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

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 435 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
    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. Positive: 95 out of 99
  2. Negative: 0 out of 99
  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. Oct 26, 2010
    10
    i love some of theese CGI kids films . i shouldnt eveen call it that it should be referd to as a family film because like shrek people of all ages can enjoy theese films . its a fun little story about a viking town who fight dragons and a young kid names hic up who want to be a dragon slayer but doesnt have the build or stomach for it . its very well voice acted i thought the guy who did hic up did a great job . he was very funny and fit the charicter perfect . the action and camera shots where amazing i wached this with my neices and nephews and they where just wowed by it as was i . great film probubly best of the year. Expand
  3. Dec 25, 2012
    10
    I remember watching this in the theater and enjoying it, but just watched it again tonight, and it was sooooo much better than the first time. Probably because it was in 3D the first time, and all we are watching are for the affects! An absolutely brilliant film, and I have to say that after watching it tonight it is now one of my favorites of all time. Just a wonderful story. And the final scene in which Hiccup realizes he's missing part of a limb, and the dragon whisks him away...beyond touching!!! Will watch this over and over!!! Expand
  4. Dec 21, 2010
    9
    Based on a novel with the same name, writer William Davies was able to turn this kids story into a touching and deep first-class screenplay that is really rare for Dream Works. Hiccup, voiced by the devastating and believable Jay Baruchel, is a weak and low self-esteem little boy who lives in a world of Vikings. His dad and his friends, all around him, their life mission is to kill dragons and Hiccup is expected to do the same. Going through training and a lot of trying, Hiccup was not successful. Instead of killing dragons, Hiccup decided to read books on the dragons and found out they are not that bad. The belief was brought on after Hiccup met a dragon, who was considered the most dangerous dragon and did not try to eat him. This created a interesting but predictable twist for the audience to eat up on. Hiccup named his "friend" Toothless. Months go by as Hiccup trains his dragon friend Toothless to fly since he was injured when Hiccup found him. Throughout the training, their relationship begins to build and we see that Hiccup is falling in love. The writer really wanted us to cry at this point because Hiccup's friend Toothless was discovered by the town people and he's being killed by them. At the end, we know that dragons aren't as bad and Vikings shouldn't be killing them. This really looks like Disney's work because the message and the tone of the film is based on being friends and nice and all. At first, I thought this was not Dream Work's work, but after checking up on it, I was surprised. This looked more like Disney's cheesy work than Dream Work's. How To Train Your Dragon is classy, funny, kid-friendly, and intelligently scripted. It is one of the best films of the year.
    OscarBuzz: Best Animated Feature, this will go head to head against Toy Story 3. Even though Toy Story 3 definitely has a lead, if it didn't win, How To Train Your Dragon would snatch the Oscar.
    Though I didn't mention the 3D, be assured that Avatar will be jealous to see this film in 3D.
    Expand
  5. Mar 20, 2011
    9
    My favorite animated Dreamworks movie is Shrek 2, but How To Train Your Dragon is officially a very close second. I'd say it's more like a first-and-a-half. Pixar is still the animation powerhouse, but Dreamworks has been doing very well. Stereotypical (yet likeable) characters and a predictable story didn't hurt this one at all, in my opinion. I loved Toothless (the Dragon). He didn't utter a single word, yet I could see every emotion that went through his mind. And Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) was a fine lead. There was nothing extremely inventive in his looser-becomes-hero character, but I still liked him alot. I pretty much liked everything else about this one too. Gerard Butler would be just as good a Viking in live action, as he was in this one. It was just like King Leonidas put on a few pounds. And I have to mention Craig Ferguson. I watch his late night show every once in a while, and the guy is hilarious. I loved seeing (well technically hearing) him in a good movie. If there happens to be a sequel (like that would ever happen), he better be there. Like I mentioned before, the story is a bit cliche, but it was still a fun, heart warming tale. I loved how this movie leaned more towards drama and action, than comedy. That really made this a unique experience to me. The 3D was beautiful too. It was more like Avatar's, with depth. Finally a 3D animated movie that doesn't throw stuff at you for an hour and a half! This story would be amazing in any D, but if you can, go see it in 3D. It really accentuates the digital effects perfectly. I cannot say enough how much I loved it, and I'll definitely be picking a copy up when it comes out. Expand
  6. May 20, 2014
    8
    You know 2010 was a pretty packed year for good animated movies, I mean we had this, Toy Story 3, Tangled, Megamind, Despicable Me, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. All of them are good movies in their own right but i would have to say that this is my second favorite animated movie to come out that year behind Toy Story 3 of course. Dreamworks Animation has always had some decent movies a few being Antz, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Megamind, but it seems that people always put them behind in the race with Pixar. ill honest here and say that this movie is better then the last 3 Pixar films without a doubt. The voice cast is freaking great, the animation was top notch, the action/flight scenes were awesome, and the story does have it's heartfelt moments when needed. The only problem i have with the movie is that the story never really seems to take off, for me it seemed that the writers played it safe but other then that i loved it.

    Overall i give it a 8.0 One problem i had when i first watched the film was Jay Baruchel as Hiccup his voice just didn't seem to fit but after a couple of times watching it his voice grew on me. I really can't wait to watch How to Train Your Dragon 2 but i already know it's not going to be as good as this one though, The trailers do make it look as if it will be just as fun filled as the first so count me in for a theater viewing.
    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 99 User Reviews

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