So, in honor of the sequel being released this weekend, I re-watched How to Train Your Dragon for the first time since its initial release all the way back in 2010, a time before Daenerys made dragon-taming look sexy.
How to Train Your Dragon has the same basic story that a lot of animated/kid movies have. Our main character is part of a group of people (tribe in this movie) but he/she just cannot fit in because they are too smart, or special, or hiding some secret talent that eventually makes everyone love them and whatnot.
Hiccup lives on Berk, an island full of hulk-like vikings who live their lives to fight dragons. Hiccup, like you could guess, is not violent. He is scrawny and too smart for his own good. He is essentially an outcast. The one thing I noticed is how many people do not actually like him. Even his dad is embarrassed by him. He does not have a single friend until he rescues the dragon he initially caught in his trap. They soon become friends and discover that (you gotta love the tried and true formula) the two worlds could actually live in peaceful harmony.
Jay Baruchel, who does the voice of Hiccup is funny and witty. He endows the character with enough pity that we still root for him without us completely giving up on him. He is supported by a fun cast with the likes of Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, America Ferrara Craig Ferguson, and many others.
The movie carries along at a decent pace. It plays like more of an origin story, with establishing the characters and area, as well as introducing us to the history of the dragons. The moments when Hiccup and Toothless (his dragon) are together are the best in the movie; flying high into the clouds while also adding a touch of humor here and there makes it a wholly entertaining movie that makes you really want a pet dragon for yourself. The animation is pretty low key for the most part until the climactic battle sequence where it really gets kicked into high gear, delivering a spectacle that is a feast for the eyes.
In the end, How to Train Your Dragon is an exciting animated adventure into a world full of dragons and vikings. Though it has a pretty formulaic story, it makes up for it in its animation and fun voice-cast. So, if you’re anxious to see the new sequel, (re)check this one out before you head to the theaters this weekend.