How to Train Your Dragon

Not rated yet!
Director
Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Runtime
1 h 38 min
Release Date
5 March 2010
Genres
Fantasy, Adventure, Animation, Family
Overview
As the son of a Viking leader on the cusp of manhood, shy Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III faces a rite of passage: he must kill a dragon to prove his warrior mettle. But after downing a feared dragon, he realizes that he no longer wants to destroy it, and instead befriends the beast – which he names Toothless – much to the chagrin of his warrior father
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Crosswalk2
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • How to Train Your Dragon is a Fun, Feisty Ride
    Movies DVD Release Date:  October 15, 2010Theatrical Release Date:  March 26, 2010Rating:  PG (for sequences of intense action and some scary images and brief mild language)Genre:  Family/Adventure/FantasyRun Time:  98 min.Directors:  Dean DeBlois, Chris SandersVoices by:  Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristin Wiig, Ashley Jensen, Kieron Elliot, Christopher Mintz-Plasse Considering the film's fluid, intricately crafted animation and the heartwarming quality of the story, you'd almost think that How to Train Your Dragon was Pixar's latest flick.But it is, indeed, a DreamWorks project, and it's refreshing to see an engaging story that doesn't rely on a slew of pop culture references, childish shenanigans and lowbrow humor to entertain the kiddies (and their parents). Instead, the filmmakers wisely invested their time in creating arresting visuals (yes, even better in 3-D) and a familiar but relevant story that's updated in a fresh way (with dragons, of course).Set on the mythical island of Berk, which is also known as "the meridian of misery," How to Train Your Dragon is a fast-paced fantasy in a world where Vikings have always been at war with their neighboring dragons. In case you didn't know exactly how dangerous dragons are, there are plenty of scenes that inevitably settle the score. When the menacing fire-breathers aren't swooping down on Berk's precious livestock, they're busy setting the residents' huts on fire. Adding that crucial human component to the story, a scrawny young man named Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), son of the Viking's alpha-male leader Stoick (Gerard Butler) isn't quite convinced that a future in the family's dragon-killing business is what he really wants. In fact, he just happens to hate sports and isn't particularly skilled when it comes to hunting anyway.See, one of the Vikings' chief purposes in life is to free themselves—and their land—from those mettlesome dragons for good. Once Hiccup actually comes face to face with the dragon he wounded with the makeshift catapult he built to impress his father, well, he simply doesn't have it in him to end his life. Instead, he becomes his friend, gives him the name "Toothless" and is determined to tame him so he'll officially be fit for society.As to be expected, it's not particularly easy keeping a friendship with a dragon under wraps, let alone actually taming a wild creature. But with the exception of the girl he has a crush on, the tomboy-ish Astrid (America Ferrera), Hiccup does succeed for a while and even manages to convince Astrid that interspecies friendships between dragons and humans can work (initially, she's rather appalled by the notion).However, even with such masterful attention to detail in creating Hiccup, the prototypical gawky teenager complete with countless insecurities and an affable, self-deprecating manner, the real stars of the movie are the dragons themselves. Divided into different species with specialized talents, the dragons are not only fun to watch, but a valuable reminder that it's important not to judge someone (or something) without really knowing all the facts. Adding a welcome dose of comic relief, Craig Ferguson is a trip as Gobber, a guy with a funny Scottish brogue who introduces the art of dragon fighting to the village's young people. With missing limbs as a testament to how complicated the task can be, Gobber is a scene-stealer even if he's not the best endorsement for joining the fight.And it's these little details, the deft sense of humor, the lifelikeness of the characters that makes How to Train Your Dragon a step up from the usual crop of family-friendly entertainment. After all, when a kids' film has substance and style, it's not only good for the kids, but it's good for the parents and How to Train Your Dragon has both in spades. CAUTIONS: Drugs/Alcohol:  None. Language/Profanity:  Just one use of "hell." Sex/Nudity:  None. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); Religion:  The Norse gods Odin and Thor are referenced. Violence:  Younger children may be frightened by the scary images, including an enormous super-dragon that could be rather nightmare-inducing. There's also a few battle scenes—some are more slapstick in nature, others decidedly more perilous—including a sequence where fire-breathing dragons violently destroy a village.Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in St. Paul, Minn., she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blog.  For more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 5 Things Parents Should Know about How to Train Your Dragon 3
    (”How to Train Your Dragon” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Hiccup is a different type of Viking. But his friends and family members have known that for a while. At age 15, he befriended a dragon named Toothless and transformed his village’s beliefs about the mythical creatures. Previously, they hunted and killed dragons. He taught them to co-exist with these fire-breathing animals. Hiccup and his Viking friends even invited dragons to live in their village of Berk.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith1
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Review: "How to Train Your Dragon"
    The new kiddie 3-D movie “How to Train Your Dragon” is an averagely-involving adventure for the little ones. By far the most interesting aspect of it was its underlying political allegory. My review is up.]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff1
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ 3 Illustrates The Power Of Prioritizing Marriage Over Friends
    This family film underscores a type of love that doesn’t die after stepping aside. Instead, mundane mystery that it is, friendship becomes fulfilled and glorified when it makes way for life.
    ...
    (Review Source)

