yes, I think that Toothless is the cutest dragon ever…..but I still love my horror movies!
Under the marquee – Will