• The_Fifth_Echo20 June 2010
    One of the most Breathtaking Animated Films of all time.
    I watched How to Train Your Dragon about 5 times now, and it never gets boring. It actually keeps on getting better and better with with more and more views. This is a huge accomplishment for DreamWorks Animation, it might actually be its Best Animated Feauture it yet. It is an amazing experience to watch this film in Cinema. The 3D is amazing and at times Breathtaking. I may of had the most fun that I've ever had in Cinema watching How to Train Your Dragon.

    The script is really good and is has a lot of dramatic depth. This movie is for everyone. Adults and Kids will enjoy it equally and will love it at the end. This movie will probably become a series like Shrek. But I'm hoping this film doesn't get bad sequels like Shrek 3 and Shrek Forever After. Anyways this film will be most recognized for its beautiful animation.

    10/10 Highly Recommended
  • velvet_remedy14 March 2010
    Genuinely superb and a step forward in 3D films
    HTTYD is the latest in a run of animated 3D films to hit the family market. One might be forgiven for feeling a little weary of this genre as the big production studios churn out one "action-packed film with a cute central character and some pretty effects" after another. But wait...

    HTTYD stands apart from these other attempts for a number of reasons. First, the 3D (Odeon digital in this screening) is moving more toward the subtle with fewer "gratuitous" 3D moments than in movies like Bolt and Coraline. As 3D becomes a staple of high street cinema, directors seem to be finding 3D to be more about adding depth rather than a brief focal-point. That's not to say that there isn't effective use of the 3D wow-factor here; it's just not all the film has to hold attention.

    Second, a cast of voice talent that does not demand too much consideration of the man/woman behind the microphone is refreshing. Baruchel is not over-playing the sugar or the heroics and, as much as an animated character can be, he is believable and as three-dimensional as the visuals. Butler is not greatly stretched here but manages to stay just the right side of a Mike Myers impression so as not to annoy. How many kids will now think the Vikings were a fearsome race of Americans and Scots? Oh, well!

    Third, the plot and dialogue. You may not know the plot and I won't spoil it now. It is straightforward stuff but the pace keeps it interesting for kids and the grown-ups. Younger children may be upset at times and I heard a sob or two at the emotional moments. Nothing too heavy here though, it's just a well-written script with as many actual laughs as I have seen in a kids' film.

    This is one of the best films so far in this prolific genre and it has been made with passion rather than thrown together to cash-in on the thirst for these films, right now. I would urge all ages to see this film in 3D as the textures are extraordinary and you can't help but be charmed by it all.
  • Teodora Dumitrescu20 March 2010
    Wonderful movie, a must see 3D
    I saw the trailer and I enjoyed it but I was afraid that all the good parts from the movie will be there and that will be all, like it was with many films lately. That was certainly not the case. There are way better parts that were left to be discovered and I definitely congratulate the choice.

    I didn't read the book, so I don't know the story, witch might have suffered, as stories usually do from books to picture, but I think a writer couldn't hope for a better image, better portraits of characters, especially the black dragon who one definitely falls in love with - the mimic and the gestures and the face expressions, so complex and real.

    I agree it's not the kind of movie that makes you keep thinking too much once it's finished bot it's not meant to be. It's just lovely, from the beginning to the end, I really laughed and I was anxious for the characters when they suffered (and I'm 22). The film wasn't too long, it didn't have stupid lines whatsoever and it put to silence the annoying child behind me from the first five minutes or so, which I believe says it all.

    I don't know if I will actually go to the cinema but I definitely want to see it again.

    Great special effects and, again, a very lovely dragon.
  • movietaster3 April 2010
    Most moving, spiritually enriched 3D movie you have ever seen!
    I am not at all interested in dragons and all such fantasy creatures. I don't like children movies with all their stupid messages. I saw this movie rather just to pass the time than to watch it for its sake. And Whoa! I was drawn in this river in first 5 minutes. And what a experience it has been! Right from the start as the narrator describes his world, you are immediately there. You feel yourself in the characters place. The movie does that for you. This is very uncommon movie and it has set a milestone for 3D, not because of its technical aspects, but because of the Depth this movie has. This movie is as much for a 7 year old as it is for an old man who has seen a lot of life. This movie will entertain each viewer in his own way. This is a masterpiece! This movie isn't what it sounds on the surface. It has layers of meanings attached to it. Look at just the title: How to train your Dragon!. If you see it carefully you will notice that there is more to it than meets the eye. Watch the movie and you will know what i mean. This movie cleverly comments on Human Fear, War, Friendship, prejudices, courage, Love. ........................... Don't miss this movie or you will miss one of the few periods when you really LIVE. Note: Just remember to carry your heart with you when you see this movie. It will fill your heart with nothing but what should truly belong there. 10/10.
  • tollini8 March 2010
    Truly Moving Picture
    Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this film in early March, of 2010 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture "…explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.

    It's in 3-D and it's gorgeous animation. But what really matters is the story. And it's a good one. At first it seems the main story is about a Viking colony equally distant from nowhere, which is being constantly attacked by a wide variety of marauding dragons. It's a full time job trying to keep the dragons at bay and the Viking warriors are often out on their boats hunting their wily and ferocious opponents.

