This animation is great! It’s fun, adventurous, throw in a bit of action and comedy and it hits a full all-round family film. ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ tells the story of a Viking village, and what these Vikings pride most of all is the killing of dragons, as they are the pests of their village. Taking all sheep and food, the dragons hunt the Viking village and the way these Vikings retaliate is to kill them or keep them for training purposes. But the one dragon no Viking has ever seen, the one dragon no Viking has ever killed, is the Night Fury. One dragon that becomes our sole reason for the film, a Night Fury and a young boy who struggles to be the Viking his father wishes.
There are some recognisable voices in this film if you want this film to be one of stardom. Jay Baruchel voices the main character, Hiccup, the young boy whose clumsiness and cowardice ruins hunting dragons, and as everyone keeps telling him he needs to stay out of the way as the whole of him just messes things up, much to his father’s dislike. This father, the king of killing dragons, whose whole body just screams kill dragons, kill kill kill. This father, Stoick, is voiced by the fab Gerard Butler. Stoick’s right hand man, Gobber (Craig Ferguson) is hilarious in his brutal honesty and his wild stories, he’s a source of comedy for sure. While Stoick and the others head to find the dragon’s nest, Gobber stays behind to train the next potential dragon killers, a group of six kids determined to kill dragons and uphold their parents’ legacy, in this mixture Hiccup is lost in between. Then there’s Astrid, voiced by America Ferrera (‘The Sisterhood of Travelling Pants’), whose determination and competitiveness to beat everyone is at the forefront, but she’s a character who grows and becomes more understanding as the film progresses. Then there’s Snotlout, voiced by the great Jonah Hill, and Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), whose strength lies in memorising everything about dragons. And finally, Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (T.J. Miller), whose twin competitiveness between the two becomes a constant hilarity throughout the film.
Meanwhile, Hiccup manages to hit the one and only Night Fury, however when coming to kill the dragon, he discovers he does not have the instincts his father so wishes him to have. Instead he frees the dragon and creates a bond like man and dog, although boy and dragon. Toothless is a great dragon, adorable and loved, he becomes protective and sensitive. His expressions can be brilliantly read, and his attitude is hilarious for the audience. It’s extremely clever how a silent dragon can be so understood and become a source of comedy in itself. Also, of course the animation is amazing, it’s always brilliant, as it is in this film, bringing this Viking way of life of dragons to life on our screen.
I would recommend this film, it’s a great animation and shouldn’t be lost amongst the mass of others. There is a second, and will be a third, happily. I would encourage you to embark on this adventure where no other Viking has gone with small Hiccup as he becomes the first to ride a dragon and the first to not want to kill one. I promise you will not be disappointed by the great Toothless, with his smile of no teeth and his anger with many. Watch as Hiccup recognises that dragons may not be what the Vikings have believed for hundreds of years.