VJ Morton1
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • Filmfest DC — day 3 capsules
    (”How to Train Your Dragon” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Filmfest DC — day 3 capsules

    THE SECRET OF KELLS (Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, Ireland) — 8

    Or “why I take notes, part 1.” The last words in my viewing notes for this film, about a hero boy’s quest to keep a book safe, were actually taken after the lights were up: “wow, kids totally silent.” I had just looked around the crowded-but-not-packed-to-the-gills auditorium and seen that virtually the entire audience was made up of families with children. (KELLS is already in limited release nationwide, but the Festival showed it as a reduced-price children’s weekend matinee.) And yet during the film’s entire 75-minute running time, I was never conscious of being in an auditorium full of rugrats, who tend to run up and down the aisles or cry or demand to be taken outside or otherwise indicate when they’re not enjoying themselves. I know that “reviewing the audience” is dicey, but with children’s movies, because they haven’t learned to sit in silent boredom when a film sucks, it’s easy to determine whether a film is working or isn’t.

    The kids’ reaction also happened to confirm an idea I had about KELLS — that it had a gentleness of tone, a real sense of wonder and fantasy that is too often absent from kids entertainment (there’s even an actual fairy in this fairy tale). I recently saw HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (a film I liked much less), which covered a lot of the same subject matter and theme and setting (see Steve Greydanus here for the comparisons). But DRAGON did it in a more “contemporary” style, trying to take advantage of 3D, chopped-up action editing like Bay and Bruckheimer, and a much more “knowing” sensibility. And I felt, and I think I would done the same as a boy, pushed away by all the freneticness of DRAGON. Something as gentle and relaxed as KELLS is literally a breath of fresh air.

    Not that KELLS has nothing for adults or more-sophisticated audiences. Among other things, I think adults will have a better sense of how detailed the nearly all hand-drawn animation is and how much effort goes into making all the film’s curlicues and decorated curves and whatnot, as if the film is trying for an animated equivalent of the illumined manuscripts that “Dark Ages” monks sweated their lives for. They also will (or should) have more of a sense of how the imagery, with its flat two-dimensionality and stylized shapes, fits a pre-Renaissance world whose self-representations were without realistic-looking perspective. There are even some shots in KELLS (though I couldn’t find one online) of floors rising up the frame, like in Byzantine icons.

    My one reservation about the film is religious (though, pace Michael Sicinski, it isn’t exactly about the crystal). Rather, it is the secularizing or at least de-Christianizing of the book and the abbey. If you go into this film knowing that the Book of Iona/Kells was the four Gospels, then the film actually is the “Christian propaganda” that Michael feared (c’mon … the last line is that the book “can give hope to the people in these dark days of the Northmen” and there’s even an explicit reference to the serpent being trapped into eating itself by “drawing lines”). But the film never (that I recall) mentions either that this book, though there’s much of that vague “this book can bring light into the darkness,” is a copy of the Gospels or that these monks are, you know, Christians, rather than just an all-male commune of unspecified character.

    I AM LOVE (Luca Guadagnino, Italy) — 9

    Or “why I take notes, part 2.” Here are some of the names and films and artworks that I AM LOVE put me in mind of and jotted down while watching — Antonioni, KING LEAR, the Recchi Co. as neorealism and Italian film itself, MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, Max Ophuls, THE LEOPARD, BABETTE’S FEAST, Garbo, Impressionism, the 19th-century novel and Tolstoy, T.S. Eliot, Scorsese, SUNSET BOULEVARD. Between this film and VINCERE (which I saw again recently and admired even more), Italy is definitely back as the country that offers the antidote to the Cinema of Lack. I AM LOVE, whatever else may be said of it, is bursting with ideas and conceits and style and flourishes. Nor is this mere name-dropping. Guadagnino doesn’t suffer from Harold Bloom’s Anxiety of Influence, instead saying that he’s deliberately acknowledging the towering antecedents that an Italian film-maker must face (though few have done so successfully recently) and trying to make something new with them. From an article in the current Sight and Sound:

    I Am Love’s dazzling title sequence – cut, designed and scored to brashly recall some great Italian art film from 1960 – defines this new confidence. “We were trying to connect the chromosomic code of great movies that we love, from Visconti to Antonioni, with a vision of Milano today,” Guadagnino says. “You can’t start in a humble, hypocritical way, saying, ‘Those were masters and we are not.’ We have to say, ‘Let’s aim for the stars and see where we go’.”

    To some everything up in a single bite — an updated Impressionistic version of a Visconti film based on a 19th-century novel, though changed to reflect current social and economic realities. However, again, it’s always love and sex that break up the social order. Like THE LEOPARD, I AM LOVE looks at the generational passing-on of a class through the eyes of (in this case) someone imported into the family from outside (Tilda Swinton, playing a Russian who married into the family of Italy’s largest textile firm) via immigration rather than Garibaldi’s bourgeois revolution. I AM LOVE also introduces us to the dramatis personae with a bravura overture scene of the family gathering, though instead of Visconti’s family rosary, we get a secular meal where a major announcement is made. The directness of Guadagnino’s acknowledgement of the shadow of Italy’s cinematic past is clear in one detail: the scene features Gabriele Ferzetti as the patriarch signing over his empire, and, as Swinton’s husband, an actor who looks like he did in the 1960s.

