Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 452 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe's longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup's world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges he and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view. [Dreamworks Animation] Expand
  • Director: Chris Sanders
  • Genre(s): Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Comedy, Animation, Family
  • Rating: PG
  • Runtime: 98 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Rouses you in conventional ways, but it's also the rare animated film that uses 3-D for its breathtaking spatial and emotional possibilities.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Who would have thought a fire-breathing monster could be one of the most adorable on-screen critters since Babe?
  3. Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    While almost entirely family-friendly, the film deserves its PG rating: One plot point near the very end would have totally freaked my tender childhood sensibilities.
  4. In steering a course between the rock of rude humor and the hard place of perilous drama, How to Train Your Dragon flies high.
  5. 75
    Works enough miracles of 3-D animation to charm your socks off.
  6. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    The multiply authored screenplay is based very loosely on Cressida Cowell's popular children's books, but it owes just as much to "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and the John Lennon songbook.
  7. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Adequate but unremarkable animated tale.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 105
  1. Apr 13, 2011
    I like movies done by DreamWorks Animation, but none seemed to reach the emotional tone of Pixar movies, until this fantastic movie came. Had "Toy Story 3" not been released in the same year, this movie would've definitely been my pick for best animated movie of the year. Expand
  2. Jun 25, 2014
    I can't believe I haven't watched this earlier. Well, now I've seen it three times in about 3 months. I might even say it's my favorite animated movie of all time and that's pretty big since I grew up with all kinds of animated movies. And this wins them all despite of the nostalgia many older movies bring to me. It makes me ask myself the same question all my favorite movies and video games do: "why can't my life be like this?". But not everybody is a friend of these kind of movies. It might feel pretty generic and boring for some people and I can see that it doesn't actually bring much new to the table with it's storyline. But I'm a fan of happy endings and heartwarming stories. Expand
  3. ChadS.
    Mar 27, 2010
    How do you tell a story that doesn't get overwhelmed by special effects and video game-inspired action sequences, especially in a hyper-commercialized movie culture climate where the studios who finance these spectacle-driven films have such comtempt for moviegoers? Narrative is on life support, but The Wachowski Brothers were pushing it when they literally filmed a video game with the 2008 mega-flop "Speed Racer", so maybe narrative isn't completely dead, and the audience, not completely braindead. The moviegoing public obviously thinks that "Avatar" is the gold standard, the template for melding technology with story, but the "Dances with Wolves" ripoff, arguably, lacks a truly compelling protagonist. Not only is Jake upstaged by the Na'vi natives, but the fake fauna and flora, as well. While "How to Train Your Dragon" is heavy on action and employs the artistically bankrupt(and cheesy) 3D process, the filmmaker knows how to tell a stirring action-adventure story(which just happens to be animated), while remaining commercially viable. The moviegoer has somebody to root for. Hiccup(Jay Baruchel) is the classic square peg: an intellectual, who in some cruel circumstance of fate, lives with the great unwashed in the most unlikeliest of settings. "How to Train Your Dragon" is something akin to "Lucas and the Vikings". (A moment of silence for the late Corey Haim.) Through empirical observation and having an innate aversion towards killing, the scrawny Viking aces the dragon training program with his brains, not brawn. He sees the world from a different perspective, which the film then literalizes when Hiccup and Astrid(America Ferrera) take flight on Toothless' back, where the two children share the same point-of-view as their people's sworn enemy. Looking down on the hamlet from the sky, the children undergo a rite of passage more profound than their daily lessons in warfare. Both boy and girl, especially the boy, realize that they've surpassed their parents. Stoick the Vast(Gerard Butler), Hiccup's father, doesn't have all the answers. With more subtlety, "How to Train Your Dragon" echoes the Kevin Costner film too, as the Viking and the dragon find a common ground despite their shared history of violence. Since the film has drama, humor, and most importantly, a humaneness, the culminating action doesn't whizz across the screen with the usual disconnect to our emotive senses. Like "E.T.", heck, like even Corey Haim, nobody wants to see the dragon, or the boy, die. Expand
  4. Mar 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Just when I thought recent animated movies would be stuck in a pit of suckiness for the rest of eternity, this lovely movie came along. Humerus as well as entertaining, Jay Bruchel and America Ferrera light up the screen with their acting abilities as Hiccup and Astrid, who make an unlikely pair, while Hiccup befriends a cute but dangerous dragon. Expand
  5. Oct 21, 2010
    This movie made me feel, like really, really good. A really awesome movie even beyond the scope of Animated flicks. For instance this shows how a real Krakken would look like and in action, instead of the brief glimpse we had in Clash of the Titans lol. Loved the wide variety of crazy dragons and vivid animations. I mean Toothless would be able to even tame King kong! Who wouldn't fall for that creature? The voice acting was, kind of, not that top knotch. Bottomline, one of the best Animated features I've seen. Expand
  6. Oct 17, 2011
    Dreamworks Animation's new viking animation "How to Train Your Dragon" is surprisingly enjoyable compared to recent films made by them. It has unusually strong love and passion throughout the animation as well as a enjoyable story that will definitely make you laugh and jump in excitement. A family must-watch Expand
  7. Jan 6, 2014
    This can be sort of heartwarming in parts, but it is mostly generic. The kid befriends a dragon, dragons and humans hate each other, the kid brings the two groups together. Also, there's a scene where they think the dragon's dead, but he's really not. Yeah, you've seen it all before. Expand

See all 105 User Reviews

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