    But really the story is about a father and chief of the Vikings who has a young son, Hiccup, who is small and who is a slick, sarcastic talker and who doesn't take orders well, but still seeks respect from his impressive father. At first, his Father will not let his son be a warrior Viking, but later relents to have Hiccup train with the other youngsters. But the young boy gets sidetracked and instead of wanting to kill dragons, the boy befriends them and seeks to understand them.

    A young and inexperienced son seeking approval of a strong father is an often-told tale. Sons often act foolishly trying to impress their fathers. And fathers often ignore the strivings of their sons. In this case, there is honor and courage on all sides and it is inspiring to watch the father and son wrestle with their relationship.

    And yes, about the dragons – they ARE ferocious and talented and aggressive warriors. But their motivations are a mystery that unfolds slowly. And that's the fun of this film.

    FYI – There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
  • Simon_Says_Movies12 April 2010
    Will enamour kids and enthrall adults
    With a somewhat unwieldy tile and the lack of the winning Pixar storyline that has dominated the Oscars for a decade, Dreamworks animations latest could have been a clunker. Not only is How to Train Your Dragon the best film of the year so far, but it even eclipses the quality of last years duel academy award winner Up.

    The latest 3-D film to fly into theatres in so many weeks is also the best of its format (story wise), making Burton's overblown misfire Alice in Wonderland look even more pitiful. Dragon will no doubt enamour kids (excuse the cliché) of all ages while keeping parents not only awake but equally enthralled. This movie is sure to tug the hearts of anyone who has ever loved a pet and will undoubtedly draw tears from those who are so inclined.

    The texture that can be created from today's CG technology never ceases to amaze. Consider a beautiful tracking shot of a downed dragon where the twisted wing that protrudes towards the screen is actually out of focus, as if you yourself were staring awestruck at the giant lizard that lay before you in real, tangible life. I did not have the pleasure to viewing How to Train Your Dragon in 3-D but I have heard great things and even without having paid a surcharge the film does in no way suffer as a result. The narrative, visuals, writing and voicework is ample reason to seek out Dragon and frankly is the real heart of the movie anyways.

    On the Island of Berk, the Viking community that lives there does not fear a rival tribe, the weather or disease but rather a much more toothy threat: dragons. Nightly raids by the winged beasts have forged a great hatred upon the tribe and led by the aptly named Stoik the Vast (Gerard Butler) they wage war with the intent to rid themselves of dragons once and for all. This is not a feeling shared by Stoik's scrawny son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) who favours non-lethal tactics as much as he does blacksmithing. Much to Hiccup's surprise, during one of the aforementioned raids he is able to down a dragon with one of his contraptions. Intent on proving his manhood to Stoik, he seeks out to find the dragon know as a Night Fury but finds himself unable to slay his scaly foe. So begins an unlikely and forbidden friendship with the later named Toothless that follows a time-tested but absolutely rewarding arc that is as enthralling as it is touching.

    Joining Butler and Baruchel, both of whom give excellent performances (with Butler recapturing some of his 300 mojo), are the likes of Craig Fergusson as the Viking blacksmith, America Ferrera as the feisty object of Hiccup's affections and a whole slice of the Apatow gang including Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Jonah Hill as other young warriors. Much like WALL-E, Toothless exhibits oodles of personality and is endlessly endearing. To achieve this level of depth is perhaps even more impressive due to the fact that he never utters a word and must emote through non-verbal means.

    Along with Kung Fu Panda this movie represents the highest ilk of the Dreamworks repertoire and that is not a backhanded compliment by any means. Like Panda, there are thrilling and well choreographed action sequences to compliment the heart, and plenty of humour to keep this from becoming too much of a dramatic slog for younger theatre goers. Teenager or adult, fan or animation or not if you like truly good cinema, you will not be unsatisfied by How to Train Your Dragon.

    Read all my reviews at simonsaysmovies.blogspot.com
  • DICK STEEL18 March 2010
    A Nutshell Review: How to Train Your Dragon
    If this is done following the same old beat up formula that Hollywood sticks to with regards to animation, then the dragons will be yakking non-stop. Thank goodness that this film, directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, avoids this like the plague, and

    Jay Baruchel voices Hiccup, a viking kid who happens to be more brains than brawn, more scrawny than buffed, and this of course sets him apart from the rest of his warrior clan folks, who are battle scarred from the constant defense of the village pests - dragons who come from afar to plunder their livestock and setting their houses on fire, so much so that every house on the block is relatively brand new. Wanting to help out in any way he can, he's deemed more of a liability than an asset, especially when even his dad Stoick (Gerard Butler) cannot appreciate his unique, technical talent.

    In a stroke of uncanny luck, Hiccup downs a flying dragon in the heat of battle, and his compassion meant to set the dragon free, rather than trying to prove himself to be a worthy viking man by killing it. And it's a rare specimen of a dragon too, which would have brought him instant glory. So a bond between man and mythical beast gets struck, and christened as Toothless, this is one pest who slowly grows into a pet, with Hiccup's secret rendezvous resulting in growing appreciation for the species, despite what the knowledge that his kinsman had compiled into a Dragon compendium which details facts all ending with an advisory on compulsory annihilation.

