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"HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON"
(2010) (voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Moderate Heavy Extreme Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy Extreme Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Moderate Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Animated Action: A bumbling Viking boy wants to kill a dragon to please his warrior father, but changes his mind when he befriends one of the beasts.
PLOT:
In a small Viking village terrorized by dragons, Hiccup (voice of JAY BARUCHEL) is a boy who wants desperately to win the favor of his warrior-father, Stoick (voice of GERARD BUTLER), and kill one of the monsters. When he thinks he has shot down one of the most mythic of the winged beasts, he goes in search of its injured body.

When he finds the injured dragon, he realizes he does not have it in him to kill. Rather than be disturbed by this, Hiccup befriends the dragon and nicknames him "Toothless." He even crafts a special harness and saddle that allow him to fly with and steer Toothless as he takes to the skies.

Back at the village, his father enrolls him in a kind of Warrior School, taught by Gobber (voice of CRAIG FERGUSON) and attended by Astrid (voice of AMERICA FERRERA) and four other early teen warrior wannabes, Snotlout (voice of JONAH HILL), Fishlegs (voice of CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE), Ruffnutt (voice of KRISTIN WIIG) and Tuffnut (voice of J.T. MILLER). They think Hiccup is a loser whose bumbling will one day get them killed on the field of battle. But Hiccup uses the knowledge he obtains while playing with Toothless to tame other dragons the kids are tested to fight.

Before long, Hiccup comes to realize that the dragons are not what they seem and are, in fact, terrorized themselves by a much scarier creature. It eventually falls on him to rally the Vikings to their cause, creating much friction between him and Stoick.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Absolutely! It especially appeals to boys and girls in the 7- to 13-year-old age range with its age-appropriate main characters, thrilling action, and terrific 3-D animation. Young children and overly sensitive kids should stay away, though.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS :
  • JAY BARUCHEL voices a misfit Viking boy, who doesn't have it in him to hunt and kill dragons. He actually makes friends with one of the beasts and tries to convince the other villagers that the dragons are just misunderstood. He is portrayed as smart and resourceful, but has a penchant for disobeying his father that often puts his life in mortal danger.
  • GERARD BUTLER voices the stern warrior leader of the Viking tribe, who has never been able to identify with his son because he seems to have no warrior tendencies at all. He is a violent man, who sees the dragons purely as animals to be hunted.
  • CRAIG FERGUSON voices a Viking teacher and close friend of Stoick. He instructs the village's teenagers on how to fight and kill dragons. He is also the man who crafts the various weapons the Vikings use in waging war against the beasts. He is a social drinker and is missing both a hand and part of a leg.
  • AMERICA FERRERA voices a young Viking teen who displays hostile behavior through much of the film as a defense mechanism against the male-dominated society she has grown up in. She often hits and pushes around Hiccup, asserting her dominance especially as he starts to get better and better at taming dragons. She ends up having a believable change of heart when she sees the bond that Hiccup has formed with Toothless.
  • JONAH HILL voices an aggressive classmate of Hiccup's named Snotlout who tries to show off often in front of Astrid.
  • CHRISTOPHER MINTZ-PLASSE voices a brainy Viking boy who knows about every species of dragon right down to the minutest detail.
  • KRISTIN WIIG and J.T. NELSON voice brother-and-sister twin Viking teens, who at first make fun of Hiccup's bumbling ways then come to help him fight the Queen dragon.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this animated action film that has been rated PG. Profanity consists of at least one minor expletive, while some colorful phrases are uttered and there's a visual/verbal joke regarding a helmet vaguely shaped like a woman's breasts.

    Violence is of the largely bloodless variety, with multiple scenes of Viking-like humans battling dragons. It's the intensity and ferocity of the attack sequences that earns the PG rating, with numerous scenes and moments of potential peril that will likely be unsettling and/or suspenseful for various viewers. An off-screen dragon attack has left one character without an arm and leg. One of the main characters loses a leg (off-screen) as a result of the film's climactic action sequence.

