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How to Train Your Dragon
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Whoa What A Movie!

10/10
Author: jonjonat from Australia
14 May 2010

This movie is what I call an animated classic! It is not only the best animated movie ever made but does the greatest job in movie film-making. Dragons of all ages will be delighted on how wonderfully told and acted a kids movie can really be. The dragons were very cute especially toothless and Hiccup the owner. His girlfriend was hot except she is much older than I am. For any Dragon lover or movie fan drop by at your nearest cinema and spend your money just to see this wonderful delight where there will be times where you may laugh and giggle have an awesome dragon ride and maybe near the end have a few tears running down your cheeks. Truly an epic classic animation and is very highly recommended.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pure entertainment.

8/10
Author: thesubstream from Canada
12 May 2010

The right combination of an appropriately awkward protagonist, a clever script with not a single pop culture reference, and truly remarkable animation (including 3-d flying scenes that trump anything in Avatar), made this flick a blast from start to finish.

A group of Scottish(??) Vikings live on a small island, stubbornly rebuilding their wooden homes after they are burned to the ground by the islands other inhabitants: dragons of myriad shapes and sizes that steal their sheep and raze their village. Over and over again. Beefcake adults with proved mettle act as dragon slayers, fighting off the scourge. The young, gangly Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) aspires, in his way, to join their ranks and prove himself to his father and Chief, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler). Short of brawn but heavy on brains, Hiccup invents a catapult type device, which he uses to bring down the legendary Night Fury, a dragon so notoriously fast and deadly that they've never even been seen with the naked eye.

When he finds the fallen dragon, injured and helpless in the tangles of his trap, Hiccup cannot bring himself to slay it and instead sets it free, thus starting one of the most endearing "boy and his pet" relationships in movie history. That night, two hearts change - Hiccup decides he doesn't want to become a slayer, while Stoick decides Hiccup deserves a chance. His father's will too strong, Hiccup reluctantly begins slayer training, where he will learn to bring down - and kill - the beasts.

The story is simple and straightforward; a zero-to-hero tale with few surprises (think Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Disney's Hercules, or the on-the-nose straight to video sequel Hercules: Zero to Hero). But the strength of the characters, humour of the script, and more importantly the remarkable execution of flying and dragon vs. dragon fight scenes make the film enjoyable throughout. Hiccup is an endearing protagonist, appealing to teen awkwardness and a desire for acceptance from both peers and family. The supporting cast is a good mix of headstrong and suitably jerky-come-friendly teenagers, while Stoick, as his name might suggest, is a strong but distant patriarch, making for one of the funniest "good talk" scenes between father and son.

The dragons are by far the best part of the film, which offers up a half-dozen or so of uniquely characterized beasts, including a two headed menace with one head that spews gas and another that acts as pilot light, and a giant spindly red dragon that tends to set itself on fire. Hiccup's pet dragon, dubbed Toothless (for his retractable razor sharp teeth), is clearly modeled after your dog (and everyone else's) and his puppy-like naiveté trapped in a sleek, pebbled, 30 foot frame will strike a chord with all pet owners. Oh, and he's also a major bad-ass black dragon that you can ride and he has laser-precise blue fireball action and is capable of speeds likely measured in "Mach"s and you want one. The flying scenes in this film are captivating and fun and represent some of the most engaging use of 3D technology I've seen.

How to Train Your Dragon is pure vicarious wish fulfillment, watering a seed planted in older viewers by The Never Ending Story, and likely planting one in younger viewers too young to remember Atreyu and Falkor. Endearing, enchanting, and engaging, a fun movie for anyone who ever wanted to ride a dragon. 8/10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Dazzling dragon delight

8/10
Author: Quebec_Dragon from Canada
2 May 2010

"How to train your dragon" is based on a humorous fantasy novel of the same name. I cannot compare the stories of the two but where the book has rather ugly pictures, the movie dazzles with amazing visuals. I think they would be great looking even if you didn't see the movie in 3d. It's not only the quality of the renders, it's the quality of the animation. I think it works best when the young viking Hiccup starts to interact with the fallen dragon. They are very lifelike and expressive even though the dragon does not talk. Later on, the flying sequences are not only spectacular but exhilarating. I had my doubts about the look of the main dragon (the one on the posters) but it managed to win my approval in both looks (a bit small though) but mostly personality wise.

