Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Gobber: And with one twist, he took my hand and swallowed it whole. And I saw the look in his face – I was delicious! He must have passed the word because it wasn’t a month before another one of them took my leg!
After a young Viking, Hiccup (Baruchel), wounds a dragon in battle, he befriends it and begins to learn that the dragons his people have been fighting for years might not be exactly what they seem to be.
There’s a lot to like about this one, but a few things that hold it back from being one of my animated favorites.
First, the good. The visuals are pretty amazing, and I’m sure would’ve been even more stunning in 3-D on the big screen. Still, they’re impressive enough at home in HD. Also great was the story of Hiccup befriending the dragon – which he named Toothless – and his realizations about all of the dragons’ true natures. Obviously there are lessons here about getting to know your perceived enemy and understanding exactly why you’re fighting each other in the first place.
All that stuff was handled quite well, but what I wasn’t a huge fan of was the tired storyline of a single father with a son who is not living up to his expectations. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that storyline, but it seems to be a fallback for animated films these days. Off the top of my head, it’s used to some extent in Kung Fu Panda, Finding Nemo, and most obviously in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. It’s just such an obvious and predictable road to go down.
Also…Jay Baruchel’s voice bugs me. I know that seems like a minor complaint, but in an animated movie where he’s the star, that can severely hamper a person’s ability to enjoy it at times. The other voices are all fine. His just got on my nerves for some reason.
Regardless, it’s a movie worth watching. The dragons storyline is good, and the visuals are captivating. Though, I’m still wondering why none of the kids had the same accent that all the adults had…
Always carry around a smoked eel if you think there’s a chance that you’ll encounter a dragon.
10 – 1 for the overused father/son storyline – .7 because Baruchel’s voice annoyed me – .5 because I think the script could have been a little wittier = 7.8