Plot: Hiccup is a Viking. Only no ordinary Viking as after felling himself a Night Fury – the most dangerous of all the dragons who plague his home – Hiccup goes on to befriend the creature and realises his people have been misunderstanding them for generations. The dragons aren’t killers; they are trying to survive.
But Hiccup’s father is determined to find their nest and eradicate every last dragon so his village can live in peace. As Hiccup is forced into dragon-killing-training, he must choose whose side he is on: his people’s or the dragons. Not all choices are easy to make.
Quote: “What are you going to do about it?”
“Eh, probably something stupid.”
“Good, but you’ve already done that.”
“Then something crazy!”
Plot: How To Train Your Dragon never gets old. I’m re-writing this review having seen it several times and it still leaves me with warm fuzzy feelings. It might be aimed at children, but anyone can take messages from a kid’s film. Misunderstandings, violence not being the answer, learning to accept change… This would be a boring review if I focused on the messages.
The plot isn’t unfamiliar for a film of this genre: a young boy wants to prove his worth to his father and his village and show he is one of them. In the process, he begins to understand his people may have things backwards and unnecessary pain is being caused because no one wants to change. Then it is just a matter of proving there needs to be a change to the system before more innocents suffer.
The characters are brilliant. Hiccup’s dry humour makes me laugh every time, although whether that is watching it from an adult’s perspective or not. There are the typical traits found in the characters as in all children’s films: the clever one, the cool one, the arrogant one. But the whole point of How to Train Your Dragon is that nothing is as it seems and the same is true of the characters. No matter who they are, you’ll love them by the end!
The animation is amazing and about as realistic as it gets considering the type of film this is. The quality of the animation means you can certainly suspend your disbelief and enjoy the film rather than being jerked from it by errors and faults.
What truly sets this film apart from others for me is the very real fact that being the hero, being an innocent and the only one who is trying to make a difference doesn’t shield you from harm. If you choose to fight, then there is every chance that you may lose, or at least get hurt in the process. Coming out on top all the time is not realistic, yet is a common theme in children’s films. It was nice to watch something more realistic.
If you haven’t seen this film, what are you waiting for? If you have, I hope you love it as much as I do!