SOUND OFF

Sound Off: How to Train Your Dragon - What Did You Think?

by
March 26, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? DreamWorks Animation has released its 19th feature film in theaters today, titled How to Train Your Dragon, based on Cressida Cowell's book of the same name. There's been a lot of buzz about how good this movie is, so I thought I'd open the floor for discussion. Is it really a great movie after all? Is it DreamWorks' best to date? Or is it just another mediocre movie from that studio? How are the visuals and the 3D this time? Is there a good story and good characters to go along with it? If you've seen it, leave a comment, and let us know what you thought of How to Train Your Dragon!

To fuel the fire, I thought How to Train Your Dragon was really, really good, but I didn't exactly love it. The chemistry between Hiccup and Toothless is amazing, anytime they were together on screen it was brilliance, at a Pixar level. However, the rest of the movie felt like the same old bland DreamWorks we all know. I still dislike the character design, the humor was too childish, and I hated hearing celebrity voices. I can certainly see how many people loved it and it's worth seeing for some of the wonderful flying scenes alone (especially in 3D). It is actually a great film, I just personally didn't love it, although I do already want to see it again.

What did you think of How to Train Your Dragon? One of DreamWorks' bests or just okay?

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  • HU5K3R
    Have not seen it yet but I cannot wait, looking to read some positive feedback here!!!
  • Shane
    It was surprisingly incredible. I had no idea what to expect going in, but it was really, really great. The score is top-notch and the storytelling surprisingly emotional. Plus, the 3D, which I'm not a huge fan of, was quite well-done, especially the flight sequences.
  • dRailer
    "at a Pixar" level is the key... I haven't seen this yet but the trailer had me wondering if this is DW finally finding their inner Pixar. Sounds like it is.
  • shadow
    Best film of the year so far. Probably the most fun I've had watching an animated film since WALL-E. Much better writing and storytelling than I ever expected from the film. Which never had me groaning like most Dreamworks films do. The second you experience flight in this film, you never wanted the characters to stay on the ground again. The score was fantastic, dramatic, heavy and intense. They had SIgur Ros's lead singer to the end credits!!!! And I loved the ending. Which struck the perfect note with me. As the credits rolled people in my theater literally cheered as the clapped. It's hands down the best film Dreamworks has ever made.
  • Rodney
    Saw it in IMAX 3D! It was great, Dreamworks has been putting out more hits than misses lately. This one is definitely a hit.
  • David
    Although I didn't think it was at a Pixar-level in terms of plot and quality, I have come to realize that no animator will likely ever match Pixar in terms of excellence. "Dragons" was enjoyable and fun, in the vein of Kung Fu Panda. I thought it looked pretty good and the voice acting was reasonably strong, I didn't know it was Jay Baruchel, doing the lead's character. Overall, I thought it was Dreamworks second best picture after Kung Fu Panda. P.S. The whole "Vikings" theme was also pretty cool.
  • Jake the snake
    Great movie! Definitely a step up for Dreamworks.
  • It's the best film I've seen so far. Tops Avatar, which has just become a special-effects movie about elongated Smurfs on steroids, IMHO. I usually hate Dreamworks stuff, but if they can do more like this... I really enjoyed the flight scenes, the 3D premium was worth it. I kept getting a niggly feeling of Disney, esp. with Toothless vaguely reminiscent of something I'd seen before. Then I read the directors did Lilo & Stitch too. :) Don't care if it's got some rehashes, I approve of dragons and Vikings.
  • The best DWA film (yes, better than Kung Fu Panda and the first Shrek). seriously, this movie doesn't feel like a DWA film at all, more like a Pixar.
  • Duck
    I loved it, the animation was great, it had dragons and vikings, awesome flight scenes i mean what else can you ask for??
  • Timothy
    I too thought this was the best Dreamworks film. The animation was wonderful (just look at the texturing of that flannel!) and the story was conventional, but very effective and affecting. In short, a beautiful, well-designed ,well-animated film with a great score to boot. Honestly, I liked it much better than Up (perhaps the only Pixar film I can't enjoy) and think, on concept alone, I like it more than I will like Toy Story 3.
  • Daniel felts
    Well, these positive reviews have made me want to see it even more. Can't wait to see it.