    Bad attitudes are present, as is some potentially imitative behavior, various thematic elements and tense family material. There is also one scene of drinking.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, all sorts of camera movement (often quite bouncy, including point of view) occurs throughout the film. In addition, this movie is being shown in 3-D in many theaters, which will increase the visual stimuli throughout the film.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Several characters, most notably Gobber, sit around and discuss dragon strategy while drinking what is most likely a form of ale from giant steins.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Gobber is missing a leg and a hand throughout the movie, the result of a long-ago dragon fight. He has a peg leg and a modified hook for a hand.
  • Gobber keeps losing one of his fake teeth - it's actually a small stone - in a cup he is drinking from. He makes at least a couple of spitting motions and noises.
  • Toothless chews a raw fish in half that Hiccup has brought him and regurgitates it back out of his mouth. He intends for Hiccup to eat the other half as a token of his thanks. Hiccup reluctantly bites into it, causing a gag reflex but no throwing up.
  • The scene is repeated later in the film, but Hiccup has become friendly enough with Toothless to refuse his good-will offering.
  • A drawing from a dragon manual shows one dragon yelling so loud that he decapitates a human. The primitive drawing actually shows a severed head flying off a torso. Other drawings show dragons attacking and being attacked in less graphic manner.
  • Snotlout's nose is read after a tiny, baby dragon chews on it for a few seconds.
  • Hiccup bears facial wounds after a violent encounter with the Queen dragon.
  • One character wakes up to discover he has lost a leg, the result of the climactic dragon battle.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Multiple Vikings scoff at Hiccup as they are waging war against dragons, telling him to get away and not get involved in the battle.
  • Gobber tells Hiccup it is "what's inside" him that his father can't stand.
  • Several Viking teens snicker at Hiccup after Stoick disciplines him in front of the whole village.
  • Hiccup is told by his father to go home and wait for him after the opening dragon raid. But Hiccup disobeys him, leaves the house, and runs off into the forest to find the dragon he believes he felled.
  • Astrid and other classmates look down on Hiccup on the first day of dragon-killing school. One takes a look at him and says mockingly, "Can I transfer into the class with the cool Vikings?"
  • The Vikings have captured various dragons and use them against their will in their warrior school.
  • Astrid becomes increasingly hostile towards Hiccup throughout the first half of the film as he uses his knowledge of dragons to beat her in the various class challenges.
  • Snotlout talks of chopping off a dragon's legs.
  • Stoick tells the villagers he can finally show his face again after they accept his son as a warrior.
  • The Vikings chain Toothless up against his will and force him to lead them to the dragons' nest.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence," "Blood/Gore" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material. And when viewed in 3D, that might exacerbate the effect.
  • An opening dragon attack on the Viking village at night is fairly scary. The dragons swoop down from the night sky repeatedly and scoop up the village's sheep. Some of them exhale fire, setting the villagers' homes and other structures ablaze. In some instances, they scoop up people and various fly-bys show Vikings hitting and kicking the dragons as they are trapped in the beasts' jaws. All of this is bloodless, by the way.
  • A fiery dragon pops suddenly into frame and roars during the opening battle.
  • Hiccup doesn't realize for a few seconds that a dragon is right behind him and about to eat him. When he does, he runs and the dragon gives chase chomping at him (and the audience in 3-D), but don't make contact.
  • After Hiccup realizes he doesn't have what it takes to kill a dragon, he cuts through the net holding Toothless, prompting the dragon to spring up suddenly, pounce on Hiccup, and roar right in his face. The dragon doesn't kill him, though.
  • Hiccup and his classmates are immediately tested when Gobber unleashes a captured, fire-breathing dragon on them in their arena-like classroom. The dragon shoots bursts of flames at each of the students, hitting their shields and propelling them backwards. Hiccup is eventually pinned down and about to be shot with fire by the dragon when Gobber intervenes, yanking the creature's mouth away, and putting him back in his cell.
  • A second class test involves the various students being chased through a maze of stone columns by a large, rampaging, snapping dragon. Astrid eventually hits the creature over the head with an ax.
  • Hiccup brings fish to Toothless, showing the dragon that he is unarmed and means him no harm. There are some very anxious moments as Toothless sniffs out the situation and Hiccup trusts him to not eat him. The dragon's thunderous respiration may prove unsettling for some in this scene.
