Couch Critic: How To Train Your Dragon

February 19, 2011 Film Reviews

3 out of 5 stars

In Brief

An entertaining but not essential children’s adventure that doesn’t have much to say besides riding a dragon is fun.

In Long

How To Train Your Dragon is a good movie, fun and full of entertainment value. But it’s not spectacular. Nor does it demand to be seen. You can skip this one and be okay. That’s not to say it’s trifling or dull. On the contrary, excitement is the pilot. Unfortunately, this is at the expense of story, which is rather derivative.

As a rollicking adventure without a whole lot of originality it works. But How To Train Your Dragon is something like an inversion of a movie like Toy Story 3, where story is paramount and action organically follows the tale’s leading. There is little character development save for the cliched lesson of a young boy coming of age by learning to embrace his unique gifts. Granted it’s a universal lesson, but one that’s seen better days than it does here, where it’s, at best, a passenger to this animated adventure’s dragon roller coaster.

Add it all up and it’s a treat of amazing graphics and a fun ride. The sound editing is superb and the effects are some of the best I’ve heard from an animated feature film. If you’re a fan of Dreamworks or the genre, it’s worth a look, but otherwise there are plenty of better children’s films available.

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