Saturday, July 03, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

I saw How to Train Your Dragon in a most unusual venue (a cruise ship), a venue that turned out to be less than optimal (too much light, no popcorn), but within minutes I forgot all about all that as I drifted into this delightful animated world.

Hiccup, a young Viking and son to the head of the Viking nation, wants to show his father he's brave and so he believes he has to kill dragons, when he stumbles upon the most feared dragon of all in a valley from which the dragon cannot escape. To tell you any more would spoil the journey, but I found it a wonderful one that speaks to even our modern concerns.

Jay Baruchel voices Hiccup with just the right amount of youthful sarcasm, and we find ourselves laughing before we even get to the punchline of the story. We feel for the guy -- I mean, his is laughingly no Viking body -- and his plight to please his father is ageless. Dad is voiced by Gerard Butler, who never tries to approximate a Viking accent but instead sticks to his normal Scottish one (for some reason), but nuances a sympathetic, nice-guy parent who wants to be proud of his son but who understands that some have to stay behind and cook or sharpen the weapons.

There's enough action here to keep the young ones busy, enough coming-of-age sensibilities to keep teenagers watching, and enough good story to keep adults tuned in. This is a keeper, on the scale of - dare I say it? - a Pixar gem.

Thumb's up.


Post a Comment

<< Home