How to Train Your Dragon, an Adequate but Unremarkable Animated Tale


How to Train Your Dragon
Directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
Paramount Pictures
Opens March 26

The 3-D wasn't working at the screening I attended, but, honestly, it would take several more dimensions to craft something special out of this adequate but unremarkable animated tale of a skinny Viking nerd-boy (voiced by Jay Baruchel) named Hiccup who befriends fire-breathing dragons, hoping to impress his father (Gerard Butler), a beefy Norseman with a Glasgow accent and triceps like tree trunks. Based on a children's novel by Cressida Cowell and directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon struggles to rise to the challenge of hitching a red-blooded fantasy action-adventure to a huggy-kissy message that covers all antiwar and eco bases. Father and son, though inevitably scheduled for reciprocal self-actualization (brain, say hello to brawn, and vice versa), spend much of the movie at loggerheads because junior would rather fly around on, instead of slay, his newfound scaly friend, whose cute, big poonim bears an incongruous resemblance to the critter from Lilo & Stitch. Intentionally or not, all of the dragons are built more for stand-up comedy than for terror, which means that aside from two fine battle scenes that bookend the movie, we have to make do in the drama department with the wan love that blossoms between Hiccup and a feisty young Vikingette voiced by America Ferrera. Better is some funny business when fledgling killers-in-training meet baby dragons-in-training, supervised by the deliciously hectoring voice of Craig Ferguson.

My Voice Nation Help

Wow... They call you a top critic on Rotten Tomatoes, and yet, this is the worst observation of this movie I've ever seen. Hiccup doesn't use his talent of befriending dragons to impress his father, he learns how to deal with dragons without hurting them. For example, he would sedate them, or "knock them out" so to speak, and that's what impressed his father, not the fact he befriended them. Also, it's Icelandic, not Norse. Even I noticed that and I'm not a critic. Well, of course Toothless would probably bear a vague resemblance to Stitch... It's probably because the creators of both movies were thinking about ANIMALS when creating those characters. That is all I have to say about how wrong and ignorant you're review is... You might want to brush up more on a movie before reviewing.


@suept895 Not to mention that the head of character design for toothless IS the same artist who designed stitch, thus explaining the similarities.

I agree wholeheartedly though, this "top critic" is a quite a disappointment.


Now Showing

Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

Box Office Report

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!

Movie Trailers