How To Train Your Dragon is Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. It is based of the the series of books with the same name written by Cressida Cowell. The movie’s premise revolves around a young viking named Hiccup who befriends a dragon. This friendship will forever change both their worlds. It includes an ensemble cast of voice actors including Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerald Butler, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Craig Ferguson.
I know I have been quite the fanboy when it comes to this franchise but for this review, I will be professional and review the movie. This won’t be a list of why I loved the movie, it’ll be a normal review like any other. That being said…
I think that this is a a near-perfect movie. I just watched it for the third time and it’s just as exciting and fresh as the first time I saw it. From the get-go this movie opens with an action scene and in under six minutes, it perfectly introduces the fictional island of Berk, the characters, their situation with dragons and it sets up the story. It’s one of the best opening scenes in any movie I’ve seen. The accompanying music by John Powell is just as brilliant. This is the only set-up this movie needs and it pulls it off with flying colours. (pun intended). The movie never drags on one scene, it has a straight to the point narrative. Usually movies with that type of narrative can lack substance and just show action scene to action scene but with How To Train Your Dragon, the best moments are the intimate ones with Hiccup and Toothless.
The first time I saw this movie I loved Hiccup and Toothless’s friendship, I thought it was cute but now seeing it after I’ve gotten a cat, their friendship became so relatable! While I was watching the movie, Toothless reminded me of my cat the whole time. This is due to the fact that DeBlois got some inspiration for Toothless from his own cat and it shows because for the most part Toothless behaves just like a cat. Besides from that, the love between Hiccup and Toothless is the type of love anyone can relate to if they have a pet.
The voice acting in this movie is excellent! Baruchel is Hiccup and I can’t imagine anyone else portraying him. The same goes Butler as Stoick and Ferguson as Gobber. Also this movie might have some of the best cinematography ever in an animated film. The sequence “Romantic Flight” is magical. This movie is iconic, from the look of the movie, to the unbelievably beautiful score, to even certain shots like the ones at the top. If I had to pick out the one flaw that this movie has, it’s the secondary characters. Besides Astrid, the others feel very two-dimensional. They never get any character development, they’re just there to mock other characters, be the comic-relief of help with the big battles. While that is fine and good, I would’ve added a bit more substance to their character.
There are three scenes in particular that whenever I see them, they never fail to amaze me. The scenes I am talking about are the one where Toothless puts his head on Hiccup’s hand, their first test drive and the romantic flight with Astrid. I truly believe, as a movie enthusiast that those scenes are some of the best scenes not only in animation but in all of film. They’re perfect in every way, the music is beyond amazing, the visuals are inventive and they all show some form of character development. For example, Toothless begins to trust Hiccup, Hiccup and Toothless put their faith in each other completely when they fly together for a test drive and Astrid starts to see how the creatures she’s been trained to kill her whole life are actually amazing. If that third entry in this franchise continues with this type of quality, Toy Story have a run for their money.
Finally it’s clear that with it’s stellar score, inventive world-building, a story for the ages and a friendship that will go down in cinematic history as one of the best, How To Train Your Dragon is one of the best movies ever made. I really do think that highly of it. This movie will never cease to amaze me and that’s why it’s getting an A+!