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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"How to Train Your Dragon"

Kids/Family, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Animation and Adaptation. Rated PG. 1 hour, 38 minutes.

Photo credit: Dreamworks Animation

How to Train Your Dragon movie poster

by Michael Handorf
handorf@comcast.net

Synopsis: An introverted Viking teenager befriends a young, wounded dragon he had originally intended to kill.

Review: I saw two 3D movies last Saturday (How to Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans), and How to Train Your Dragon was clearly the better 3D experience.

Hiccup (voiced by Baruchel) is the son of the Viking leader Stoick (voiced by Butler). Hiccup isn't a typical Viking teenager - he spends his time inventing devices while wishing he were out killing dragons. After all, killing dragons is what Vikings do, and Hiccup wants to impress his father.

One evening the village is attacked by dragons, and Hiccup rolls out a device he built that resembles a crossbow with a bolt that includes a net-like device. He actually strikes a ‘night fury', one of the most elusive and feared of the various dragon species.

He heads out to track down his kill, but finds instead a tangled, wounded dragon. Hiccup can't bring himself to finish off the dragon. He cuts the net's bindings and the dragon springs to action, pouncing on Hiccup, but doesn't hurt him.

Hiccup realizes that the dragon's tail has been injured, preventing it from flying home. He crafts a makeshift tail replacement and, after gaining the young dragon’s trust by feeding it, attaches the prosthetic tail and begins 'training' the dragon to fly using it.

While Hiccup is training his dragon, his father allows him to enroll in the village’s dragon fighting training course. Hiccup excels, but not due to his athleticism or innate fighting skills, but rather from the various things he has learned about dragons from interacting with his dragon, which he’s named Toothless.

The story is entertaining enough, the animation is solid and the 3D technology is leveraged much more effectively than in the recent Clash of the Titans or Alice in Wonderland films.

I think the film was rather enjoyable, and it should be appropriate for children who are older than 3.

Overall rating: B

 

Graphics credit: Dreamworks Animation

A scene from How to Train Your Dragon.

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

How to Train Your Dragon is a story about a teenage boy, Hiccup, and his father, Stoick, who hunts dragons in the Age of Vikings. These vikings hunt and slay dragons. As a way of life, killing dragons is everything. It is prestige.

Hiccup is forced to go to dragon-slaying class by his big, burly Viking father to learn how to kill them. However, Hiccup doesn't fit in with the rest of these violent Vikings. But in an attempt to impress a girl, Astrid, he tries to catch the Night Fury dragon, which he does. But when it comes time to kill him, he has a change of heart and can't bring himself to do so.

When the Night Fury falls out of the sky, Hiccup notices that his wing has broken off. He slowly approaches him and pets him and realizes the dragon is not as mean as he thought he would be. He names the pet dragon, Toothless, because he has no teeth. He searches around and tries to fix his wing and attaches it to his body. The dragon flies again.

The tribe eventually finds out where the dragons have their nest. They go there and attack the dragons. The dragons fly out with a fist of fury.
Hiccup turns their world into a tailspin as he convinces the tribe that they don't need to be dragon slayers after all.

Gerard Butler is the voice of Stoick, the father. Craig Ferguson is the voice of a grumpy warrior and America Ferrara is the voice of Astrid.

The movie is directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders and will be coming to theaters on Friday, March 26, 2010.

I would recommend the movie because it has a good storyline and you will root for Hiccup and his dragon in the end.

Overall rating: B

 

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