There's lots of very dynamic exciting action in this movie and it's mostly done with a cheerful fun tone most of the time even though there's still danger. As I recall, there's no visible gore, dismemberments or even blood, making it very family friendly. However, despite that lack of "realism", I do think that adults will enjoy it a lot too. The story is not the most original (except for the original premise) but it's very well told, with good character development and has a fairly good morale for those into that. I think Gerard Butler voicing the viking chief is a natural for that kind of stoic warrior role. However, I would have preferred another voice for the teen hero as I found it sounding too old (the actor is in his late twenties). The rest of the voice cast is fine. My only other criticism is that there's a part of the ending that we've seen a hundred times before especially in kids movies and I would have preferred a little more originality there or at least see it better done because I didn't really buy into it. So, all in all, provided you still have a little bit of a kid's heart in you and are not allergic to dragons, it's likely you will have a great time watching this very entertaining movie.

Rating : 8 out of 10

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

'Sweeping, Action-Packed, and All With Plenty of Heart'

8/10
Author: beccad90 from United States
12 April 2010

Ah, good ol' Dreamworks. As their most successful-albeit overused-cash cow is the Shrek series; it's pretty hard to distinguish any other of their movies as gems. However, while a humorous approach has been taken to their movies, many of them have had different results. For example, the 2004 movie 'Shark Tale' was an utter disaster, while 2008's 'Kung Fu Panda' was funny as well as plenty entertaining. Their latest romp, 'How to Train your Dragon,' definitely falls into the same category as the latter, but also succeeds in distinguishing itself as a completely different movie.

Based on the book series by British author Cressida Cowell and directed by Disney alum Chris Sanders (Lilo and Stitch), the story centers around a young Viking lad named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel, whose nasal tone compliments him both physically and mentally) whose absent- minded ideas and wry sense of humor make him outcasted by other Viking teens, as well as shunned by his father, the mighty Stoick (Gerard Butler, also perfect). But, when one of his inventions actually manages to capture the mysterious Night Fury, he finds himself befriending it in secret, as well as learning from it to become the first 'dragon trainer.' But when he finds himself at odds with not only the town, but with the dragons themselves, he also finds himself with the key to making peace betwixt the dragons and Vikings.

The plot itself-even in a nutshell-is pretty enticing, but the trailer proved otherwise. It looked formulaic and joke-ridden from the first trailer, which made my skeptical side say, 'no way, Jose!' However, during the second trailer, I was reeled in. It was more dramatic, more depth defying, and definitely more plausible. From there, I was eager to see it…and, let me say, its money well spent.

At first, it seems that the plot is going to be a little formulaic. You know the story: The underdog, who everyone hates and can't seem to do anything right, proves the town wrong with his groundbreaking, but effective methods. That has indeed been done before, but, surprisingly, this plot enhances the story instead of slowing it down. Anything that seems to be a cliché only gives the story the wings to fly...excuse the pun.

The other big issue I had was with the side characters. No, I don't mean the brash, but helpful Gobber (played by a highly entertaining Craig Ferguson) or the beautiful, fiercely driven Astrid (America Fererra). I mean some of the other teens who are thrown into the dragon training ring with Hiccup, who is inept at first, but his friendship with Toothless helps him make his way up. Anyway, I thought that these four teens: The pigheaded jock, Snotlout (Jonah Hill, another cash cow), the adorable, girth-wide nerd Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz- Plasse, aka Superbad's McLovin), and, my personal favorites, the jugheaded, head-butting twins Ruffnut (a gravelly-voiced Kristen Wigg) and Tuffnut (A snarky TJ Miller). The latter have become a cult following that is huge in the online and fandom communities, much to the moviegoer's surprise. However, in the movie, these teens are only here to serve as the play- it-by-numbers obstacles that our main hero has to overcome on his own, though there are definitely more pressing issues. I would have liked to see more of them in the film, despite the fact that they might take away from the story. It just would have been nice to see someone sympathize with Hiccup.

