How To Train Your Dragon

Rating : PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language.
Brought to you by OBS staff member Karolina

The viking island of Berk prides itself in having good, strong Viking folk as it’s citizens – ones who can face all adversity, especially that of a few dragons. All except one. Hiccup is the black sheep of the town, scrawny, gentle and more of an inventor than a fighter, apprenticed to the blacksmith, Gobber the Belch. Hiccup is ostracised by his peers, and ignored by the beautiful Astrid, who is a girl around Hiccup’s age who is an expert dragon fighter. Even his father and the leader of the village, Stoick the Vast, acts as if he is ashamed of his son. This all changes when Hiccup, unbeknownst to anyone else, manages to knock a dragon out of the sky. It’s not any dragon – but a Night Fury – one of the most elusive, intelligent and dangerous dragons in existence, as it’s never missed a target. Hiccup starts sneaking out of his little village to tend to the wounded Night Fury, whom he names ‘Toothless’ (due to the fact that he has retractable teeth that come out only when threatens or eating fish). Soon enough, they develop a strong friendship, and it is up to both Hiccup and Toothless to work together to save the Vikings, and the dragons, from something far more dangerous that could threaten both species’ existence.

This is a very simple coming of age story that’s been done before, but this is just SO CUTE and HAPPY that you can’t help but loving it. There are moments that are slightly darker than some kids would be used to – but with lots of ‘kids’ movies taking dark little twists these days, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the movie. The characters and the dragons are so much fun, and I found myself really liking the simplistic style of the movie, story-wise. And, for all my frustration with 3-D of late, I do have to say, this movie really, really worked in 3-D. Toothless is an incredibly adorable dragon, and totally my favourite in the movie, although all of the dragons have endearing qualities to them. Hiccup is an incredibly likable character (although there were times where I thought Jay Baruchel’s voice was slightly too mature for the young viking), and you really feel for him when Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler) doesn’t listen to his son’s pleas, and very easily cheer him on in his battles. For a movie that differs so much from it’s book – it’s a thoroughly refreshing viewing.

Word of warning: Chances are, you WILL walk out of this movie desperately wanting a dragon of your own. I know I did (well- more than I usually do!).

Running time: 98 min

Rating: 7 /10 stars