Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon

Title: How to Train Your Dragon
Author: DreamWorks Animation
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Adventure
My Rating: ****
Official Rating: PG
Age Group: 10+

Hiccup has a bit of a problem, and that doesn't even include his name (hey, it beats Fishlegs and Snotlout). See, Hiccup is a small Viking who really doesn't have anything in common with other Vikings aside from an awful name and living in a miserable place on a cliff. He can't even fight without getting himself almost killed. To top it all off, he doesn't really get the parental support he should have. See, his mom is dead. His dad is the chief of their little village. Which means he's tough and doesn't have much time for a son who isn't what everyone expects him to be.
All Hiccup wants is to be like everyone else. And that seems to be the only thing he can't do.
But when Hiccup captures the rarest dragon of all time, things change--for everyone. See, Hiccup doesn't kill the Nightfury. He feels bad for it and feeds it. Once you feed something, it never goes away. This thing needs help flying, and Hiccup steps up and does just that. He also learns all sorts of interesting bits of information about dragons.
Unfortunately, just when Hiccup has a change of heart, his dad does too. He decides to sign Hiccup up to be a dragon killer just like all the other Vikings and their teenage kids. This just proves Hiccup's point: his dad doesn't listen to him.
Hiccup also has another problem: a girl. See, he sort of gets in her way (the spotlight) by accident. Which is too bad, because he's got a crush on her. Then, she finds out his secret. What's he going to do with a girl who seems to have him, a dragon that's so mysterious all that is written in the dragon book is to hide and pray to the gods, and a dad who doesn't listen?
A lot, actually.

Word of Warning
  • The gods are mentioned, I believe two by name (Odin and Thor).
  • At least two characters have lost limbs but this is common in this society.
  • Hiccup's dad doesn't listen to him, but he really does try to turn things around. At one point, he disowns the boy.
  • Hiccup, lacking parental...anything, does whatever he pleases and disobeys his father at times.
  • Two siblings are constantly fighting.
  • This is the culture of warriors, so there are very few gentle characters. Those who are hide it. Characters get tossed around, fight violently with dragons, and so forth. All that can be expected from a war with dragons happens--except deaths of course.
  • Hiccup's dad gives him a helmet made from part of Hiccup's mother's breastplate. The other half is worn by Hiccup's dad.
  • There is a kiss on the cheek and one on the lips. All animated of course and quick as well.
  • In the midst of a life-or-death battle training sequence, Astrid falls on top of Hiccup and someone remarks "Love on the battlefield."
There were a few more smaller things, but these are the major problems, and even they aren't all that problematic.

My Thoughts
It's nearly impossible not to fall for Toothless, the Nightfury Hiccup captures. And how can one keep from looking at Hiccup and seeing self? It's also nearly impossible not to feel a little sore after laughing at a good portion of the movie. And as for Hiccup and his father, well, that should strike home even for those with a good relationship with their parents. Because doesn't everyone, at some time, feel like people just aren't listening? The beautiful part is that both father and son try hard to solve the problem, but their solutions just don't always go in the right direction. Eventually all is solved.
This is a great movie that should be watched over and over. It's funny, the animation is very well done, and it's got a great hits-you-right-there [insert single tear and little sniff here] story that leaves one feeling ready to burst after watching something that is full of such greatness.


Lurai said...

This was a pretty good movie! Glad you liked it, too. It's the one movie I've found that is better than the book...and that's just because I personally very much dislike the book. I feel like the movie had a far better plot and was well done. Yay for dragons and Toothless!

Maria Gianna said...

I am glad you enjoyed the movie too!
Personally, I am not a big fan of the books. Yet. Now, it might just be that I need to give them another chance, but I found the writing style a bit...irritating. So I agree with you there. Which is why I leave the review of that particular book to Stacy :)
Toothless was awesome. The animation, the personality, everything. He was just awesome.

Lurai said...

Yeah, I started in on the books after the movie and found them to be...erm...not my style. Toothless was beautiful, though I honestly didn't like the other dragons. That's probably because I have my own view of dragons, but honestly I felt like they could've done them with far more respect and awesomeness. Still, the dragons weren't supposed to be portrayed that way, so...I don't know. Toothless was awesome though!