Dreamworks, congratulations, you have made an amazing movie. Paying more attention to story and characters rather than to the jokes that can be drawn out of them, “How to Train Your Dragon” has the soothing feel of a Pixar movie. I can’t remember the last time I was sincerely engaged in the obligatory final battle in movies like these where (Spoiler) the underdog hero overcomes the much bigger adversary.(End spoiler)
“How to Train Your Dragon” takes us to the island of Berk occupied by vicious Vikings that are often visited by those unwelcome, pesky, fire-breathing Dragons. Them Dragons keep taking the livestock of the island of Berk, and the Vikings, as the violent bastards that they are, seek to wipe out the Dragons. You see, the earlier Vikings have passed down their fighting skills, and their hatred for Dragons, from one generation to the other. Killing Dragons seem to be a natural, how do I say this, talent, for the Vikings.
This is true for all them until we meet our hero, Hiccup, the son of Stoick, leader of the Vikings. Born into a culture bred with a universal hate, Hiccup is the first one of their kind to question that hate, and look for a more peaceful opportunity. We, as people, have been here for a while, and it is not unwise to think if our generation is suffering the same type of blindness these Vikings are going through.
Before I go any further, I must confess something. I made judgments on the movie when I first saw the teaser. I was disappointed by it. I know, no critic, or any other person, should make judgments based on a teaser. Believe me, dear reader, after seeing “How to Train Your Dragon”, I have learned my lesson.
The movie’s first half hour reminded me of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” in its take on the father-son relationship. In both films, the son is the society’s outcast, and will later save that society through his misunderstood genius. But, as the movie grew longer, I realized that “How to Train Your Dragon” is much more. It has characters that will genuinely earn our affection and cheer, and it has emotions that will evoke deep thoughts. And oh, the visuals are wonderful.
The message here is simple, but it is told with such love and care that we cannot help but embrace it and make it true in our own reality. “How to Train Your Dragon” teaches us that we should not be quick to judge. (Even teasers.) A little understanding goes a long way. In this case, it will take you to the heavens.