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How to Train Your Dragon

by

Jeff Nelson

How to Train Your Dragon is an exciting animated film that I highly recommend to viewers of all ages.

How to Train Your Dragon
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With Toy Story 3 being released in 2010, no other animated film had a chance of winning the Academy Award for the Best Animated Film. How to Train your Dragon was nominated alongside the Disney Pixar film. Unfortunately it didn't receive very much attention since Toy Story 3 attracted most of the attention from viewers. Some of the adult audiences think that animated films are only for children. This may have been true for some cartoons, but certainly not this DreamWorks motion picture.

As the son of a Viking leader on the cusp of manhood, shy Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III faces a rite of passage. He must kill a dragon to prove that he's a warrior. After downing a feared dragon, he realizes that he no longer wants to kill it. He befriends the beast and names it Toothless. The plot is extremely predictable and filled with clichés, but is able to create a great narrative around it. Each cliché character from a family film is present. The likable screw-up, the ignorant father, the village that outcasts the likable character, and the girl he falls in love with. However, it's not the characters that make the film. The heart-warming tale and excellent execution are what drive How to Train Your Dragon to success. The mix of humor and heart is fantastic. Both kids and adults are sure to find this story line to be cute and charming.

Similar to many of the other high-end animated films, How to Train Your Dragon has a worthwhile cast. The movie features Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, TJ Miller, Kristen Wiig, and more. Baruchel fits the character of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III perfectly. In fact, Haddock III even looks a bit similar to Jay Baruchel. I didn't even know Gerard Butler was played Stoick the Vast until the credits rolled. He does a good job, as well. All of the voice work is great and each actor suits the roles very well.

The computer-animated movies being releases seem to be looking better and better as time goes on. The animation created for How to Train Your Dragon is excellent. The landscapes are beautiful, the characters are detailed, and the colors are extraordinarily natural. The action sequences are where the film truly boasts its technical department. The audio transfer is flawless. None of the dialogue is difficult to make out and the entire soundstage is used to its full potential. Each speaker pours out an incredible amount of detailed sound. The surround channels are constantly active and immerse the audience. Be prepared to feel bass shaking the entire room as the film utilizes the subwoofer each chance it gets. Fans of the film are sure to enjoy the video and audio quality presented.

Disney Pixar has been known by audiences worldwide as the number one studio to create animated films. However, DreamWorks has released better ones recently. How to Train Your Dragon proves this. The plot is as predictable as they come, but the film has a lot to offer. It's entertaining from start to finish. The characters are likable and there is plenty of humor for all ages. If Toy Story 3 wasn't included in the category, I'm sure that this film would have received the Oscar. How to Train Your Dragon is an exciting animated film that I highly recommend to viewers of all ages.

My Rating = Four and One Half Stars

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