Oh, and one more thing-the dragons, man! All of them also have different types and personalities, which I think is kind of awesome. The flying scenes are pretty cool too, described by many to make 'Avatar' jealous. There's a lot to look at, so why not? Overall, this movie has more heart than most of their works (Save 'Kung Fu Panda'), as well as unbelievably creative settings and creatures. It's definitely worth the time to be swept off your feet by this instant classic.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A breath of fresh air for 3D animation (and it's not a Pixar Film!)

8/10
Author: Cam Grimes from Australia
22 October 2010

With the whole 3D movie craze finally becoming a normal thing, movies need to push themselves in order to "stand out" more than the others. How to Train Your Dragon is the latest entry into the new dimension of films.

I'm starting to get annoyed by the whole 3D cash-in scheme, but this film was worth my time and money. This film boasted terrific animation, some great voice work, but the story of the town outcast appears in every kids movie, so the plot suffered a bit.

There is enough humour in this film to entertain both kids and adults, thanks to some entertaining characters (some of the dragon designs are fantastic, their emotions are believable!). How to Train Your Dragon is well recommended.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

And amazing movie that is a must see for all ages

10/10
Author: (Robin-Intorcia)
16 October 2010

Where can I begin a review when I have so much to say about this movie? Without giving anything away from the plot it is brilliant. for children it opens up a land of magic and wonder. For adults it is a breath taking experience full of love, struggle, and hardship that draws you in and never lets you go.

The characters in this movie were amazing and its what really made it come together. I actually cared about them and what happened to them. and became worried when any one of them were in Danger especially at the end. The love between the main character and his dragon is especially a wonderful experience you can feel the emotion the dragon and the main character have for each other. It made me go out and bring my dogs inside for the night. It also showcases the struggle families sometimes experience you can just see how badly the main character wants his father to be proud of him. And how much the father wishes to protect his son as well as relate to him. You can feel there care and love for each other even when things are at there worst. But it never goes overboard with love as so many movies do now a days it shows us that life can be a struggle and full of dangers and hardship but we are never alone and must never give up. The dialogue of the movie is spot on and I believed I would say the same thing in many of the situations the animation was perfect in all aspects.

Sound/Atmosphere Both are incredible the sound seems to be right on cue and is perfect from beginning to end it fits every single scene. The Surronding land is breath taking it filled me with ideas and really made me want to be there.

Bottom line This movie is a masterpiece and a must see. It helped me get over my writers block and gave me back the emotion I needed to continue my story and refueled my imagination. It is better then any animated film I have ever seen in my life as well as many non-animated films. I want to scream for a sequel but I think it would be better to leave this film be and let our imaginations make our own sequel. The only downside to this film is when it ended. Because I would give anything for it to be real.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic movie that kids and adults will adore!

9/10
Author: Dazz Camponi (dudedazzreviews@hotmail.co.uk) from United Kingdom
7 October 2010

How To Train Your Dragon is the latest offering Dreamworks has released but could this be as big or as bold as Shrek? The story is very imaginative and is guaranteed to keep the attention of children and adults. The characters were lovable and the dragons were simply adorable, especially Toothless. The animation was marvellous and doesn't disappoint in quality which was to be expected from Dreamworks. The script is very cleverly written like everything else in the movie. Great characters, good music, brilliant animation and fantastic humour, this doesn't disappoint.

I simply fell in love with this movie. I loved Shrek and Kung Fu Panda but this beats them in my opinion. The animation was simply crafted beautifully and you could tell that a lot of time and effort had gone into it and is probably the best animation I've seen for years in a kids' movie. I also liked how the dragons didn't talk, I thought it added a sense of reality to the movie (even if there is dragons in it). This doesn't mean Toothless, the main dragon, is boring, far from it. Toothless and Hiccup was fantastic as their trust and friendship made for heart-felt viewing and some funny scenes. The best scenes, in my opinion, was the flying scenes with Toothless and Hiccup, the animation during them scenes were phenomenal to watch. The characters were great as well and Hiccup's crush Astrid was great as she tries to figure out what Hiccup is up to.

