|Fig 1 - How to Train Your Dragon Poster|
I personally believe this to be the second greatest Dreamworks franchise since Shrek (2001), in that it has an incredibly defined style and works for a wide range of cinema-goers. Having said that, unlike most 'widely-reaching' animations, the film doesn't resort to dropping in 'risque humour only adults would get', but rather chooses not to hold back during battle scenes that give the film a real sense of danger that most animations try to avoid. With this, the rocky dynamic between Hiccup and his father feels completely genuine in Stoick's typically 'Viking' mindset of requiring overt masculinity from his son. Stoick's perspective of his son as a hindrance to the clan feels incredibly true to the reality of the situation. It never feels as though Stoick is worried for his son's safety, more that he is embarrassed by his inability to comply with their lifestyle, which I'm sure is a note that would hit home for anybody who struggles relating to a parent. Incidentally, I do think Gerard Butler gives Stoick a truly three-dimensional personality in his delivery and made the town's leader a figure to be feared and respected.
|Fig 2 - How to Train Your Dragon - Hiccup and Toothless|
Overall, How to Train Your Dragon is a highly-recommended story of acceptance and bravery, refreshingly void of Pixar's glossy child-proofed visuals in exchange for a gritty thrill-ride that might leave you with a splinter or two.
Fig. 1 How to Train Your Dragon Poster (2010) From: How to Train Your Dragon - Directed by: Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders
Fig. 2 How to Train Your Dragon Screenshot (2010) From: How to Train Your Dragon - Directed by: Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders