Mucho fun! That’s what this film is all about…
The storyline centers around Hiccup (yeah, his name is a bit cheesy), a teenage viking trying to follow in his father’s footsteps as a first-rate dragon slaying warrior only to find that he doesn’t quite have the stomach for it and that his skill set applies to other things more effectively. This situation makes him a bit of an outcast amongst the other teenagers in the village when Hiccup is going through the paces of his coming-of-age dragon slaying trials. Hiccup ends up trapping the most elusive and dangerous of the dragons and finds that what his family, friends and fellow villagers know about dragons is all wrong.
Based on the book series by Cressida Cowell, the screenplay adaptation is well done and keeps the overall feel fun and family oriented with some nice life lessons woven into the fold. There are some insider references to Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft which made my inner nerd snort with glee.
Visually the animation and art work is fantastic (same studio that did the Shrek movies). The 3D is decent and really jumped out at times but didn’t really blow my mind like Pixar’s Up did. I think they could’ve added more 3D depth throughout but that’s really my only complaint. Other than that, there are some beautiful scenes and breathtaking flying sequences that put you right on the dragon’s back.
The talent does a fine job supplying the voices and includes Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, She’s Out of My League), Gerard Butler (300), America Ferrara (Ugly Betty) as well as Craig Ferguson and Jonah Hill.
The movie has a great, up-lifting vibe to it and is good to catch in the theater after a long, rough day at work or on a family night out.
reviewed by Sean McKnight