  • A third class test involves Hiccup and his classmates fighting a two-headed dragon. One head emits a gas and the other head ignites the gas into flame. The brief battle takes place mostly in a cloud of smoky mist, adding to the tension and danger.
  • As Hiccup and Astrid are riding atop Toothless, the dragon catches a scent, changes direction, and leads the two human characters though a thick fog and into a massive pack of flying dragons. The dragons fly to a secret island and into a subterranean cavern. There, they present food offerings - mostly fish and small sheep - to a massive queen-like dragon who rises up and eats one of the smaller dragons flying by in a single bite.
  • A large, fiery dragon comes bursting out of his jail cell and lumbers towards Hiccup. When Hiccup refuses to kill the dragon for his final test as a warrior, Stoick and the other Vikings spook the beast causing it to attack. Both Hiccup and Astrid end up in harm's way.
  • A myriad of Vikings prepare to wage war against the Queen dragon, who bursts through a mountain and sprays the beach and the Vikings' ships with her massive fire breath. The ships and the land go up like Vietnam-era napalm, and several Vikings jump into the water to avoid being burned.
  • One of the main characters is feared dead at the end of the film, as the surviving Vikings gather around to mourn.
  • A chained up Toothless is dumped into the water and nearly drowns until Stoick dives in and loosens his constraints.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Vikings throughout the film use such primitive weapons as swords, hammers, catapults, spears, and axes to wage war against the dragons.
  • Hiccup takes a small, dagger-like knife with him into the woods as he tries to cut the heart out of the dragon he ensnared in a net.
  • Hiccup drops his knife on at least two occasions to prove to a dragon that he means him no harm.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I'll pack my undies," "All hell is going to break loose in my undies," "The gods hate me," "This is stupid," "It's us, idiots!" "Your butts are getting bigger," "You son of a half-troll," "Thanks for the breast hat," "Stay out of my way!" "Thank you for nothing, you useless reptile," "Lead us home, Devil" and "It's like the size of my…"
  • All of the fighting, action and other stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Hiccup is told by his father to go home and wait for him after the opening dragon raid. But Hiccup disobeys him, leaves the house, and runs off into the forest to find the dragon he believes he felled.
  • Hiccup's classmates hope for burns and scars from their dragon-killing class.
  • Hiccup's classmates don't want to study and walk away from the table before finishing their assignments, wanting only to fight more dragons.
  • Hiccup sneaks away from the village a lot when he shouldn't in order to play with Toothless.
  • Stoick refers to Toothless as the "Devil."
  • Students take turns pushing each other out of the way, trying to court Hiccup's favor.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Multiple scenes in the 3-D version of the film involve dragons snapping and biting while chasing human characters. In many instances, the dragons appear to pop right off the screen and be snap-biting at the viewer.
  • During the opening battle sequence, a dragon jumps right into camera view.
  • Hiccup looks in Toothless' mouth and wonders where his teeth are. At that moment, the dragon's teeth spring out of the gums then retract like switchblades.
  • Toothless snap-bites twice at some fish, with the camera positioned underwater (the 3-D effect makes it appear Toothless is snap-biting at the viewer.
  • Not two seconds after Hiccup fixes Toothless' broken tail wing does the dragon jolt upwards, taking flight with Hiccup in tow.
  • A raging thunderstorm startles Hiccup.
  • A massive queen dragon rises from underground, roaring into camera and eating one dragon flying by.
  • A large, fiery dragon comes bursting out of his jail cell and lumbers towards Hiccup.
  • The Queen dragon bursts out of her mountain hideaway and lets out a loud roar.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of tense music occurs throughout the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "hell."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Before a mission, one character says, "I'll pack my undies!"
  • Stoick has made helmets for him and his son out of his late wife's armored breast plates. The helmets when turned on their side are vaguely shaped like a woman's breasts. Hiccup jokingly replies, "Thanks for the breast hat."
  • Looking at a tiny dragon, one of Hiccup's classmates jokes, "It's like the size of my. . ." but is cut off before he can complete his sentence.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Hiccup quarrels throughout the film with his father, Stoick, who wants his son to grow up to be a great dragon slayer like he is. Hiccup just doesn't have it in him to kill dragons, and this creates tension between them.
  • We learn that Stoick's wife/Hiccup's mom died years earlier.
  • When Stoick discovers Hiccup has actually befriended a dragon, he disowns him yelling, "You're not my son!"
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Children who feel a lot of pressure to follow in a parent's footsteps.
  • Learning as much as you can about your enemies before waging war against them.
  • Mankind's legacy of hunting certain animals to extinction.
  • Living with a disability, such as a lost limb.
  • Following one's bliss and staying true to yourself even if it means doing something unpopular.
  • VIOLENCE
  • An opening attack on the Viking village entails multiple dragons swooping down and exhaling fire, setting homes and other structures ablaze. In several instances, they carry away sheep. In other instances, you see them grab Vikings who are seen punching the winged beasts as they fly off. The villagers fight back with swords, hammers, axes and catapults. No blood. Lots of mayhem, though.
  • Hiccup accidentally activates a catapult that hits one of the Vikings in the face.
  • Hiccup shoots a dragon out of the sky with a large, cannon-like weapon that ensnares the creature in a net and injures its back tail.
  • Stoick punches and kicks a dragon (that had been chasing his son) several times in the face and the head. The creature retreats.
  • Stoick smacks Hiccup on the back of his head.
  • Hiccup says that, even as a baby, his father is rumored to have popped the head off of a dragon.
  • A tree branch hits Hiccup in the face.
  • Gobber playfully taps several of Hiccup's classmates on the backs of their heads.
  • Hiccup and his classmates are immediately tested when Gobber unleashes a captured, fire-breathing dragon on them in their arena-like classroom. The dragon shoots bursts of flames at each of the students, hitting their shields with fire, and propelling them backwards. Hiccup is eventually pinned down and about to be shot by the dragon when Gobber intervenes, yanks the creature's mouth away, and puts him back in his cell.
  • A drawing from a dragon manual shows one dragon yelling so loud that he decapitates a human. Other drawings show dragons attacking and being attacked.
  • A second class test involves the various students being chased through a maze of stone columns by a rampaging, snapping dragon. Astrid eventually hits the creature over the head with an ax.
  • Stoick's sailing ship boasts a large flag depicting a dragon with two swords through it.
  • Astrid throws Hiccup down and kicks and steps on him.
  • Small, baby dragons fight over some fish that Hiccup has brought Toothless. Toothless responds by zapping one of them with a small fire blast that does only minor harm.
  • A third class test involves Hiccup and his classmates fighting a two-headed dragon. One head emits a gas and the other head ignites the gas into flame. The brief battle takes place mostly in a cloud of smoky mist, adding to the tension and danger.
  • A tiny dragon bites down on one student's nose and chews on it for a few seconds.
  • A massive queen-like dragon eats a smaller dragon flying by in a single bite.
  • Astrid punches Hiccup in the arm and other body parts throughout the film. At one point, she gets so aggressive with him that she puts an ax to his neck.
  • A large, fiery dragon comes bursting out of his jail cell and lumbers towards Hiccup. When Hiccup refuses to kill the dragon for his final test as a warrior, Stoick and the other Vikings spook the beast causing it to attack. Both Hiccup and Astrid end up in harm's way, prompting Astrid to throw one of her weapons at the creature.
  • Toothless senses that Hiccup is in danger and races to help. He ends up tangling violently with another dragon. The Vikings end up gang-tackling Toothless, punch him repeatedly, imprison and then chain him to the mast of a ship and using his senses to lead them to the mythic dragon's nest.
  • Stoick pushes Hiccup to the ground in disgust after he learns that the boy has befriended a dragon.
  • After the Vikings send a flaming boulder into her subterranean layer, the Queen dragon bursts through the side of mountain and sprays a large area of land and the Vikings' ships with her fire breath. The Vikings fight back, throwing everything from spears to catapulted rocks at the Godzilla-like beast.
  • Hiccup, Astrid and their friends ride in on tamed dragons and assault the Queen dragon. Snotlout hits the dragon several times in its multiple eyes with his hammers. The dragon bucks and throws him off, but Snotlout lands safely.
  • Hiccup rides Toothless into battle against the massive Queen dragon. Toothless fires several bursts of fire at the larger creature, compelling the dragon to give chase up into the clouds. Hiccup then maneuvers Toothless into a dive straight down. At the last minute, he pivots Toothless in mid-air and has him fire a burst of flames down the Queen dragon's open mouth. The fancy move results in a spectacular crash in which all are briefly feared dead.



  • Reviewed March 23, 2010 / Posted March 26, 2010

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [And So It Goes] [Hercules] [I Origins] [Lucy] [Magic in the Moonlight]

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