You can thank me in advance here. A slew of Ron Jeremy jokes popped in my head when I was typing the title of this review, but I have decided to take the high road and leave it up to your own imagination if you want to make crude jokes. Did you do it? For shame! Is that anyway to start out a discussion of a “G” rated movie? Probably not.
Everyone and their goldfish told me to see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D while it was in the theaters this summer. Personally, I don’t always trust goldfish (do you see how my fear of fish impacts my daily life?), so I didn’t exactly rush to the cinema to watch it. I also had the opportunity to see Dragon in theaters while in Germany this summer. However, my husband and I could not agree on what to see. Funny enough, he wanted to see How to Train Your Dragon, while I was pushing for Predators. Ultimately, we decided to get ice cream and a beer, then headed to my sister-in-law’s apartment to play The New Super Mario Bros on Wii. I would like to point out that I don’t regret that decision one bit (the ice cream sundae was amazing and we kicked mushroom butt). And so I had to wait until the DVD released before I could see what all the fishy hoopla was about.
How to Train Your Dragon features the voice of Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, the awkward son of a Viking leader. As a rite of passage to manhood (insert another Ron Jeremy joke here), Hiccup must kill a dragon. It turns out that dragons in the Norse town are as plentiful as kangaroos in the Outback. However, Hiccup has reservations about this after he befriends a dragon he names Toothless. With the knowledge and friendship acquired through his relationship with the dragon, Hiccup leads both the giant lizards and the Vikings to face an even larger problem.
While watching this film, I kept wondering how the director and animators managed to break into my house without me knowing. Toothless seems like a reptilian replica of my cat, Mad-Eye Moody. They act the same, move the same, have the same coat (leather with a faux fur lining), and have similar eyes (although the dragon’s eyes both look in the same direction. Moody’s, on the other hand, are a little skewed).
It was pretty remarkable. I not only thought the dragon was well-designed, but I like the fact that it didn’t speak. All of its emotions had to be conveyed by its face and actions. However, I didn’t have any problems understanding what it was saying. Just like Moody…although with the cat, it’s sometimes hard to tell what he is looking at.
I found the story to be entertaining. Without giving away any spoilers, I liked the story arcs of the rival kids in the village. I also appreciated that the plot was more than just Vikings versus dragons. Refreshing.
However, I am a bit perplexed as to why all the Viking adults were Scottish. I realize I am not a European historian, but I am pretty sure this is inaccurate. Aside from being historically flawed, the voices just kept reminding me of Shrek. Yeah, I know it would be a little weird if they spoke in ancient Norwegian or had Scandinavian accents, but why Scottish? That just didn’t work for me. Also, while I really loved Baruchel in his previous work (especially Undeclared and Tropic Thunder), for some reason I had a hard time buying him as Hiccup. All I could hear was Jay Baruchel, not the character he played.
Overall, How to Train Your Dragon was a fun film. I imagine it would be a hit with children, and it was entertaining enough for adults to enjoy as well. This is probably a difficult feat to accomplish (to please both kids and adults alike), and so my hat’s off to the filmmakers. It was a sweet film, what more can I say?
Have a fantastic day!
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