    The story here is the strength of the film, being witty, smart but never condescending nor insulting the intelligence of the audience. While most characters are caricatures, especially Hiccup's peers, a lot of effort have been put into creating the leads as multi-dimensional and full of heart, and I enjoyed how the characters are so open to their emotions, that it becomes a lot more real than the photo realistic 3D animation and effects. Sure there's the usual father-son misunderstanding and expectations, and how a zero turns to hero, or even the theme of fearing something that we don't fully comprehend, but it's the manner in which the usual got delivered, that made all the difference. Especially so for its anti-war stance, that all it takes is a little step back from the common battle-cry, and instead seek to be understood, by holding out an olive branch, and to understand first.

    For those who enjoy the mythology of the dragon creature, there are a number of ideas thrown up in the film that would make you nod in appreciation how these got conjured up for the film, and they worked wonders, even though they may be a tad predictable plot wise. And I'm betting that a lot of folks out there will take to Toothless, thanks to its "stitch"-ish design similar to Lilo and Stitch (since it's co-director Chris Sander's previous work) and huge saucer like eyes, plus a lovable demeanour built into the character that's always apprehensive, and mischievous. Being the creature that has no track record also helped, since it ropes you into a journey of friendship, bonding and discovery with Hiccup as to how powerful his new found friend can be, not to mention how symbiotic their relationship will evolve into as well.

    Action junkies will find the action sequences in the film faultless, and the 3D got specifically crafted for certain set action pieces that really had me ducking for cover, for once. Fights are incredible, and always accompanied either by humour that worked without the feeling that it was deliberate nor just tried too hard, coupled with the comedic voice talents such as Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

    How to Train Your Dragon is similar to last year's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Long titles, great story, beautiful animation and a total delight. Highly recommended, and it goes into my list as contenders for best films of this year!
  • axel_foley15 March 2010
    this is why you go to the movies
    incredible! certainly the front runner for the best animated film of the year. from the first to the last frame this film is as good as an animated film gets on almost every level. beautifully written, designed and executed. though an incredible movie, it's not quite perfection - probably due to time and budget limitations (is there ever enough of either?). that said, the problems i had are far too few to mention. if dragon doesn't absolutely slay at the box office i'll lose faith in middle America.

    congrats to the filmmakers - you've made a masterpiece and you made me feel like a kid again. thank you.
  • kevinkeanmurphy23 March 2010
    Hiccup a young Viking befriends Toothless, a young dragon.
    Hiccup a young Viking befriends Toothless, a young dragon. This is the best movie I've seen since the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Virtually everything about it is wonderful. Rarely have I been so drawn in to an animated movie. The 3D aspects are thrilling and the movie has a great story, amazing animation, non stop action and a positive and constructive message. It made me want to go out and get a pet dragon. This movie is perfect for people of all ages. Now I know what a feel good movie is. This movie will make everyone feel good. Congratulations to all who contributed to this amazing film. It will make toy dragons a popular gift item. Hope to see it again and again. 3D at it's best.
  • Ricardo B.2 January 2011
    Great fun, even for adults
    Here's an animated movie that has everything it should have, an inspired, but simple story without jokes intended for the adult parents who have to sit with their kids in the theater. In "How to train a dragon", it is the majestic artwork that keeps the viewer engaged, with a mix of funny, colored characters and a less heavy handed screenplay than those of pixar. In some ways that should detract from the movie, but somehow it all works into great fun that takes a grown man back to the fun of childhood.

    Simple, beautiful and a lot of fun.

  • Saber21 March 2010
    a definite must see
    This has to be one of the best films I've seen with my family.

    The characters came to life and was instantly hooked.

    I've young children and they hardly flinched throughout. The draw to the screen was virtually magnetic.

    A definite must see for all the family, and the 3d version bought it to life, totally!!

    The story was well written, even though I must admit the start was a bit slow, but all in all well done dream-works. You've another winner on your hands here.

    p.s. can't stop talking about it, and its been a week since I've seen it- I can see Oscars in the not too distant future.
  • zhd0514 March 2010
    Visually Stunning
    An animated feast for the eyes is a brilliant description for this film. From the jaw-dropping visuals beautifully rendered in 3D, to the flawless animation of the characters and dragons, this was one film that didn't disappoint.

    Our protagonist is Hiccup, a boy viking who doesn't possess much in common with his dragon slaying dad. However, when he finds a new friend in Toothless, the most feared dragon of its species, he learns that dragons are not the fearful creatures he was brought up to believe.

    What I enjoyed the most was the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless the dragon. This was dealt with wonderfully and we see their relationship develop over a series of scenes which were done with great humour and action.

    The 3D holds its own in every sense, and I would go as far as saying that some scenes rival the groundbreaking Avatar. The scenes that especially stood out were the flying segments where the dragon soars over crystal clear sea's and jaw-dropping backdrops.

