The Star-News


'How to Train Your Dragon' turns out to be lots of family fun

Fri, Apr 16 2010 02:41 PM Posted By: Jeri Jacquin

From Dreamworks is a story of being yourself and flying high in "How to Train Your Dragon."

This film tells the story of the Viking boy Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who is slightly different than the rest of his village. While all are into slaying dragons, he is creative and a little clumsy, much to the dismay of his Viking leader and father Stoick (Gerard Butler). Dad's only goal is to find the dragon lair and slay them all.

In this village, they study and train to slay dragons, knowing they come in all shapes, sizes and with particular talents - like the hideous two-headed zippleback. But the most prized of all dragons is the Night Fury, an unseen beast that lives in legend.

That is, until Hiccup accidentally captures one. This could change his standing in the village if he slays the dragon. Instead, the two become friends as Hiccup and Toothless become a fighting force all their own.
In an attempt to be accepted by his village and make his father proud, Hiccup must choose to stand up for who he is and help a winged friend.

Final word: Dreamworks has done it again! I can't even begin to sing their praises. This is a fantastic film. Baruchel as Hiccup has just the right voice to play a young man coming into his own with a sarcastic wit and big mushy heart.

Butler was another fine choice to play the larger than life Viking father Stoick. His own accent adds character to this macho father who can't relate to his son. Then there is Astrid (America Ferrera), a Viking girl Hiccup has a crush on until she learns his secret.

Along for the ride are the other trainees: Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (T.J. Miller) who constantly bicker, Gobber (Craig Ferguson) is the town blacksmith and dragon slaying trainer, Snotlout (Jonah Hill) as the not-so-sweet-talking pint sized warrior in training, and Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) the large trainee who knows a lot of dragon statistics.

Other characters include: Ack (Robin Downes), Starkard (Philip McGrade), Spitelout (David Tennant), Phlegma the Fierce (Ashley Jensen) and Hoark the Haggard (Kierson Elliott).

Tubs of popcorn: I give "How to Train Your Dragon" four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I can't remember the last time I had this much fun! This story is well told, full of action with very creative creatures that are all full of spark and charm.

It is a truly inspirational, heartwarming and endearing animated free-for-all that is meant to be seen by kids and kids at heart. I am totally enchanted with this film. Although the film is in 3D IMAX, let me just say there is no need for it. This film can stand up proudly alone without it.


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