How to Train Your Dragon

The village of Berk has a dragon problem. Every now and then they descend from the sky to snatch a nervous sheep or two. It's a ba-a-a-a-d situation, and the Vikings can't quite solve the problem. The Viking leader, Stoick the Vast’s, son, Hiccup, is sure that if he manages to kill a dragon he'd make his father proud. One problem: Hiccup is incapable of killing a dragon. He does manage to capture a dragon, whom he names Toothless, and an unusual friendship blossoms.

Toothless becomes a loyal companion to Hiccup and loves him despite his geeky-ness. They defend each other in dangerous situations and risk their lives for each other. Stoick loves Hiccup and learns to appreciate Hiccup's special gifts.

The film has quite a bit of slapstick violence, including getting smacked in the head and running into trees. Killing a dragon is a rite of passage for every Viking boy, and the Viking kids learn about dragons from a book filled with gory illustrations. Both Toothless and Hiccup suffer permanent injuries during the course of the film.

How to Train Your Dragon reminds us why so many of us love animals: They love us back. Unfortunately, Hiccup's love for his dragon influences him to do some pretty foolish things. He keeps secrets, considers running away and he and his father get into an argument that threatens to ruin their relationship. Despite that, this film may be DreamWorks Animation's best movie yet—a fun, thrilling Viking voyage that, in the end, is a simple yet relevant story about a dragon and his boy.

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