April 17, 2010

#073: How To Train Your Dragon 7/10

Dreamworks adds another solid animated film to their library with How To Train Your Dragon.  The story didn't feel all that original, but it was fun to watch and done really well.  As a person who doesn't like to spend my money to go to the theater very often, I left feeling satisfied with the value this film provided.  It's probably not going to blow anybody's mind, but it will surely entertain.  I give it a 7 out of 10.

How To Train Your Dragon tells the story of a young viking named Hiccup.  Every viking in this village grows up hating the pesky dragons.  They train from a young age to hopefully kill one someday.  Hiccup is the son of the fiercest dragon slayer, and of course he is an awkward nerd with an unimpressive physique.  He dreams of gaining the approval of his father by one day proving himself as a dragon hunter.  When he finally gets his chance he finds that he cannot complete the deed, but rather develops his own strategy for dealing with the dragon problem.
The plot of this story doesn't feel original or new.  We have seen the nerdy son try to gain approval from his athletic father a hundred times.  As usual, the son ends up teaching the father that there is more to life that running fast, jumping high, or killing dragons.  Even though the story is not original, it is well-done and fun to watch.  They didn't try to make it overly sweet and sappy.  It ended up working really well.  Even though I knew where it was going, I had a great time getting there.

There were a lot of well-known actors voicing the characters in this film.  For the most part it was really effective.  The main character, Hiccup, was voiced by a not-so-well-known Jay Baruchel.  I found his voice to be distracting at times.  He already has a pretty nasally sound to his voice, and in this movie he seems to accentuate that even further.  At first I found it really annoying.  Eventually I stopped noticing so much and it was fine.

I would recommend How To Train Your Dragon to pretty much everybody. I can't see anybody really hating this movie.  It is funny, but not filled with lots of pop-culture references as the trend is now with animated films.  It doesn't try to hard to do anything.  It is just a fun film for the whole family.  We saw the 3D and it was worth the added cost.  I haven't seen a ton of 3D, but this movie uses it effectively.  Most of the time I forgot I was even watching 3D, and just enjoyed it.  I wish I could have seen it in iMAX.

If you want to go watch a movie this is definitely one worth catching in the theater.  If you don't feel like spending the money this will still be really good on DVD, so check it out then.

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