Yes, it is another 3D film about a culture of people riding flying creatures? Well, Avatar was last year, this year we get How To Train Your Dragon. A hilarious film given to us by the solid team that gave us Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.
It’s a coming of age story of a young blacksmith assistant by the name of Hiccup, yeah, the name is explained in the movie. Growing up in his village he wants nothing more than to fit in but his more analytical mind and wiry frame tends to make him stand apart in his Viking community. When he sneaks away from his post to make a name for himself he ends up finding he doesn’t have whit it takes to be a part of the crowd. Instead he finds a way to show his people that everything they know about their enemy is wrong.
It really plays into the feeling a lot of people feel when they are stuck in a society that they don’t feel like they are meshed with. Do you make the choice to assimilate or standout? While designed to be a kid’s film the humor is not lost on the adults as they connect with their childhoods a bit.
Jay Baruchel voices Hiccup, before this year he made a career of being second or third best in all of his films. With the success of this and She’s Out of My League, we won’t see him stuck in the type casted careers of most character actors.
This film is chalked full of talented voices. Gerald Butler and Craig Ferguson original accents help create a foreign essence to the ensemble. While Jonah Hill, Kristin Wiig and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are familiar voices to keep the audiences feeling like they paid for a quality film.
The action sequences and comedy is top notch in this former children’s book turn feature film. While the dragons may have a comical look to the lot of them the designs and execution is creatively dazzling. At times you feel like you are a passenger in a fun video game but this is a lot like when your older brother would play for hours and you would watch.
Sometimes we go to the movies to escape the lives that we are currently a part of and enjoy the struggles and successes of someone else, in How To Train Your Dragon the DreamWorks animation team understands that. They provide us with the right balance of fantasy, humor and storytelling to make this film a must see.
Rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language.