Metascore
74

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

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 475 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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
    88
    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
    83
    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
    75
    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
    50
    Adequate but unremarkable animated tale.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 107
  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. 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. Sep 1, 2014
    10
    “How to train your dragon” is the story of a furious dragon, Toothless, and a genius dragon fighter, Hiccup. Dragons constantly raid Hiccup's town, steal the live stock, and set the houses on fire. Hiccup's father is leader of the town, a legendary dragon fighter, and Hiccups role model. Hiccup craves to be like his father but he lacks the essential skills to fight dragons. He is clumsy, cowardly, and weak. Still he relentlessly practices to become a dragon fighter even though nobody takes him seriously.

    “How to train your dragon” is the story of a young boy searching for his identity; searching for who he wants to be and how to become it. It is a story of perseverance. It shows when traditions and conventions are hindering you, they should be changed or abandoned. When Hiccup fails to become a dragon fighter by following the traditional and conventional methods, he questions their authenticity, meticulously examines them, refines them, or even completely rejects them and devises new unorthodox ways. The myths fascinate him in the fantasy world but do not blind him in the real world.

    “How to train your dragon” is full of sublime messages and themes but it is not a heavy handed movie for the elite. Quite conversely, it is an extraordinarily fun movie to watch, a movie that even toddlers can enjoy. The graphic design is phenomenal, soundtracks are captivating, dialogues are fluid and seamless, and it has a remarkable story to tell. This is indeed one of the best achievements in the history of animations.
    Expand
  3. ChadS.
    Mar 27, 2010
    10
    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
    10
    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
    9
    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
    8
    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
    4
    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 107 User Reviews

Trailers

Related Articles

  1. The Best and Worst Movies of 2010

    The Best and Worst Movies of 2010 Image
    Published: January 7, 2011
    In our annual report, we reveal the best- and worst-reviewed movies of 2010 in a variety of categories.
  2. Pixar vs. DreamWorks Animation: Comparing the CGI Giants

    Pixar vs. DreamWorks Animation: Comparing the CGI Giants Image
    Published: June 16, 2010
    This week's "Toy Story 3" is Pixar's 11th feature film, and the animation house has established a remarkable record with its 10 previous releases. How does Pixar's biggest competitor, DreamWorks Animation, stack up?