    In that scene and others I AM LOVE and its constantly prowling camera channels Visconti’s sensual adoration of the surfaces and appearances of a rich decadent civilization, only here it’s the late 20th-century bourgeois dinner, not a 19th-century aristocratic ball. I already mentioned VINCERE, but the one sense in which I AM LOVE does differ radically is that where Bellocchio’s film is boldly and grandly operatic, Guadagnino’s movie (until the end) instead goes for a more-subjective style that might be better called Impressionism — shots out of time, colorful surfaces, hazy focus, contrast with sun-kissed nature. In one food-porn scene, Swinton eats a shrimp dish that you can practically taste yourself and fall in the love with the chef (which is the cause of much of the film’s conflict). There’s even a shot of a colorful table of food drifting in out of focus and image-smear like a Cezanne might have produced. There are scenes where Swinton walks through a room and touches the objects in it like talismanic reminders, and others where the sound mix drifts in and out as the world comes clanging down on your ears. And the final betrayal is shown, not in a handful of peas, but a fish-soup recipe that causes everything to click together. It’s all stylistically overheated, no doubt, but the film centers on Swinton and her subjective experience as a Russian for whom Italy IS a garden of delights. And one that eventually …

    25 KARATS (Patxi Amezcua, Spain) — 5 (downgraded from 6)

    Or “why I take notes, part 3.” I downgraded this one because it was clear looking at my notes my dominant reaction was “this isn’t as good as Tarantino.” I kept noticing the similarities: braided plot threads among a group of criminal lowlifes, scams and scheming involving debts and sacks of money, betrayals and trust issues, sudden bursts of violence, details of the underside like the differing rates for various prostitution services, etc. This film should have been titled JACOBA MARRONA. But more importantly I also kept noticing where 25 KARATS failed to match its American master. And (unlike I AM LOVE) Amezcua’s film is too derivative of a single source to judge on any terms other than its original.

    25 KARATS entirely lacks Tarantino’s wit, instead being played pretty straight with little or none of his type of colorful dialog. I don’t speak Spanish perfectly and I miss stuff and details; but I can hear Spanish well enough to tell what a film is trying to do — and this is functional dialogue just about entirely (I can tell definitively that the subtitles are witless and straight). Tarantino also would never have the kind of tender-hearted sex scene that plays straight out of what Roger Ebert called in the 60s and 70s the semi-OLI (Semi-Obligatory Lyrical Interlude with soft and would-be romantic music; call it the semi-OFI). The ending also doesn’t come off, for all score of reasons: there’s two people killed that just seems gratuitous and two switches — one of loyalty, the other of costume — occur that are flat unbelievable). 25 KARATS held my attention and sometimes was interesting and fun in a way that crime movies always have suspense and intrigue built into them. But never was it more than that.

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    April 20, 2010 - Posted by | DC 2010, Luca Guadagnino, Nora Twomey, Patxi Amezcua, Tomm Moore

    4 Comments »

    1. Is the “I Am Love” capsule truncated? It seems to end abruptly. I also enjoyed the stylistic overload, but I ultimately found the whole thing kinda vapid. The capsule seems to cut off just as you were about to discuss the content, which is where I want to see if I missed something…

      Comment by Daniel O'Sullivan | July 19, 2010 | Reply

    2. It was not cut off. I was trying to avoid giving away too much if the plot, especially the ending, which is what the affair does to Tilda’s character.

      At some level, I AM LOVE is so giddily sensual that it could be about the price of tea in China and it wouldn’t matter too much. And in other ways, that giddy sensuality IS the film’s subject matter, reflected in what Tilda (and to a lesser extent some other characters) do and order their lives.

      Comment by Victor Morton | July 19, 2010 | Reply

    3. That makes sense. And I guess I was looking for something outside of Guadagnino’s intentions. I may give it another try, though for now I think it’s lush mush.

      Comment by Daniel O'Sullivan | July 20, 2010 | Reply

    4. P.S. I REALLY hope you get a chance to write something about Inception…

      Comment by Daniel O'Sullivan | July 22, 2010 | Reply


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Christian Toto1
Hollywood In Toto



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  • ‘Dragon: The Hidden World’ Spits Smoke, Not Fire
    (”How to Train Your Dragon” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    how-to-train-your-dragon-hidden-world review (2)

    All good things come to an end, even an underrated franchise like “How to Train Your Dragon.”

    It’s not Pixar, nor has any “Dragon” film spawned endless merch. The series

    The post ‘Dragon: The Hidden World’ Spits Smoke, Not Fire appeared first on Hollywood in Toto.

    ...
    (Review Source)

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