How to Train Your Dragon Review


How to Train Your Dragon

(98 minutes, Rated PG)

How to Train Your Dragon

In anticipation for the sequel, I thought it was finally time to stop procrastinating and see How to Train Your Dragon. The beloved Dreamworks Animation flick has a huge following that are clamoring to get a glimpse of the upcoming sequel. Now, its biggest detriment is that the film is lacking a plot; village screw-up Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who happens to be the son of the burly town leader Stoick (Gerard Butler), has been working his whole life to be accepted as a ‘dragon-slayer.’ Low and behold, in one of his attempts to prove himself, he finds out that the dragons are not as evil as once thought. Hiccup then sets off a chain of events that lead to a spectacle of an ending.

As anyone can see there is not much of a plot to How to Train Your Dragon; basically, it is a series of events that transpire as a direct or indirect result of the protagonist. Unlike most DreamWorks Animation films, which are mediocre, the audience can ignore Dragon’s countless problems because it is a fun movie: anyone can tell that a lot of heart went into its production. But it does have some weird problems that took me out of the picture; while I am not expecting Pixar’s authenticity, the fact that the accents are all over the place annoyed me at first. However, this is nitpicking and the movie develops a self-aware nature that constantly pokes fun at issues like this.

How to Train Your Dragon

Furthermore, even with the lack of a plot, the picture has a fairly predictable storyline. It hits every story beat that the audience expects; however, where Pixar’s Brave was authentic, it lacked heart, which made its incredibly clichéd and throwaway storyline unbearable. On the other hand, How to Train Your Dragon wallows in the fun and it seems that all the parties involved truly cared about the product. Viewers know that the end will have Hiccup and his father Stoick embracing, but the deep emotional impact of  these predictable scenes is why this stands above poorer DreamWorks entries.

Furthermore, even with the lack of a plot, the picture has a fairly predictable storyline. It hits every story beat that the audience expects; however, where Pixar’s Brave was authentic, it lacked heart, which made its incredibly clichéd and throwaway storyline unbearable. On the other hand, How to Train Your Dragon wallows in the fun and it seems that all the parties involved truly cared about the product. Viewers know that the end will have Hiccup and his father Stoick embracing, but the deep emotional impact of  these predictable scenes is why this stands above poorer DreamWorks entries.

How to Train Your Dragon

It also helps that this film is visually stunning; between the end spectacle and even the normal village scenes, the computer-generated animation is virtual eye-candy. DreamWorks very rarely rivals Pixar’s animation, but How to Train Your Dragon will visually go ‘toe to toe’ with Pixar’s best; yet, as previously said the actual story is what lowers this movie. And while it is unfair to compare it to Pixar, even if everyone does, its clichéd story puts it more on the level of Monster University than the brilliant Wall-E.

It also helps that this film is visually stunning; between the end spectacle and even the normal village scenes, the computer-generated animation is virtual eye-candy. DreamWorks very rarely rivals Pixar’s animation, but How to Train Your Dragon will visually go ‘toe to toe’ with Pixar’s best; yet, as previously said the actual story is what lowers this movie. And while it is unfair to compare it to Pixar, even if everyone does, its clichéd story puts it more on the level of Monster University than the brilliant Wall-E.

How to Train Your Dragon

As anyone can see, How to Train Your Dragon is far from perfect, but it makes up for its imperfections with charisma and pure fun. While it will never be one of my favorite animated features, it is the most fun I had with a DreamWorks picture since Shrek 2. So I would highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen it, especially if you are planning to see the sequel.

7/10

7:10

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And if you want to support my terrible habit of writing, please click on the Amazon links below to purchase DreamWorks products. If you do that, I receive a percentage of all transactions.

Amazon

Amazon Buy: How to Train Your Dragon (DVD)

Amazon Buy: Dragon Merchandise

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