    Whilst this is a film that may seem as if it's solely directed at the younger generation, its stunning visuals and well-told story means that it will keep any adult satisfied.
  • Mina Louis3 November 2010
    A heartfelt movie with a beautiful message
    There are a lot of excellent reviews out there, I will just discuss a single point. What got to me the most in this movie is the message I got out of it, I got it from a single line uttered by the hero and it just burned in my memory, it's about how when we look deep in the eyes of our enemies -the ones we fear the most- we will see that they are afraid of us just as we are afraid of them, we might realize their humanity and that they are not what we thought, monsters.

    This is definitely one of the best 2 animation movies this year, with Toy Story 3 being the other one, tough job for the academy awards this year, and hope this is the case every year.

    It's nice to see beautiful animation movies challenging Pixar's, it definitely benefits the viewer the most. How to train your dragon - Highly Recommended.
  • Micz Kicz12 September 2012
    If you feel that Toy Story and Shreck are missing SOMETHING IMPORTANT - this movie is for you
    It's far better then all those Shrecks, Toy stories, Ratatoulies, Puss in boots, Mega-minds and other "renewing" concepts. Why? It's simple and honest. This movie doesn't TRY to be funny, modern, super-wise, and "for all". It's not one of those "hey-let's-make-a-movie-about-cat-who-is-a-super-spy" concepts. This movie JUST tells the simple yet very good story in the most proper way.

    I have seen a lot of 3D animated movies - American, European, Asian. This one hits 10 in my opinion, because it's by far the most complete vision enclosed in a 3D animated form. But - in addition - it's a pure fairy tale in the core. And I mean PURE - from the cores of fairy-telling, which is the most polite, elegant way of TEACHING important stuff. I think that 3D movie is not only craftsmanship behind creating artificial environment, animating believably, lighting sets with care, etc., etc. Like any other movie - it should be a well told story, which will left you ...CHANGED a bit (that's what fairy tales do, right?) Only those kind of stories will matter in your life. Rest is just "fun".

    'How to train your dragon' is a modern fairy tale. It's modern because - like other mainstream 3D movies - it's excellently crafted. We have here great animation (Toothless, the dragon is "made of life", so to speak - you actually just want to HAVE one), lighting and cinematography (splendid flight scenes, which take your breath away, and make you climb your chair), effects, etc.... But it's a fairy tale because - above all that - we have here a master degree directing by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders too. All those decisions made by them - from very basic (like the look of Toothless and other characters, or editing), to more important (like balancing the amounts of fear, sadness, seriousness and fun tones in the story) are marks of wisdom. And those decisions made a difference between this movie and "the rest". Those decisions crafted a SOUL in it. And achieving this "soul level" should be a goal of every director.

    Summing up: great movie in at least two aspects. Technically (character design, animation, cinematography, editing) and emotionally (great simple story with surprisingly 'non-hollywoodish' wise moral, fantastic heart-touching score by John Powell, and mature directing which guide you to be changed a bit after watching).

    Best achievement in 3D storytelling since Euclide :)
  • drakula200531 March 2010
    More mature than "Shrek"-probably one of the best animated features ever made.Worth seeing
    This was one of the moments, when you feel so overwhelmed by a movie, that you want to see it again immediately.And when i think of how the whole movie-going began-a theater, full of annoying, noisy kids, 3-th graders mostly.

    But in the end, you realize you haven't spent any time listening to them, because you are so fascinated by the movie.You feel you are alone in the otherwise overcrowded theater.This feeling is very precious and when you realize it, you know you loved it.

    The whole idea is very interesting-alternate Dragon-fighting times, an era of vikings and so many kinds of winged creatures.The main character, Hiccup, is the son of a mighty Dragon fighter-Stoick, who is the vikings chief as well.He wants to teach his son the Dragon fighting ways of the vikings, but the boy befriends one of the Dragons, a very rare kind, almost impossible to find.He names it Toothless and they are in for a lot of adventures.

    The movie is very fresh, but solid and strong as well.And considering it is an animation, the voice performances are very good.That is also important.But the truly strongest sides of the movie are the heart of the movie-it is really a moving picture, but i think, that the level of maturity of the movie is higher, than DreamWorks's previous efforts like "Shrek".It is more meaningful, and although it is a Dragon-fighting story it is more real than most of the studio's previous tries in this genre and definitely a step up in animation.The feelings, the emotions, that were expressed throughout made this animation such a memorable experience, and i'm sure, i won't be able to forget it, at least not soon.

    "How to Train Your Dragon" is a new, fresh, different start in the animation genre, with a lot of heart and emotions.I think, that's one of the best animations ever made.I recommend it to everyone-from parents with children to more experienced moviegoers and for the more mature audiences as well.

    "How to Train Your Dragon" is the best movie this year so far, and a honestly moving picture.An animation masterpiece!

  • mystywolf20 December 2010
    A different beast than the book, but still a powerful, entertaining film.
    Warning: Spoilers
    I read the book before this movie ever entered theaters. I could tell right from the start that the storyline of the movie had nothing to do with the storyline of the book (except for the names of a few of the characters involved). I am surprised the book even mentions that it is now a "major motion picture" considering you can hardly even compare the two.

