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February 22, 2019

How To Train Your Dragon (2010) --- "One Adventure Will Change Two Worlds"

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     Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a Norse teenager from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. His progressive views and weird sense of humor make him a misfit, despite the fact that his father (Gerard Butler) is chief of the clan. Tossed into dragon-fighting school, he endeavors to prove himself as a true Viking, but when he befriends an injured dragon he names Toothless, he has the chance to plot a new course for his people's future. (1)

     Unlike Pixar films, DreamWorks films tend to be a hit or miss, I enjoyed Kung Fu Panda and Shrek but I was never a fan of Madagascar. Luckily their 2010 film How to Train Your Dragon was incredibly well done in all aspects of an animated film. The story, the animation, the characters, the music, everything about this film is done perfectly.
     The story oozes charm as it focuses primarily on the unlikely friendship between Hiccup, a young Viking seeking to distinguish himself within his small village of dragon killers, and Toothless, a young dragon. The entire story is based upon the development of its characters and how they learn from each other to be better then they are. The story’s life lessons are not anything we haven’t heard before but that doesn’t mean people can’t do with a good reminder. This is something that the story does wonderfully through the interactions between the old, battle-hardened warriors stuck in the past and the new generation of warriors look towards a better future.
     Although its been 9 years since its release, the animation still looks astounding today. The fire effects, flying scenes, and the construction of the characters still amaze me. In addition, the animation mixed with being a kids film allows for the animation team to create some interesting looking dragons, each with their own personality. The music by  John Powell is stirring and emotionally breathtaking. The flow of strings, the roar of bagpipes, and the pounding of percussion are what highlights this score even more.
     The voice acting was solid and fitting – Jay Baruchel (This is the End) as Hiccup, Gerard Butler (Geostorm, Den of Thieves) as Hiccup's dad, Stoick the Vast, America Ferrera (Superstore) as Astrid, Jonah Hill (Maniac) as Snotlout,  Christopher Mintz-Plasse (aka McLovin') as Fishlegs,  T.J. Miller (Ready Player One) and Kristen Wiig (Frozen 2) as the comical and sassy twins, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and last but not least Craig Ferguson (The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson) as Gobber, Hiccup’s mentor.

      Overall, How to Train Your Dragon (2010) is a charming and enthralling family film that adults and kids will enjoy. The story’s main goal is to focus on the development of its characters, which is something you don’t always see in a kids film but it is what makes it all the more enjoyable. The animation was amazing, the music score was breathtaking, and the voice acting was solid. Whether or not you’re a fan of medieval fantasy films, I believe that this film will still manage to leave you in awe.

"This is Berk. It snows nine months of the year, and hails the other three. Any food that grows here is tough and tasteless. The people that grow here are even more so. The only upsides are the pets. While other places have ponies or parrots... we have... dragons."
- Hiccup

Final Vote --- 8.2 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
Brave (2012)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)
The Croods (2013)
Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (2012)
How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
How To Train Your Dragon 3 (2019)
Ice Age (2002)
Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of  Ga'Hoole (2010)
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Madagascar (2005)
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Megamind (2010)
Minions (2015)
Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)
Over the Hedge (2016)
Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
Puss in Boots (2011)
Rise of the Guardians (2012)
Shark Tale (2004)
Shrek (2001)
Shrek 2 (2004)
Shrek Forever After (2010)
Shrek the Third (2007)
Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Turbo (2013)
Zootopia (2016)

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