How to Train Your Dragon… An Opinion My Reviews 26 APR 2010

I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.

How to Train Your Dragon is the latest computer animated film from DreamWorks Animation and tells the story of young Hiccup, a rather useless viking (but good at thinking boy) that aspires to follow in his tribe’s (and more importantly his father’s) tradition of becoming a dragon slayer, seeing how these pest continuously raid their small seaside hamlet. However, a chance encounter and an improbably scenario where one of his many gadgets actually worked, Hiccup actually manages to capture his first dragon, a rare Night Fury which he names Toothless, and over time manages to befriend it to a point where he no longer wishes for his tribe’s acceptance nor has the desire to kill dragons but rather save them.

Astrid and Hiccup share a moment

It really is the perfect kids’ story with more than enough content for us big kids to enjoy as well. Loads of fantastic, humorous character designs (and great bushy beards!) and a coming of age story to match, How to Train Your Dragon hits all those right spots of a little tension, lots of humour and a brilliant sense of wonderment and amazement as you get taken through what is a really enjoyable and not entirely predictable story.

The voice casting proves to be perfect with Jay Baruchel capably filling the shoes of the likeable viking wannabe Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and Gerard Butler as his long suffering father, the great Stoick the Vast, chieftain of the tribe. Even Ugly Betty star America Ferrera gets to ditch her Betty persona for a while, filling out the feisty character of Astrid Hofferson with great affect.

The animation is beautiful behold and the sense of movement and action is well captured on screen. At the same time, the very clever design of Toothless must be lauded, as the design team has managed to capture a remarkably likeable and friendly visage for this almost cat-inspired creature (you can seriously see that both the directors was behind Disney’s Lilo & Stitch though!) and one really struggles not to find this little black beast absolutely adorable! :)

So yes, I absolutely love this kids tale from those masters over at DreamWorks Animation. It’s a great, friendly story that drips with action, laughs and just a little drama as required by all good movies. It is animated in an extremely accesible style which looks good and flows well and to boot, it even sounds great.

It’s impossible not to like and so if you haven’t taken your kids to see it yet, what the heck are you waiting for!?

Viking Chief Stoick and his great big bushy beard take on a Dragon!

Hiccup takes Toothless for a spin!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.