How to Train Your Dragon

Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  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. 91
    There's much more to the adventure, a deft balance of fantasy and teen angst that never loses its contemporary sense of humor.
  3. An exciting, fun and sensationally entertaining movie for everyone.
  4. Seeing "Dragon" in 3-D really is a must. Its formidable realm of Vikings and dragons and nerds (oh my!) should be enjoyed to the fullest extent theaters allow.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    Who would have thought a fire-breathing monster could be one of the most adorable on-screen critters since Babe?
  6. 88
    Can be best categorized as a fantasy adventure. Unlike many animated movies, it's not a musical, nor is it overstuffed with age-appropriate comedy,
  7. 83
    It’s a great-looking film--and an impressive use of 3D--but ultimately, the story makes it memorable.
  8. It's charming, funny, exceedingly well-made and features enough comically thrilling flying-lizard mayhem to cause your child's head to lightly explode.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    80
    A thrilling drama interspersed with amusing comedic elements (rather than the other way around).
  11. There are times the action lags, and when the dialogue falls back on pop cultural references it feels contrived and forced but, mostly, like the mythical creatures at the heart of this tale, the movie soars.
  12. 80
    The reason it deserves to be seen in a theater with special glasses on, rather than slapped on the DVD player when the children are acting up -- lies in those airborne sequences.
  13. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    80
    What gives their story emotional heft has to do with a different kind of dimension: a depth of feeling surrounding the Black Stallion-style bonding of boy and beast.
  14. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    80
    The start wobbles, but once boy and dragon connect, this becomes a thrilling flight.
  15. The swarming dragon attacks may truly frighten the littlest viewers, but the depiction of the pleasures of flight and the conquering of one’s fears should make How to Train Your Dragon a perennial delight.
  16. 75
    Works enough miracles of 3-D animation to charm your socks off.
  17. In steering a course between the rock of rude humor and the hard place of perilous drama, How to Train Your Dragon flies high.
  18. 75
    Some movies seem born to inspire video games. All they lack is controllers and a scoring system. How to Train Your Dragon plays more like a game born to inspire a movie.
  19. 75
    Doesn't have the depth and resonance of a classic, but the picture's modesty is refreshing, and its artistry is awe-inspiring.
  20. Has two or three booming and intense action sequences that may leave the littlest audience members more quaking than charmed. But the notion of having a pet dragon - just like a pet whale, or a pet lion - is a scenario that should appeal to children of all ages.
  21. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    75
    Finds DreamWorks Animation looking to Viking territory for its next Shrek-sturdy comedy tentpole. By Odin, they make it work.
  22. 75
    A briskly paced computer-animated entertainment that uses the format to maximum effect, the way "Avatar" does.
  23. 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.
  24. It’s a corny, old fashioned boy-dog love story, as adorable as anything Walt Disney ever signed off on.
  25. A 3D movie that will intrigue kids and adults alike but might play raggedly in both camps.
  26. Baruchel is outstanding, giving Hiccup just the right amount of confidence buried several layers beneath the shame he feels in not continuing the family business. Butler's a head-banger from way back, so he's convincing. And Ferrera gets the grrl-power vibe just right.
  27. Makes the most of its format, soaring when its young hero rides on his winged reptilian pal, and full of heart and heroism even when its action is grounded.
  28. 63
    Dreamworks hired the directors of "Lilo & Stitch" to turn Cressida Cowell’s romp of a novel into an animated film and can’t be too surprised that they made, in essence, "Hiccup and Stitch."
  29. 60
    You could chalk this kid’s flick up as another manic Saturday-matinee time killer if it weren’t for a singularly impressive element. It’s not the stretchy, lava-lamp–ish animation, which offers the usual in-your-face 3-D tricks.
  30. 60
    Beyond its easy-on-the-psyche message, the picture is reasonably pretty to look at.
  31. 50
    Adequate but unremarkable animated tale.
  32. 50
    You could say the 3-D animated kidpic How To Train Your Dragon is "Avatar" for simpletons. But that title is already taken, by "Avatar."
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 573 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 119
  1. Apr 13, 2011
    10
    I like movies done by DreamWorks Animation, but none seemed to reach the emotional tone of Pixar movies, until this fantastic movie came. HadI 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. Full Review »
  2. Oct 17, 2011
    8
    Dreamworks Animation's new viking animation "How to Train Your Dragon" is surprisingly enjoyable compared to recent films made by them. It hasDreamworks 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 Full Review »
  3. IanB
    Mar 31, 2010
    10
    Fantastic movie. Kids loved it. Wife loved it. I loved it. If taking a family of five to the movies wasn't so expensive, we'd have Fantastic movie. Kids loved it. Wife loved it. I loved it. If taking a family of five to the movies wasn't so expensive, we'd have gone a second time. I can't believe some of the professional critics are scoring it so low. It was a great movie. Full Review »