I realised this week that I have never seen any of the How To Train Your Dragon movies. With the 3rd and final movie just been released, I decided to watch the first 2 movies and write up my own opinions. Starting with the first. I love the look of the movie and went into this one with great expectations. I was hugely disappointed, although this movie did great with its world-building, I never cared about the characters and felt the story to be lacking.
The beginning of the movie does really well with setting up this world filled with dragons. We see a slew of unique looking dragons attacking the Vikings village. Soon after this cool opening, we begin to settle into familiar territory. The geeky and sometimes clumsy Hiccup is our main protagonist, played by Jay Baruchel. I really didn’t like his character at the beginning as he just felt like one cliche after the other. However, as the story progressed and we saw his relationship with Toothless grow, he really started to grow on me. Just like everyone, I loved Toothless and consider him one of the cutest animals I’ve seen in animation. The relationship him and Hiccup share is easily the biggest highlight of the movie. I could have done without the typical disappointed dad stick I’ve seen time and time again.
I really enjoyed the fact that there wasn’t really a true villain. The Vikings hunted the dragons because they thought they were dangerous and the dragons had to hunt the Vikings to get their food to feed a much larger dragon. It was refreshing to see. During the finale, the Vikings and dragons must work together to fight an even greater force. Easily, the greatest aspect of this movie is Toothless and Hiccups bond. I look forward to watching the sequel and seeing how their relationship grows.
one thing that everyone loved but I didn’t enjoy was the animation. The 3D animation might have been good in 2010 but I found it to be quite cheap looking. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of 3D animation, especially when compared to 2D. 2D animation has character, different layers, shade, texture. 3D just feels so bland. In How To Train Your Dragon, I liked character models but disliked most of the backgrounds. Most of them felt and looked cheap, maybe if I watched it back in 2010 I’d have a different opinion. However, Tangled and Toy Story 3 was also released in 2010 and they are both beautiful 3D animated movies.
Overall, I found How To Train Your Dragon to be a big disappointment. I was hoping to enjoy this movie but I mostly found myself bored. Hiccup took a while to grow on me, the 3D animation hasn’t aged well when compared to other movies that came out in 2010. I’ll admit the soundtrack was really good, I found myself humming along to most of the songs. Finally, I understand why many people love this movie but personally, I didn’t get the hype. Hopefully, I’ll start to understand after seeing the second movie.
How To Train Your Dragon (6/10)
Director: Chris Sanders/Dean Deblois
Runtime: 98 Minutes