How To Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon

(PG) Dreamworks DVD/BD

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is the unlikely teenage son of the burly Viking, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler). Hiccup lives on the Island of Berk where fighting dragons is a way of life. Berk is regularly invaded by dragons and the Vikings have devoted their lives to subduing the winged beasts.

Always trying to live up to his dad’s perceptions of what a Viking must be, Hiccup is great at inventing contraptions to capture dragons — he just doesn’t have the heart to kill them.

One evening during a raid, one of Hiccup’s contraptions actually works, bringing down a Black Fury dragon (one of the harder beasts to capture). The next morning Hiccup goes looking for the downed beast and discovers his tail wing has been injured preventing him from flying away.

Hiccup is faced with a dilemma: should he go with centuries of Viking law and kill this beast or should he help him back in the air to fight another day.

What begins as a wary battle of wills turns into a friendship as Hiccup learns the ways of the dragon and becomes a reluctant hero with his tribe. But, while he is showing his peers how to subdue a dragon, he and “Toothless”, as the dragon has become known, bond. When Hiccup devises a mechanical wing for Toothless they both take to the sky.

Hiccup and Toothless still haven’t revealed their relationship to the Viking tribe and what starts out as a way to prove himself with his peers turns into an opportunity to change the course of history.

It seems both Pixar and DreamWorks are turning out the very best films every year. Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and the Madagascar films have become instant classics and How To Train Your Dragon, based on a best-selling novel for kids by Cressida Cowell, is yet another feather in DreamWorks’ cap.

This mythical fantasy adventure and wonderful father-son relationship story is a wonderful family film that is only enhanced in the 3D format. The scenes with Hiccup and Toothless taking to the sky are amazing.

The film’s themes of familial bonding are universal and will make it resonate with a family audience.

Adrian Drayton

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