Overall, the movie had fantastic scenes, beautiful animation, great characters, voice acting, script and story…what more could you possibly want from an animation? I highly recommend everyone to watch this, this is one not to miss!

Read more reviews at: www.dudedazzmoviereviews.wordpress.com

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Amazing film - original and awing

10/10
Author: Elaine Wu from Canada
24 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the only films that features dragons and humans working alongside each other - and it's animated! What else can you ask for?

The story starts off with a short narrative from the main character, Hiccup (what an interesting name), who introduces the setting quite clearly and obviously. Good. I don't like to be confused with where I'm going with a movie.

There are many nice special effects and beautiful artwork - the humans are realistic enough and the dragons look very original. Story development is well-paced and seems to follow through with a climax and conclusion. The ending was satisfying. I mean, it wasn't as unrealistic as to have everybody come out alive and jumping around, but it wasn't so tragic that all the babies in the theatre would start crying. And, it wrapped up nicely without leaving any obvious gaps.

Characters were stereotypical and easy to understand. I wished there was more character development of the sidekick kids such as Astrid and Snoutlout. It would have been interesting to know a bit more about them. I also wish there was a story behind Hiccup's mother.

Music was nice, charming and sound effects really hit the spot. The dragon noises were realistic, and Toothless' was so adorable!

My favourite part of the movie was the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless. When I saw that dragon on posters and in trailers, I was horrified to see that its face was non-scary and even a little bit salamander-like. However Toothless is actually very very adorable and cute! I like the emphasis on themes such as friendship among species, father to son relationships, justice, being different, and many others. Overall, this movie will thrill both the young and the old alike. In addition, How to Train Your Dragon is an excellent movie for people who are looking for a good dragon-themed movie! Yay! (No more vampires!)

9.5/10

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic!!!

10/10
Author: translator_of_t from Viet Nam
12 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just don't know how to say about this movie! This is absolutely the best animated feature of the year! The plot, characters, visual effects are so amazing.

The plot was simple and not complicated. But very touching, indeed. Dragons rarely seen on cartoon, today. But this one did a great job on creating a world where Vikings vs Dragons and making people moved by the relationship of the characters.

The characters were well-made and beautiful, I love not only their appearance but also...themselves. Especially the dragons, they are very cute, indeed. They make me wish I could ride dragons one day.

I'm definitely sure that this movie will make you wish it would been longer. You'll want to see more! And I hope they will make a sequel, but this original is so great that I can watch it again and again.

Last but not least, I hope this film will get some Oscar nominees and win! Go watch it and you see. Enjoy your watching.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A fun family film adults can also enjoy.

7/10
Author: garyvanhorn from United States
10 January 2011

How to Train Your Dragon is a fine animated excursion into mamby pamby land for children but it is not so inane as to drive adults nuts. Those less critical of movies will certainly enjoy the film a great deal more than I did, but it is a fine movie none the less.

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a scrawny and geeky Viking whose father is chief dragon slayer of the clan. Try as he might Hiccup can't seem to do anything right and his attempts to prove himself backfire and make things worse for everyone. He reminds me very much of Flik, the main character A Bug's Life. Both are misfits looking for approval and eventually they win acceptance by having a series of adventures where they learn to be themselves and teach a valuable lesson to the rest of the clan/colony.

Hiccup's adventure involves a dragon he manages to bring down with one of his quirky inventions. Nobody believes him so he sets off in search of the dragon so he can slay it and win approval from his father and the rest of the village. He finds himself unable to do the deed and ultimately ends up befriending the dragon, which acts in much the same manner as a house cat. His experiences with the dragon allow Hiccup to gain valuable insights into the nature of the ferocious beasts, it turns out they are more like dogs and cats than flying lizards. The story is rather formulaic but it is cute, which is pretty much what you are looking for in this type of movie.

There are several animated movies of a similar nature that I liked more than How to Train Your Dragon, Monsters, Inc. and The Incredibles come to mind, but it is still a movie that is probably worth watching, especially if you have children. I promise they will love the film and it won't leave you wanting to claw your eyes out, in fact, you will probably like it too.

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