  • Marty
    #8 You're not very creative. The "smurfs" comment is a little worn. Your aversion toward "Avatar" won't change the fact that the film is a milestone of all milestones. It marks the moment when technology has finally been conquered: it's become "invisible". Filmmakers and actors are finally free. I wish you had been able to share the elation felt by those of us who experienced this once-in-a-lifetime moment. You missed it.
  • It's all true!
    Great film! Loved it! See it in 3D!
  • How to train your dragon
    The only thing I didn't like is the latest revision of his dragon. He just looked funny with the flat head. I must say 3D technology is getting better as people are finding out how to implement it better. I'm with #9 Kung Fu & Shrek were both other great films. Others were just okay. I wonder if Dreamworks will ever start to make sequels direct to video as Disney had started a while back? It seems they don't have too much money lately to play around with. I hope the quality continues to improve at DW, good job. And Avatar was where you were immersed within the movie. YOU were on Pandora with the rest of the crew.
  • Shalnark
    The story was great not as awesome as kung fu panda and shrek 2 love them both... hated the voices especially hiccup not suitable for a protagonist love the design of the dragons humor yes it failed even with my nephew he didnt enjoy to much i think i dont want to watch movies like this anymore, we are bored with the effects and visuals i think its time for the story to live to its promise, but i guess effects do work (as for avatar)
  • James
    It was AWESOME! Up there with Pixar for sure. And the celebrity voices fit the film. They were perfectly cast. Go see it!
  • Carlos
    It was freakin awesome!
  • DaNorb
    Great movie. Best Dreamworks film yet. Just watched it overseas in Bahrain and the placed was packed. I herd a lot of adults laugh which is not the case usually with cartoons overseas. Best animation film this year.
  • dbamma
    IT WAS VERY GOOD!
  • Chevy
    Just when i thought that Ratatouille was the best animated score...to me at the least.....I think How to Train Your dragon is simply the best animated feature i have ever seen to date.....The characters, The clumsy weird looking Dragons especially Toothless are fantastic.... To everyone out there who hasn't seen the movie yet, please head out for IMAX 3D...It is unbelievably fun
  • MikeC
    Brilliantly done Entire family really enjoyed it. Excellent design and visuals, very solid story and some bold moves on the part of the script writers especially in the closing stages of the movie which surprised me - but made the movie even more credible I greatly appreciated the fact that they stayed away from modern day wisecracks This was a surprising gem of a movie
  • Gex
    Honestly, I liked it, a lot. There were 2 things I disliked about it, typical cliches that I wish they didn't use. SPOILER ALERT! The first one, the father-son relationship, how the son is different from the father and the father is on the verge of disowning him because the son doesn't want what he wants of him. Typical. The second one, all the vikings-in-training getting together with the main character to help out in the climactic battle. Aside from the problems with this, like how quickly the dragons warmed up to them compared to Hiccup and his dragons (how long that took), especially since they've been fighting them throughout the movie up until that point, it was typical kids movie cliche. Aside from those problems, the movie had everything I wanted in a good kiddie movie, good action scenes, good relationship development (with both the human-human and human-dragon), and other tidbits here and there. Didn't see it in 3D, because 3D is overrated (except for Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, that's a movie that requires 3D viewing in order to be enjoyed), and most of the time the 2D experience is every bit as enjoyable as the 3D, only cheaper. I've always been skeptical of 3D ever since seeing the 3D version of Bolt, and realizing that I could be watching this in 2D and having the same level of enjoyment. Ever since then, 3D has been on my bad side, and Avatar didn't sway me either (the only cool part about it being in 3D was the computer monitors, that was an awesome effect). So my advice, just see the 2D version. From my experience from watching HttYD, judging from the 2D experience alone, I don't see how 3D will really add that much. Sure there are a couple flying scenes that could be a little more intense with the 3D (especially when dodging the rock pillars), but overall you're not really missing a thing from skipping on the 3D version. One last thing, on Dreamworks vs. Pixar. Come on people, Pixar is getting a little overrated. Yeah they make good movies, but now they're getting formulaic. Seriously, if you watch all their movies back to back, it's pretty much the exact same freakin thing. They were at their best with Toy Story 2, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo. I mean, I guess just about every Dreamworks/Pixar 3D movie follows a similar formula, but with Pixar it's getting too familiar, too similar. I began to pick up on it after watching Wall-E, and confirmed it after watching Up. Don't get me wrong, those movies are entertaining, and Wall-E does have a more unique sense of pacing with its first half, but it gets brought back down to the typical Pixar family formula in the 2nd half. And Up, it did have an excellent way of bringing out emotion in a few scenes, but aside from that, was there really any doubt as to how the movie would progress, and even end? A happy ending is nothing short of guaranteed with these movies (otherwise the film probably wouldn't be released mainstream, since then Pixar or Dreamworks would be labeled as the company responsible for fucking up your child's life), but the journey getting there could be mixed up a little more. It's all about changing the pacing up, making character relations interesting and a driving force, and making the plot interesting (possibly the hardest thing to do in this day and age).