    In the movie, the Vikings must defend their food and land from attacking dragons, and the young Vikings are trained to become dragon slayers. Hiccup, the chief's son, is a weakling and a screw up who desperately wants to show his father that he is worth something.

    When Hiccup ends up catching the only dragon no Viking has ever caught or killed, a "Night Fury," he is unable to slay the dragon and instead ends up training him and keeping him for a pet. His dragon, whom he calls Toothless, gives him insight into how dragons think, and he is then able to defeat all the dragons in the sparring ring quite easily without slaying them.

    Of course, when it is discovered that Hiccup is now able to fight dragons because he has one for a pet, he is ostracized from the clan. His father, who wants nothing more than to find the dragons' lair and slay all dragons, uses Toothless to find the lair. Little does he know that there is a very large dragon living there, and they must now defeat it, aided by the very dragons he grew to hate. In the end, Hiccup is victorious, gets the girl he loves (Astrid), becomes a hero, gains respect from his peers, and changes Viking life as they know it by making pet dragons commonplace.

    The book is called "How to Train Your Dragon" because the characters must do just that. In order to be considered a true Viking, the characters must go and get their very own dragon from the dragon lair and train it. Only the chief's son (Hiccup) is suppose to get a "monstrous nightmare" dragon, however, one of the other characters gets one just to spite him.

    In the book, the characters learn that the only way to really train your dragon (that the Vikings know of) is to "yell at it," and Hiccup tries everything imaginable to train his dragon, all while being taunted and humiliated by his peers. Dragons in the book are ornery and decidedly un-loyal, and are also small enough to perch on shoulders.

    Toothless in the book is a whiny, annoying character who refuses to be trained, and is called Toothless because he IS entirely toothless. In fact, Toothless in the book is the most pathetic dragon anybody has ever seen; scrawny with no teeth (and is also a "common green" type of dragon, which is the most basic dragon any Viking can have). Hiccup makes up a new species to call him so that he is not made fun of, and assures everybody that he has the rarest type of dragon anybody can have.

    In the ending of the book, the characters must fight two huge dragons (much like in the movie) and their trained dragons aide them. Hiccup becomes a hero by coming up with and executing a plan to slay the large dragons. There is no female character in the book called Astrid, and the other Viking children are much more developed in the book and play a larger role.

    Overall, both the movie and the book are thoroughly enjoyable, but anybody who has read the book must not compare it to the movie unless they want to be disappointed. The movie has a slightly cookie-cutter and predictable plot (hero messes up, hero wins respect and girl in the end), but is triumphant and humorous with likable characters and lovely animation. There are several tear-jerking moments in the movie, as well as many laugh-out-loud, witty jokes. Overall, this movie is one for the DVD shelf, and will be liked by both children and adults.

    I think anybody who saw the movie without reading the books will be in for a surprise if they pick up the book series, and anybody who read the books and sees the movie can appreciate both.
  • Daniel Maher17 March 2013
    An Animated Classic
    Warning: Spoilers
    Words cannot describe how well I feel about Dreamworks' 'How To Train Your Dragon'. This film is an animated marvel with a refreshing plot, a brilliant cast of characters and, in my opinion, the best animation ever showcased in cinema.

    OK, when I say that the plot of this film is refreshing maybe I should clarify. The story follows a boy named Hiccup. He and his tribe live in a mythical world of Vikings and Dragons, where the two clash on a regular basis. One day Hiccup actually manages to trap one of the creatures, a night fury to be precise, but simply can't bring himself to kill it. Eventually the dragon finds itself trapped and the boy begins to study it and uses his findings to soar to the top of his Dragon killing classes. And I don't want to spoil anymore so I'll leave it there.

    Now the story itself actually involves a lot, and I mean a lot, of clichés; the nerdy underdog who becomes the hero, the hiding of a pet their not supposed to have, the prejudice parent who will never listen, I could go on. However the pacing and the story is presented so well and executed so well that I didn't actual notice these the first time I watched it, I only realized when someone who really disliked this movie told me. But what really drives the story forward is how it is paced. Every time something happens you see the characters reactions, you see that the boy is learning something, you see that the characters relations are getting better or worse.

    The characters and their relationships are also a key driving force of the film. Whilst most of the ensemble are pretty much stereotypes many of them still have some genuine depth and emotion baggage, but let's look at them individually. The main character Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, is quite bland and predictably the hero, but is still understandable and has some great relations to other characters especially his father Stoik. Stoik, voiced by Gerald Butler, is a large, old-fashioned Viking who is somewhat disappointed in Hiccup and is given a brilliant and believable relationship with his son. Astrid, Gobber, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Ruffnut and Ruffnut are all roles in the film; the girlfriend, the mentor, the jock, the nerd etc. However they are all given a likable and witty personalities and there are genuine interests and investments in the outcome for them. I think the best aspect of these characters is the sheer likability, even the typical bully is still likeably mean.

