How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice story

Has a lot of typical family animated parts for a kind of dark movie

Movie Info

Movie Name:  How to Train Your Dragon

Studio:  DreamWorks Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Family

Release Date(s):  March 26, 2010

MPAA Rating:  PG


The best form of travel!

The Vikings of Berk have always battled dragons.  Hiccup is the son of Stoick the Vast and a bit of a disappointment.  While his father is a mighty dragon hunter, Hiccup just causes problems. When Hiccup shoots down the elusive Night Fury, Hiccup discovers there is more to the dragons than the Vikings ever knew.  Naming the dragon Toothless, Hiccup begins to learn to work with the dragons instead of hunt them. Toothless reveals the secret lair of the dragons to Hiccup and his fellow Viking trainee Astrid, and Hiccup realize the dragons are threatened also. When Stoick learns Hiccup’s secret, it could change their relationship forever.


If the dragon doesn’t kill you, I will!

Directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon was released in 3D and well received by critics and fans.  It has the vocal talents of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, and David Tennant. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score.

How to Train Your Dragon has a pretty horrible title that kind of diminishes the movie into a goofy fun film. The story is bigger than that and despite having a lot of fun, the movie is much more serious than the title implies. I liked this more than I thought I would.


I guess “Toothless” could be misconstrued…watch your hands!

Both Hiccup and Toothless are very likable. While Stoick and some of the other characters are pretty one dimensional static characters, Hiccup and Toothless feel pretty three dimensional. The art on Toothless is particularly good and he kind of reminds me of a combination of a dog and Jeff Smith’s Rat Creatures from his comic series Bone.

The movie does have a bit unbalanced style between fun and darkness. The battle against the giant dragon seems too light for a horrific ending with the amputation of Hiccup’s leg. I did like that it creates an even stronger bond between Toothless and Hiccup in that they are both handicapped and need each other more.


Who’s a good dragon?

How to Train Your Dragon is a fun movie but shows that the animated film category of the Academy Awards is often pretty weak. Fun and enjoyable to me doesn’t mean that it is one of the most memorable pictures of the year. I enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon and would watch it again, but it would never go down as one of my favorite films. How to Train Your Dragon was followed by two shorts (Legend of the Boneknapper and Book of Dragons), a television series Dragons: Riders of Berk, and a Christmas short called Dragons: The Gift of the Night Fury in 2011 and a sequel is planned for 2014.

Related Links:

Dragons:  Gift of the Night Fury (2011)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How to Train Your Dragon:  The Hidden World (2019)

The 83rd Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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