  • Gex
    And for the record, I thought this movie was more entertaining than Up and Wall-E. Bring on the flame war!
  • leinergroove
    @ 23/24. Amongst other things, I do agree: Pixar is WAY overrated!!!!
  • Mark
    It's was pretty good. The biggest problem was every one had these great accents... Except the children. I don't know why, but the children all had American accents. I didn't mind that for Hiccup, since he was supposed to be odd (and one character even points out, "You don't talk like us"), but the other children needed accents. It was just not right.
  • DRM
    It was spectacular. Considering how much this blog bad-mouthed it based on the trailers, you guys really ate your words here. It was one of my favorite movies of the year, CGI or not.
  • Jon
    Fantastic to see that Dreamworks hasn't struck out, and instead has delivered quite well. What a fantastic movie. I hate to bring up "Megamind," but I'm hoping that, like Kung Fu Panda and Monsters Vs. Aliens, that there's not a "winning," DWA movie of the year that is followed up by a throwaway movie.
  • Justin
    I saw this with my 10 year old daughter over the weekend and I can tell you right now that we both thought it was amazing. As the credits rolled she turned to me and said "Dad I want to see that again". When she noticed that it was based on a book she said "Dad I want the book". Neither thing has been said to me before... Bravo Dreamworks, Bravo!
  • Jaron
    I thought it was pretty bad, i might of went into thinking it was going to be amazing since i read everybodys reviews, but i didnt like it at all. Then again i am part of the few who HATED avatar. Btw Pixar is not overrated they have made far better quality movies.
  • ModernRock
    Loved the movie, but I'm done with the 3D hype. Never will I pay the xtra $$$ to see 3D films. Join the revolution! Boycott 3D films. There is nothing like 2D films. Brighter, Better and no Headaches, not to mention lighter on the wallet.
  • darthwhitey
    I thought it was great. It's one of those that Alex seemed to write off from the start. Now it's 98% on rotten tomatoes. I think it's as good as UP, and the CGI is just brilliant...really a game changer...just breathtaking!
  • Rick
    Wow. Am I like the only person that doesn't think it was all that great? I watched it in 3D, and during the entire movie I wished I could see it in 2D instead. The 3D sucks and is highly overrated. The only reason I saw it in 3D was because we arrived a little too late for the 2D one. I'm reading people going on about the 3D being good. Honestly? If that was good 3D, then all 3D sucks. Actually, the only movie I can think of that was worth seeing in 3D was avatar. Other than that, I always regret paying that extra three dollars for crap 3D. Including How to Train Your Dragon. What does fail 3D add to the movie-going experience, anyway? My eyes get soar, the screen is darker, the glasses are flimsy and keep falling off my head. --- I don't know about you guys, but the glasses at my theatre have been getting crappier and crappier. I compared an older pair I saved with the glasses I got yesterday - huge difference. They hardy even want to stay on my head anymore, they're too flexible, too thin. As I was watching How to Train Your Dragon, I could spot several parts that still looked blurry/doubled/whatever even with the glasses on. I don't know if that had to do with the glasses or with the movie or the theatre itself, but it was distracting. 3D is way overrated. Someone - Mark - mentioned the whole thing with the accents. That was one of the things that bothered me during the whole movie. If the children had even a slight hint of an accent, I would not have been nearly as bothered by it. I didn't like the main character - hiccup - and I especially didn't like that girl - I forgot her name. I didn't find it that funny or clever. Sure, Toothless was cute, but that isn't enough to carry a movie. The moral was there, a good moral, and although I always love to see a moral in a story, it isn't always enough to make me love a movie. I'd rate it 3/5, decent but not spectacular. And I can't help but think this is going to get way overrated.
