The animation is beautiful, the story is incredible and the vocal acting is just right.
"How To Train Your Dragon" wasn't a movie that I really felt would appeal to me. Maybe it was the content or maybe it was the title, I just didn't know and I couldn't wrap my head around seeing it. When I was contacted to do an interview with one of the animators and to preview this film, it piqued my interest ever so slightly.
Upon talking to Hamilton Lewis, a Kansas boy now working for Dreamworks, my interest for the film started to grow. His passion about the work that he and the crew put into this film became infectious. Not only did he make me curious to see the end result, he also took me into the inside of what goes on in developing animated films such as this.
A few days passed and then it was off to Kansas City for preview night. As I walked into the theater with my trusted companion Nate Rice, I noticed more and more children waiting in line for the doors to open. They had this look of glee on their faces as they waited. I was interested to hear their reactions. Would they love it? Would they be bored? Their reactions would help color my review.
So there I was sitting in a theater surrounded by kids and adults of all ages. I donned my 3-D glasses and waited. Usually at screenings my anticipation starts to amp up as the minutes tick by. With "How To Train Your Dragon," my anticipation was to be fed by my surroundings.
As a young child behind me asked his father, "Can I put on my glasses yet?" I smiled and got ready for the ride and what a ride it was.
From the very first moments, I was hooked.
It begins with the Vikings fighting off an assault from the dragon horde. Young Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), the son of the Viking chieftain Stoick the Vast (voiced by Gerard Butler), sets out to take down the fastest and most terrifying dragon of them all, the allusive Night Fury. No one has been able to catch or destroy one of these marvelous creatures. Armed with his bolas-shooting cannon, he takes aim and connects. Unfortunately no one sees him take out the creature and worse, he has gotten himself surrounded by dragons.
After he is rescued and the dragons depart, his father decides it is time for Hiccup to be included in dragon training with the other teens. Though the highlight of a Viking's life, Hiccup isn't too excited, and neither are the other teens to be teamed with him.
Later, Hiccup happens upon the Night Fury that he brought down with the bolas. Though frightened at first, Hiccup eventually decides against killing the dragon and instead helps him get out of the snare.
As trust builds between Hiccup and the Night Fury, Hiccup begins to realize that everything he has been taught about dragons is wrong and he has to do something about it.
After the film ended, I had a goofy grin on my face. I really had a great time watching this film. To me, it was one of those films that engrosses you so much that time just flies by. To me that is a great sign. Plus it left me wanting more.
I loved this movie because the animation was beautiful, the story was incredible and the vocal acting was just right. Everything just meshed so well in my eyes. Plus I looked around and the kids that surrounded me seemed overjoyed at the results.
Adults, don't be afraid to see this with your kids. There's enough excitement for everyone. It is great for all ages! Enjoy this film, I know I did and I can't wait to see it again with my son so he can enjoy it, too.
Maryville (Mo.) Daily Forum