    The animation in this film is beyond belief, seriously it may well be the best in animation history. Now the character designs are fantastic, nothing of a 'Spirited Away' quality but still great, especially on the dragons themselves. Every single one is uniquely designed, with unique abilities and unique personalities. The textures in this film look gorgeous and the overall animation has a beautiful cartoon style. Everything looks like a 3D rendering of a children's' cartoon with heaps of expression and it looks amazing. However the best part of the animation is the movement. The characters movements look great but the flying sequences have to be seen to be believed. You really feel like you are flying around the island of Berk with Hiccup and his Dragon, Toothless. I didn't see this film in the theaters, I actually saw it on Sky Movies, but I still found myself bank left and right with the Dragons. It has to be seen to be believed, I only wish that I could have seen this film in 3D in theaters, maybe even in Imax.

    The film however does have its' flaws. Many of the characters are very one- note and some of the plot clichés can be distracting in that you can predict many of the plot points and character developments. Also the reveal of the big villain near the end of the film is not predictable but lacks enough build- up or screen time to make it a brilliant aspect of the film and it really should have been. Maybe if there was some kind of legend or omnipresent enigma then the pay-off would have been significantly stronger. Also there is a very strong focus on the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless, which is a very strong relationship and one of the best aspects of the film. However the many side characters, in particular the teenagers needed a little more screen time to evolve them from mere roles and archetypes to genuine characters, especially the romantic angle, whilst Hiccup and the clear love interest do share several scenes together the actual romantic aspect isn't explored as well as it should have been. I think that if this film went on for a little longer and gave just a little more to these characters then maybe this film would have been perfect, but then again a select few films are so I can't hold too much against it.

    To me it is clear why 'How To Train Your Dragon' is such a popular animated feature. It has lovable characters, fantastic animation and a story both familiar and fresh. Although maybe some more time could have been spent in dealing with the characters and their relationships the film still stands out as, not only a brilliant animated kids film but as a great film in of itself.

    If you see it in a store, online or on the TV then I would definitely give it a watch, you won't be disappointed.
  • Claudio Carvalho3 June 2011
    Delightful Animation with a Wonderful Message of Friendship, Intolerance, Misjudgment, Peace and Harmony
    In the Viking village of Berk, all the houses are new since the dwellers are in permanent fight against the dragons. The leader Stoik the Vast is unsuccessfully trying to destroy the fearful Night Fury and locate the dragon's nest to destroy them. His clumsy and inventive son Hiccup works as a blacksmith and dreams on becoming a dragon killer.

    After a raid of dragons during the night, Hiccup uses the weapon he had invented and he hits the Night Fury. However, he has no witness and nobody in the village believes on his words. Stoik the Vast sails with the Vikings to look for the dragon nest and Hiccup decides to seek out the dragon in the woods, and finds it with a severed tail and can not fly again. Hiccup calls him Toothless and they become friends. The boy uses his skill and manufactures a prosthesis for Toothless and he leans how to control the flight of Toothless.

    Hiccup learns why the dragons attack his village and finds that his own people had misjudged them. But his great defeat is to prove his father how intolerant the Vikings have been against the dragon.

    "How to Train Your Dragon" is a delightful animation with a wonderful message of friendship, intolerance, misjudgment, peace and harmony. The directors and writers succeed in telling how important is to understand other people using the metaphor of the dragons in an original way and with an unusual conclusion. The message of this film is highly recommended for politicians, religious leaders, military intelligence and governors of the world. My vote is nine.

    Title (Brazil): "Como Treinar o Seu Dragão" ("How to Train Your Dragon")
  • xfgow10 April 2010
    Pure movie magic
    Warning: Spoilers
    What can i say, superb film: heads and shoulders above anything else I've seen this year. The 3D works brilliantly, you'll come out of this film truly believing that you can fly.

    The animation is excellent and the cinematography is so appropriate for this slightly darker animation.

    The opening sequence is brilliant - setting up all conflict, characters and setting at breathless pace and then quickly moving onwards to develop what becomes a surprisingly involved story of friendship, acceptance, love and believing in yourself!

    However, the dragon: "Toothless" is a standout feature of this film.. go to see it just for the scenes where he and Hiccup interact.

    SPOILER: One scene that stands out is where they learn to fly, the kinetic energy of that scene is unbelievably empowering, one of the few truly great examples of amazing cinema action in recent times.

    Some people complained that the side characters were underdeveloped, but I strongly disagree; if you watch closely, there's a lot more depth to them than you would have first thought.

    Only other complaint was that the vikings were Scottish, and their offspring American. But otherwise a fantastic feel good movie... I'll shut up now, leaving you to go see it (In 3D of course)
  • Paul Magne Haakonsen21 December 2010
    Awesome animated movie!
    I wasn't fortunate enough to watch this movie in 3D, though I wish that I had gotten around to doing it. I bet watching "How to Train Your Dragon" in 3D would be downright awesome. I sure enjoyed the movie tremendously in ordinary version.

    This animated movie was, simply put, fantastic. Next to the "Final Fantasy" animated movies and the "Resident Evil: Degeneration" animated movie, "How to Train Your Dragon" is without a doubt the best animated movie I have seen in a long, long time.

    The story told in "How to Train Your Dragon" is very likable and you immediately immerse yourself into the plot, because it is really such a good tale. Lots of adventure and warmth in the story, and it works so well.

