How To Train Your Dragon is Dreamworks’ latest animated feature about a boy and his pet dragon (whose head looks like a Bulbasaur). There are many interesting dragon designs in this film, some scarier than others. There is also a group of kids that are training to become “dragon killers”.
One of these kids is Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), but he doesn’t want to kill dragons. Instead, he passionately trains a stray Night Fury (the most dangerous dragon known to mankind) that he had found, and they become the best of friends. Night Fury leads Hiccup to a faraway dragon’s nest, where he will discover a secret that requires him to take a side – dragon or human.
Amidst the abundance of epic dragon battles, there is always time for an innocent love story. The girl of interest here is Astrid (America Ferrera), a brave and aspiring dragon slayer. She is the only girl of any significance in the entire film, and is surrounded by a group of immature boys most of the time. Eventually, she falls for the skinny and dorky Hiccup and they even share a romantic night together similar to when Superman took Lois flying.
Animated films from Dreamworks tend to be too slapsticky for the adult enjoyment, but How to Train Your Dragon manages to balance out the childish jokes with the intense drama. The incredible score by John Powell is worth mentioning, most noticeable in some of the dragon riding scenes as well as the more intimate moments between Hiccup and Astrid. This film contains breathtaking locations and is very well animated, but it could have used more danger in the fight scenes.
There were times when I felt like I was watching Avatar or Titanic again, but How to Train Your Dragon is a more humanistic and believable film despite all the mythical creatures zooming around. It is also less bombastic than other Dreamworks offerings such as Shrek or Kung Fu Panda. The winning ingredient here is an amazing boy-and-X relationship that is comparable to that of E.T. or even T2. Also look out for Gerard Butler as Hiccup’s father, who provides the emotional core that children will relate to easily.