How to Train Your Dragon

Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson
"Soaring High: Embracing the Unlikely Bonds"

Posted Saturday, Nov 18, 2023 91

Set in a mythical Viking world, a young Viking teenager named Hiccup aspires to follow his tribe`s tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After finally capturing his first dragon, and with the chance to prove his worthiness to the tribe, he instead finds himself befriending an injured dragon he names Toothless. This encounter leads to a profound adventure that will alter the lives of both the dragons and the Vikings forever.

The movie explores themes of friendship, understanding the misunderstood, and challenging societal norms. It delivers a heartwarming tone, with an undercurrent of youthful rebellion and the universal quest for acceptance.

The voice acting is superb, with Jay Baruchel delivering a stellar performance as Hiccup, bringing both vulnerability and determination to the character. The supporting cast, including Gerard Butler and America Ferrera, add depth and humor to the Viking world. Toothless, as a character, steals the show without a single spoken word, with expressive animations that tell a story all their own.

Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, the film is a masterclass in narrative pacing and character development. They create a world that is vibrant, teeming with life, yet always intimately focused on the evolving bond between Hiccup and Toothless.

How to Train Your Dragon movie review

The score by John Powell is both stirring and beautifully melodic, perfectly complementing the soaring visuals of the film and adding to the overall emotive impact.

While traditionally animated, `cinematography` in the sense of framing and movement is breathtaking, with sweeping aerial shots that offer a bird`s eye view of the stunning landscapes and heart-stopping action sequences.

The production design is immaculate, with a Norse-inspired aesthetic that feels both ancient and fantastical. The world is rich in detail, from the quaint village of Berk to the variety of dragons that grace the screen.

The dragon flight sequences are particularly sublime, blending cutting-edge animation techniques with dramatic camera angles that provide a genuine sense of flight and wonder.

How to Train Your Dragon movie review

The editing is tight, contributing to a story that flows seamlessly from one scene to the next, with enough breathing room for small character moments amid the action.

The pacing is brisk, but not rushed. It allows for the growth of its characters and the world without sacrificing the thrill of its action sequences or the development of its deeper themes.

The dialogue is witty and often heartfelt, striking a balance between humor and poignancy that resonates with audiences of all ages.

One could argue that the film glosses over some of the deeper ramifications of Hiccup`s initial disobedience, but this is a minor point in what is otherwise a near-flawless family film.

How to Train Your Dragon is a stunning blend of emotion, action, and visual splendor. It is a film that made me feel exhilarated, touched by its sincerity, and enamored with its characters. It`s not just about the thrilling idea of flying on the back of a dragon; it`s about the unexpected friendships that can change everything. It is a beautiful reminder that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is befriend the unknown.