    And the animation itself, wow! Simply fantastic. It looks so very good, lots of amazing details and very colorful. This is the way all animated movies should be, sparkling with colors and life.

    And the Night Fury dragon had so much character and personality, despite it didn't utter a single comprehensible word throughout the entire movie. I bet you will love him right away, I know I sure did.

    As for the cast, well voice cast actually, lots of really good names here. I especially enjoyed Gerard Butler in this movie, he has a very good voice that is well suited for voice acting. But also among the impressive cast was America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, and more. Lots of really nice voices to be found here.

    However, there is one downside to the movie, I am from Denmark, so the vikings are part of my heritage, and people here (and back then) didn't speak English with a Scottish accent. That, and that alone, was the only drawback of the movie. But it is a minor detail, and I looked past that. And as in going with the Scottish accent, why didn't Hiccup speak with that particular accent? And no offense to Jay Baruchel, but there is just something very annoying about his nasal voice. It just doesn't go well with me.

    But moving on, "How to Train Your Dragon" is definitely a movie that you just have got to watch in any way you can. This movie is amazing, and that is the end of that! Thumb up, way, way up for this masterpiece. It has entertainment value for children and adults alike.
  • Sa'ar Vardi27 March 2010
    The best 2010 release I've seen so far – and one of the best animated films to hit theaters in a very long time
    I remember watching the adorable Disney flick Lilo & Stitch at the theater back in the summer of 2002, after a truly exhausting week. The film - which tells the story of a small girl that befriends a wacky alien she mistakes for a dog - managed to put an enormous smile on my face, and made me forget of all my other worries for a while.

    While watching Dreamwork's new masterpiece, How to Train Your Dragon, I couldn't help but think about the similarities between both it and the aforementioned Lilo & Stitch. Toothless, the lead dragon character from the new film resembles the alien Stitch in shape as well as in behavior. Hiccup, the main human character which befriends Toothless despite warnings from his fellow Vikings, is a semi middle-age teenage version of the character Lilo. A trip visit to IMDb cleared things up for me - Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, the same people who directed the 2002 wonder (L & S) are behind the new and awesome How to Train Your Dragon.

    Fortunately enough, the similarities end here, and this is not a carbon copy of that film - even though the bottom line (tolerance toward people who are different, etc.) is the same. However, this new film takes place in the middle ages, in a small village which is repeatedly attacked by seemingly vicious dragons. Stoick (voiced by the almighty Gerard Butler) is the head of the village, a pumped up manly Viking who leads the counter-attacks against the fierce dragons. His teenage son, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), however, doesn't quite fit in. Unlike the older Vikings, who speak in an Irish accent, he sounds like your average American teenager. He's also skinny and small and not exactly the material Viking warriors are made of.

    After a nightly battle between Vikings and dragons, Hiccup discovers Toothless, a supposedly lethal dragon, which has lost its ability to fly after being injured in the fight. Without anyone knowing, Hiccup slowly gains Toothless' confidence, and the two gradually learn to know each other. After the primal fears disappear, they realize they actually have a great deal to learn about one another – and that friendship is always better than hostility. Soon enough, Hiccup trains Toothless and learns how to approach dragons in general, something that doesn't quite fit in with his father, friends, and the society he lives in in general. But when a greater threat reveals itself, the Vikings and the dragons discover their only hope is to put aside their prejudice thoughts and fight together – with Hiccup and Toothless being their best hope for victory.

    Bottom line – How to Train Your Dragon is a major victory for the guys at Dreamworks. The film is truly inspiring, with a story that feels self-contained and complete, one that doesn't need to rely on pop culture references to succeed (unlike many of their other products). After a long period of mediocre products (in my opinion) that pale next to their Pixar counterparts, Dreamworks Animation finally came out with the winning formula – which contains just the right amount of relatable characters and true emotions, stunning visuals (including Nordic landscapes and various species of beautiful dragons) and a 3-D element (that uses InTru technology) that really works for a change.

    Despite the similarities to Lilo & Stitch, I came out feeling that Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders actually managed to improve on their winning hit, and create the best 2010 release I've seen so far – and one of the best animated films to hit theaters in a long long time.
  • theycallmemrglass25 October 2010
    Soaring, Moving, Funny and Epic...Best Dragon Movie Ever!
    Dreamworks Animation films doesn't have the consistency of Pixar. Whereas Pixar's worst films are still "Very Good", when Dreamworks films are bad, they are often atrocious. But now and again, they churn out a movie of utter brilliance, that I end up being floored with shock and elation. Films such as Antz (which in fact was better than Pixar's A Bugs Life IMHO), Monster House and Kung Fu Panda spring to mind.

    So which category does How to Train Your dragon fit in? Well, since my review is very late on this board, amongst unanimously positive reviews, there will be no surprise in guessing that I put this in the utter brilliance category.

    From start to finish, this movie strikes a great balance of wit, action, drama, and character. This is high calibre entertainment with breathtaking visuals.

    The protagonist is your usual, unlikely hero, voiced with almost Woody Allenish wit. Though sometimes the voice sounds a little too old for the young animated counterpart but thats a small niggle.