  • Emily
    Saw it twice!! I thought that for a children's movie, it was actually a very good action movie. Granted, I am not much of an action movie type person, but, although I knew that everything would work out ok, I still let myself get nervous. It was not the best movie I've ever seen, but it was a pleasant surprise and in the top 15 or 20. I actually liked the voice choice for Hiccup, it was very nasally and suited him. I will admit, all of the youngsters coming together at the end was pretty cliche, but this is a trap that even J K Rowling falls into in Harry Potter 5. As to #33's saying Toothless was cute, I have one response to that. He was BEYOND cute, out right adorable. For me, though I am a female, I would say his cuteness was enough to carry it :). I would agree, don't go 3D. Although I did not see this one in 3D, I have learned it is not worth it. If you liked Shrek, you will LOVE this movie. If you like a cute, funny, and semi-adventrous movie, you will love this movie. But, it's not exactly the best movie for a mature audience. First and foremost, it is a children's movie, but if you are an adult who likes a good kids' movie, I promise you will love it!
  • Well... I LOVED IT!
  • Imnottellingyou!
    I totally LOVE this movie. If you like shrek or kung fu panda (wich Iv'e seen both of btw) then you'll TOTALLY LOVE this movie! And Iv'e been trying to get the last part because when he lost his leg, I wanted to see it without the stick thing. But it always says HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON MOVIE TRAILERS! That tottaly pisses me off. Oh and sorry to you people who haven't seen it before and I gave some stuff away. Sorry! :)
  • Austin
    I just saw the movie today and let me tell you it has to be one of the best movies I've seen lately in the cartoon series. Great Movie and I suggest everyone to see it, especially in 3D.
  • Jimmy Hoang
    I'm from VietNam & i can't wait to see this movie ! it's so amazing ! All characters in the movie are wonderful , i'll see it in May with my firends when the last semester TOTALLY ENDED ! I hope everyone go to see it , especially in 3D !!!
  • zeldaprimed
    I TOTALLY FELL IN LOVE WITH IT! As a Kid I was always daydreaming about Dinosaurs and Dragons and the sort...well this movie actually delivered...I was into it the entire time I was in the Theater...I completely forgot I was wearing the 3D glasses as I was sucked into how Hiccup and Toothless interacted with each other on screen...plus the battle at the end...wow...I know these are different films, but I completely liked the huge dragon at the end better than the Kracken in Clash of the Titans... I will prolly go watch it again...
  • Ken Peters
    I would love to see it. However our national monopolist cinema complex Kinepolis decided it's a movie for children. So it only plays during afternoons and only in a dubbed version. Pweuch. And then people pirate. But not me of cours. I never would do that. Are there 3D home projectors yet?
  • I cried in the movie... WHO WANTS A SEQUEL!
  • Cuz i do!
  • Emmy
    I was actually one of the people who saw the trailer and thought "Hoo boy, what are they trying to do now?" I think this may possibly be one of my new favorite movies. Now, this is a kid/family movie, and I have different standards for those than I do for a more adult-focused film. For a kid/family movie, this was brilliant. I'm also a cynic who believes pretty much all the original ideas have been taken. So instead I say go ahead and take a formula--just make it good. That's what this movie did. Standard stuff, but extremely well-done. I thought it had plenty of heart, the animation was beautiful, and I think the score was honestly the best thing about it. If they want to do cliches, I'll let 'em. Just as long as the result is good. I thought it was a great, very classic story. Tried-and-true kind of a thing. 3D... I did see this in 3D and I felt it was worth the price if the 3D thing is important to you. This is beautiful animation and the 3D only makes it more so. But it's still beautiful animation regardless, so... either way. The accents: I let it go. I wondered why the adults were speaking Scottish Brogue, the kids were sounding perfectly American, and what the lot of them were doing together in northern Europe over a thousand years ago. But, I thought the voice cast was quite fitting. So I threw up my hands and let it go. Eh, you could nitpick it. I can nitpick it and make some story/character improvements. But I still say it's a new favorite for me.
  • Fac
    I enjoyed it. I thought it was really, really good but to agree with Alex on this one I don't love it. Still when it comes out on DVD, there's no doubt in my mind it's a must own. Especially since this is probably one of Dreamworks best and the closest they've ever come to being as amazing as Pixar.
