Sunday, November 14, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon; CGI animated fantasy comedy, USA, 2010; D: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBois, S: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson

Somewhere in Scandinavia, a Viking village is plagued by dragons who kidnapp their sheep. Everyone is engaged to fight the flying lizards, except the skiny teenager Hiccup, much to the dismay of his father Stoick, the Viking chief. However, Hiccup captures a dragon with his bolas device. After he frees it, they become friends, which comes very useful during his training as dragon fighter, since his tricks manage to impress the girl he likes, Astrid. After the Vikings discvoer this, they capture the dragon to find the dragons' nest, unleashing a giant one. Still, Hiccup and his dragon manage to defeat it and start a new era of peace with humans.

Even though it seemed like a typical CGI mainstream film at first, "How To Train Your Dragon" eventually blossomed into a pleasant surprise, a fun and easily accesible little flick that secretly speaks about mutual understanding between different cultures. Jay Baruchel's voice is phenomenal since he gives the main protagonist Hiccup unusual charm, already visible in the funny opening lines of the film, where he says: "This is Berk. It's 12 days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village." The character of Astrid is sweet whereas the design of the main dragon is sympathetic. A few more examples of genius inspiration and hilarious humor would have been welcome, yet as it is, the film is still a fine example of CGI animation, with an especially interesting ending that is refreshingly only half-happy for a change.


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