    This is just quite simply tremendous animated entertainment, fast moving, thrilling and fun. The comedy is sophisticated, devoid of toilet humour, crass jokes. And absolutely no modern popcorn references which I generally hate, which even Pixar is sometimes guilty of.

    Both kids and adults will love this. Out of Dreamworks output, I rate this above Shrek, on par with Kung Fu Panda and just behind Monster House and Antz.
  • aileencorcoran1 July 2014
    How to Train Your Dragon
    Warning: Spoilers
    No story is truly original. That is a fact when it comes to writing. Each film you watch, every novel you read, every song you hear, all can be likened to similar tales from any medium. Of course, some stories are more common than others. None of this is an issue, once the execution is done right. It is rarely you see a film that tells an age old tale in such an inspired way, that it feels new again.

    This is the case with How to Train Your Dragon. Based *loosely* on the book of the same name, the CGI adventure is directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBois (Lilo & Stitch), and tells the story of a Viking teen named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel). Hiccup is weedy and nerdy, which ostracizes him from his peers and his father, Stoic (Gerard Butler), who happens to be the chief of their village. Berk, the aforementioned village, has been plagued for years by dragons, who steal livestock and burn down buildings. In order to gain the respect from the village, especially his father, Hiccup invents a machine to take down the most feared and rarest of all dragons – the Night Fury.

    Naturally, Hiccup manages to capture a Night Fury, but finds that he cannot kill him. Instead, he sets him free, and decides to study him. Meanwhile, Stoic tries to help his son mingle with his peers and gain confidence by enrolling him in dragon training. Hiccup meets the dragon in secret, and slowly befriends him, naming him Toothless due to his retractable teeth. The pair soon develops a strong bond, with Toothless even allowing Hiccup to ride him, with the help of a new tail fin that Hiccup makes. It is due to his friendship with Toothless that Hiccup realizes that everything Vikings believe about dragons is wrong. He now faces uncertainty when he becomes top of his class due to his sudden surge of dragon knowledge, and has to kill a dragon in front of the village, including his father, who knows nothing of his new friend. The story soon lies on a precipice; will Hiccup be able to forge a new era of peace, or is the life of his best friend in grave danger? What we have here, is two very common stories; the boy and his dog story, and the underdog tale. Such stories are so well worn, that not only are they staples in family entertainment (see Old Yeller, My Dog Skip, Teen Wolf, and many more), but they have been done so much that they can form a predictable narrative, and several clichés. However, the crew behind How to Train Your Dragon handle the story in such a way, that it feels like a new, crisp bed sheet. The characters are well rounded and wholly enjoyable, even Hiccup, with his nasally voice may poise an irritation for some. The other kids in the village are all voiced by massive talents, from T.J. Miller to Oscar nominated Jonah Hill, each who add so much character and life to such small roles. Gerard Butler is in fine, Scottish form as Stoic, and you can understand his plight with the dragons, and with his son; he lives in a culture where stature and strength is a major factor, he is the head of a village that is being bombarded by fire breathing beasts. The strained relationship he shares with Hiccup is one of respect and longing, and the time that is spent on them is just enough to show how much care and love is hidden.

    However, the most poignant relationship is between Hiccup and Toothless; the time and passion dedicated to nurturing their relationship is a wonder to behold. Their bond is obvious, and needs very few words to describe; the majority is done through the masterful animation, character interactions, John Powell's powerful score, and the perfect amount of pacing. It is clear to the viewer that boy and dragon have forged an unbreakable bond, and that is one of the film's most lasting and endearing points.

    A marvel on his own is the dragon himself. Toothless is the star of the film, with his Stitch like features and expressive eyes, and qualities that fall in tandem with mostly cats and a handful of dog, Toothless is a wonder of character and animation. With his little purrs and rumbling growls, and unique little mannerisms and movements, Toothless is a fine example of how one needs not a witty script to be one of the most memorable characters of recent memory. In fact, Toothless is rather funny in his own way, which is all done through his character animations and vocalizations.

    The animation still looks astounding today, six years after the film's release. The fire effects, flying scenes, the way Toothless spreads his wings, still amaze me. The only film that trumps it is the sequel, which eats this film's dust. But that's a review for another time; let's just say that both films are things of beauty, and represent how much animation has evolved. The music is stirring and emotionally breathtaking. Each dragon has its own personality, that even with short screen time, each feel like a real character. It is clear that much thought went into the overall feel and look of this film.

    How to Train Your Dragon is a fine example of how, when in the right hands, age old stories can be told anew. With a clever script, and emotionally resonant relationships and relatable circumstances, DreamWorks managed to produce what is easily a near masterpiece. This dragon doesn't just fly high, it soars.

    Rating: A1.
  • kgilroy13012 June 2014
    Great Effects and Better Than Expected
    This movie, I liked it. I usually don't enjoy watching movies set back into medieval times or the old ages, but this was great! The plot was amazing and understandable for children. The effects were realistic and you can tell they put a lot of work into this. I think this is Dream Works best imaginative movie, right next to Shrek. These type of movies lets kids have an imagination and they can believe. It shows them how fun it can be to have their own dream world. The movie wasn't too violent nor scary and it was good for any age. I highly suggest this movie.

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