  • Andrea
    Are you kidding me? I love the movie! Everything about it it's wonderful! The characters, the music (OH! the music!), the storyline, etc. The end of the movie was perfect! I cried! And the fight scene was also amazing, the humor was not forced (Thank you, God) 😀 To me the 3D was fine, I liked it, better than Avatar in a few parts of the movie and I really enjoy Toothless, the dragon. He's so cute~ Gonna watch it again ^^ PS: Sorry, bad english, i'm from Mexico, jeje.
  • karl
    Pixar is kind of overrated. Regardless, though, Dragon is without a doubt the best animated film I have ever seen. Also, i don't see why some of you are arguing against 3D and saying that it does not enhance the movie experience. While you may not instantly feel like the movie is better when you put on the 3D glasses, the depth adds a whole new reality that, subconciously, makes sequences more awe-inspiring, makes the movie's world more real, and makes the whole film more immersive. IMHO, a 3D movie seen in 2D loses part of its soul. 3D allows the viewer to experience, rather than just watch, the movie. (hey i would make a great 3D spokesperson, huh?) Anyway, the other thing i don't understand is how some of you say that 3D makes your eyes hurt? Technologies like RealD provide a practically flawless sterioscopic image, which is, at least in well-made movies like Dragon, basically exactly what you see all the time every day. Do your eyes hurt all the time? That's all i got, except that H2TYDragon was (is) an amazing film that should not be compared to the works of Pixar, which now has some catching up to do!
    • Meabs
      i'm sorry, i got as far as "the best animated film i have ever seen". that sir, is a damn shame. cgi is more like puppetry than animation, have you not seen any classic disney? how about akira? ninja scroll? ren and stimpy for christs sake!? these shows required the animators to employ some kind of artistic skill and technique, none of which is displayed in modern animation. all characters look the same and have boring, uninteresting "celebrity" voices. every expression is stock standard and plastic. nothing has personality anymore. i'm depressed just thinking about it, sorry not your fault.
  • Chris
    All you people that are complaining and nitpicking at the movie, grow up. Yes, it is not perfect. I am yet to watch a perfect movie. Overall however I would still rate it as a 5/5 for lack of anything else to put it as. I saw it in 2D, my friends were to cheap to go see it in 3D and I didn't really want to go see it alone, and honestly my only complaint is that some of my favorite lines from the trailers weren't in the movie. I don't know if they were in the 3D version or just got cut out, or I somehow missed/don't remember them, but that made me sad.
  • Chris
    Also @ Deadly Nadder, if you are still pying attention to this at all, I believe that there is going to be a sequel released in 2011/2012.
  • GFMANN
    I have seen both How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3. I'm a very big fan of Toy Story 3 and have loved the characters for years. Howver, I firmly feel and saw that How to Train Your Dragon brought something fresh and new that I haven't seen in an animated film in a while. My husband who gets bored easily watching animated films was wide awake during the movie. I've like new and creative characters. I felt the same way about How to Train Your Dragon that I did when I first saw Toy Story. Toy Story 3 didn't bring out that same emotion. I really did enjoy it and even loved it. But I thought How to Train Your Dragon did something that is rare in Hollywood -- a new story that I hadn't see. And well executed. Pixar set the bar high, very high. I just think this time, Dreamwork's HTTYD out did it self this year.
  • GFMANN
    I have seen both How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3. I'm a very big fan of Toy Story 3 and have loved the characters for years. Howver, I firmly feel and saw that How to Train Your Dragon brought something fresh and new that I haven't seen in an animated film in a while. My husband who gets bored easily watching animated films was wide awake during the movie. I've like new and creative characters. I felt the same way about How to Train Your Dragon that I did when I first saw Toy Story. Toy Story 3 didn't bring out that same emotion. I really did enjoy it and even loved it. But I thought How to Train Your Dragon did something that is rare in Hollywood -- a new story that I hadn't see. And well executed. Pixar set the bar high, very high. I just think this time, Dreamwork's HTTYD out did it self this year.
  • Josh
    How To Train your dragon I think is a perfect movie because it finds a clever way of putting together a friendship. Not in a dorky kind of cliche way but a witty and inventive kind. You see, the way I find it is that Toothless (Who is adorable) and Hiccup needed each other to go on, they were each broken and truly need each other. This is so smart and touching not in a way like toys falling in a trash can. BOO TOY STORY! GO HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON!! GO DREAMWORKS!!

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