How to Train Your Dragon

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How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Fergusen, Jonah Hill, Kristin Wiig

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Hiccup (Baruchel) wants nothing more than to be a famous dragon hunter. Unfortunately he lacks talent and attempts to make it up with contraptions that seem to backfire whenever he uses them. These failures have made him an outcast with his village and a disappointment to his courageous father (Butler). When the opportunity arrives for him to kill his first dragon, Hiccup inadvertently befriends one. Now he needs to convince the people in his village that these are not the dangerous and evil animals they’ve come to believe.

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This is a smart and funny animated feature that I really enjoyed. The voice acting is really good, and they chose the cast wisely. The actors include Baruchel and Butler as well as Craig Fergusen, Jonah Hill, and Kristin Wiig. Each of them fits in perfectly, and the dialogue plays to their strengths. Each of the characters also seems drawn for the actor who gives them their voice. They’re not caricatures, but the voices and characters just seem right for one another. The story is really well-written and this is a huge bonus for the film as well.

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The voices are only a part of the success of this movie. From a visual and audio standpoint the movie works nicely. The animation is pretty incredible and they bring the different dragons to life wonderfully. I’m always impressed at how much computer animators can do. This movie is another example of the warmth they’re learning to bring to their works. It seems that animation has come a long way from the cold plastic appearance of some of the earlier computer animation movies.

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This movie was pretty successful, earning two Oscar nominations. One was for Best Animated Feature Film and the other for Best Original Score. They didn’t win either category, but did take home hardware in other award shows. It’s one that the whole family can enjoy since it’s got a great story and a lot of laughs. If you like animated films, I would definitely recommend this one. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG

Running Time: 98 minutes

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14 comments

  1. This was a really cute movie, definitely a family favorite. I was really impressed with the animation on this film as well, and thought it was really cool how Toothless the dragon had an almost cat-like appearance.

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    1. I think it’s one of three of their films that I would place at that level. The other two being Shrek and Kung Fu Panda. Still, Pixar has something going for them that DreamWorks only figures out once in a while.

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  2. I wasn’t as enamored with Kung Fu Panda as most. As for Shrek, it has the humor of the fractured fairytale down, but it has none of the depth of Pixar or Dragon’s stories.

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    1. I think you’re right about Shrek. I guess it was just a big turning point for movies like that since it was so unique at the time of its release.

      How to Train Your Dragon is a better movie than Kung Fu Panda, but I still loved that one.

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