Set in a mythical age when viking-dragon relations were particularly tense, 'How to Train Your Dragon' follows the story of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), a viking resident of the Island of Berk who's a far cry from his heroic and hirsute dragon slayer of a father, Storick the Vast (played with manly gusto by Gerard Butler). The brainy teenage misfit lacks the thick arms and the apparent thick accent to engage the dragons in a proper fight. When the warrior-in-training happens to befriend a member of the enemy in a fluke of battle, however, Hiccup discovers that these creatures may not all be as terrible as they appear.

Directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois ('Lilo and Stitch'), the latest feature from the folks over at DreamWorks Animation ('Shrek,' 'Kung Fu Panda') boasts a supporting cast that includes Craig Ferguson -- also employing his Scottish brogue to the hilt -- as dragon master Gobber, as well as America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as fellow members of Hiccup's Junior Warriors league.

Despite its ad overkill during the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the mostly conventional storyline, adapted from the book by Cressida Cowell, critics across the board largely hailed 'Dragon' as an eye-popping 3D treat bound to thrill both adults and kids alike.

But you don't have to take our word for it. Enter the 'Dragon' reviews: Set in a mythical age when viking-dragon relations were particularly tense, 'How to Train Your Dragon' follows the story of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), a viking resident of the Island of Berk who's a far cry from his heroic and hirsute dragon slayer of a father, Storick the Vast (played with manly gusto by Gerard Butler). The brainy teenage misfit lacks the thick arms and the apparent thick accent to engage the dragons in a proper fight. When the warrior-in-training happens to befriend a member of the enemy in a fluke of battle, however, Hiccup discovers that these creatures may not all be as terrible as they appear.

Directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois ('Lilo and Stitch'), the latest feature from the folks over at DreamWorks Animation ('Shrek,' 'Kung Fu Panda') boasts a supporting cast that includes Craig Ferguson -- also employing his Scottish brogue to the hilt -- as dragon master Gobber, as well as America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as fellow members of Hiccup's Junior Warriors league.

Despite its ad overkill during the Vancouver Winter Olympics and the mostly conventional storyline, adapted from the book by Cressida Cowell, critics across the board largely hailed 'Dragon' as an eye-popping 3D treat bound to thrill both adults and kids alike.

But you don't have to take our word for it. Enter the 'Dragon' reviews:

Chicago Tribune: "'How to Train Your Dragon' creates a world and revels in the details and wraps it all in a rich, lush storybook ambience. The superb cinematographer Roger Deakins served as a visual consultant, pushing the palette to an unusually burnished and sophisticated level. Kids may not notice the visual texture consciously, but adults will. Or should. ... Seeing 'Dragon' in 3D really is a must. Its formidable realm of Vikings and dragons and nerds (oh my!) should be enjoyed to the fullest extent theaters allow."

Rolling Stone: "Kid stuff? Maybe. But 'How to Train Your Dragon,' from the book by Cressida Cowell, works enough miracles of 3D animation to charm your socks off."

Time Out New York: "You could chalk this kid's flick up as another manic Saturday-matinee time killer if it weren't for a singularly impressive element. ... Embedded among the standard platitudes of parental tolerance and teens finding their own way, is the notion that we should try to understand our 'enemies' instead of engaging them in perpetual, passed-through-generations warfare. Imagine that!"

'How to Train Your Dragon' trailer


The Hollywood Reporter: "A lively though disjointed 3D cartoon that never quite entices an audience to invest emotionally in its fantasy world."

Entertainment Weekly: "The new 3D digital fable from DreamWorks Animation, has a kinetically dreamy, soaring-through-the-air effervescence. ... 'How to Train Your Dragon' rouses you in conventional ways, but it's also the rare animated film that uses 3D for its breathtaking spatial and emotional possibilities."

Orlando Sentinel: "It's more coming-of-age dramedy or 'everything about your world view is wrong' message movie than it is a comedy. And that seems like a waste of a funny book, some very funny actors and some darned witty animation."

Associated Press:
"What a refreshing change 'How to Train Your Dragon' brings to the cartoon world: The creatures are not all that cute, and they do not speak a word. ... The filmmakers tone down the glib factor and tell a pretty good action yarn, a boy-and-his-dragon story filled with fiery Viking battles, swordplay and dazzling aerial imagery aboard the flying reptiles."

The Miami Herald: "'How to Train Your Dragon' doesn't have the depth and resonance of a classic, but the picture's modesty is refreshing, and its artistry is awe-inspiring (the lighting and cinematography are particularly impressive). I saw the film in plain old 2D, so I can only imagine what the 3D version is like. But in either incarnation, the movie is a transporting thrill. Here be dragons -- lots and lots of dragons -- and that, for once, is a good thing."
CATEGORIES Reviews