Oscar®Oscar® Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film, and Best Music original score
Movie Review

How to Train Your Dragon also known as “How to Train Your Dragon: An IMAX 3D Experience,” “Cómo entrenar a tu dragón,” “Como Treinares o Teu Dragão,” “Drachenzähmen leicht gemacht,” “Dragetreneren,” “Dragons,” “Draktränaren,” “Hikku to doragon,” “Pos na ekpaidefsete to drako sas,” “Sådan træner du din drage,” “Как приручить дракона”

MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language.

Reviewed by: Angela Bowman
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
3D Animation Fantasy Comedy Kids Family IMAX
Length:
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
March 26, 2010 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: October 15, 2010
Copyright, Paramount Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

Dragons and dinosaurs—discover how they are connected

Dragons in the Bible

Are dinosaurs mentioned in the BIBLE? Answer

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Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.

Featuring: voices of Jay Baruchel (Hiccup)—“She’s Out of My League,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Knocked Up

Gerard Butler (Stoick), America Ferrera (Astrid), Jonah Hill (Snotlout), Kristen Wiig (Ruffnut), more »
Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Producer: DreamWorks Animation, Mad Hatter Entertainment, more »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

Sequel: “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (2014)

Based on the 2004 book by Cressida Cowell, “How To Train Your Dragon” drops us into a Viking community which is and appears to have always been at war with a horde of dragons. Life in this village centers around this war, and fear and hatred for dragons is promoted for survival.

As with most communities, however, there is one unlike the rest, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), the peculiar son of the tribe chief, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), is always out of sync, in the way, and a great disappointment and embarrassment to his father and the rest of the village.

After befriending a rare dragon Hiccup names “Toothless,” he starts to realize who he is as he finds his place in the world while discovering that reality is much different from the assumptions of his people. Eventually he must present this truth to others, even though he knows how much it will hurt his father, who doesn’t understand or listen to him to begin with.

I found “How To Train Your Dragon” to be charmingly endearing. While initially frightful, Toothless turns out to be as a beloved pet, much like one of my dogs with the appearance of a cat. And likewise, the first scene is dark and foreboding, but we find that the negative beliefs of the people have shaped an attitude that has caused this darkness in which they live and with positive change light rises over the course of the film.

“… on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Matt 4:16)

Other life lessons, including loyalty and teamwork, importance of community and family are poignantly presented (Phil 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.), and I much appreciated that the relationship between father and son was given highest importance and respect. I am reminded that even though our earthly fathers may fail us, we have God our Father who never will never leave us nor forsake us (Deu. 31:6), who delights in us (Prov. 3:12 and Psa 147:11) and cherishes our oddities, as He made us each unique (Psa. 139:13-14).

Negative Content

There is quite a bit of violence and violent speech which may frighten younger viewers, note that while technically violent, it is not gory. Various types of dragons burning down villages, snatching sheep, fighting, cartoonish pictures of cut off heads, lost limbs (not graphic), regurgitated, half-eaten fish and quite a bit of dialogue about killing, including various ways dragons kill people and people kill dragons, an instance where Hiccup says he is going to cut out a dragon’s heart and take it to his father and Astrid, offended by a boy, hits him over the head with a shield and tells him that it now has blood on it. Skulls adorn some clothing. There are a couple of references to Norse gods, including “the gods hate me,” but the subject is not pursued. The dragon is referred to as “devil” (in a general sense, not as the actual devil).

In one scene Astrid lands on top of Hiccup and a comment is made about “love on the battlefield.” There are two scenes of kissing, one on the cheek and one on the lips. Hiccup is given a helmet which turns out to be half of his late mother’s breastplate, the other half used as a helmet for his father. Hiccup thanks his father for the “breast hat.”

Language is mainly restricted to name calling, such as “son of a half-troll,” one instance of h*ll and b*tt.

Positive Content

Hiccup eventually learns to be true to himself, even knowing he stands alone. He builds confidence as he learns and then applies his knowledge. Despite feeling helpless at times and at times making the wrong decisions, he always tries to do what is right. He and Toothless are loyal friends, displaying not only teamwork, but the necessity of it and our dependence on one another. Commitment to and importance of community is also apparent. His relationship with his father is most important, and it is mainly out of honor and love for his father that his bad decisions, secretive actions stem. Reconciliation and forgiveness wrap up this tale with classic warm and fuzziness.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor

Dragons and dinosaurs—discover how they are connected

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I enjoyed the movie, for the most part. I would warn that, again, it is a childrens' movie that teaches that children know better than their parents, and, of course, there is only one parent in this home. This is almost a given now days in childrens' movies. It is also an anti-war movie, can’t we all just get along movie. If you think we can all get along, then you don’t understand sin, the Bible or history. It was well made, funny at times and full of action for grade school age children. I’m not sure if Scotsmen will appreciate being thought of as vikings.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kathleen George, age 47 (USA)
Positive—“How to Train Your Dragon” is a delightful story about a kid who realizes he cannot kill a dragon he, himself, downed, so instead, he decides to train it. This does not end well for his Viking village and Viking father (the leader of the village), but the kid, Hiccup, as he’s called, finds there is more to any side of the story.

To start, I would like to say that I loved this movie! I had the thrill of seeing this movie in Real-D 3D, which was amazing and made it that much more enjoyable. The plot was well done and the movie was relatively clean, with no foul language or sexual content. However, as a Viking movie, there were many references to Norse gods (Odin, Thor), instead of the one true God, Jesus Christ. The movie might be a little violent for some with the dragons blowing fire and the final battle at the end.

Except for that, I would recommend this movie to anyone. Just be sure you explain to your kids about Norse mythology and that they understand what they are viewing and hearing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Jacob Airey, age 21 (USA)
Positive—Any negative elements are accurately noted by the reviewer above. It barely earns its PG rating. Overall, a fun, engaging movie for nearly the whole family (our youngest is 10) that had me in stitches more than once. It’s not a Christian film; given that it was about Vikings, one could expect the occasional reference to Odin, etc., but little was made of it. A bit more objectionable was the routine inclusion of women and girls in the fighting force, surely a modern idiocy artificially imposed. And when will Hollywood get tired of portraying fathers as clueless oafs? Other than such to-be-expected items, a fairly wholesome movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jeremy Klein, M.D., age 54 (USA)
Positive - Took our whole family; kids 15, 9 and 3. Our 3 year old boy talked to the screen the whole time. He was helping the kid train the dragon, LOL. Anyway, there were a few things that could have been left out, as usual. But, for the most part, it was a great family film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dow, age 43 (USA )
Positive—Loved it! I saw this movie with my attentive 4 year old and squirmy 1 year old. The 4 year old is usually scared of movies like this, but he loves dragons, and we read the book before seeing it, so he knew what to expect. He was on the edge of his seat with excitement the whole time! Great movie!

If I hadn’t already prepared him, I’d say this movie is for the 6 and older crowd. The only things that were slightly offensive were already mentioned in the above review (like the “breast helmet”).

Overall, great family film with a great message. When you have faith you’re doing the right thing, you can’t let anyone or anything stand in your way… even a parent. I think Matthew 10:34-39 goes well with the theme of this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chrystal, age 33 (USA)
Positive—Movie was well done and very good. Wish I had NOT wasted the extra $2 per person for 3D. That was not the good part, as it would have been just as good in 2D.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Larry Barber, age 47 (USA)
Positive—I took my 8 year old daughter and 9 year old son to see this movie today. We were all very impressed by the story and the action. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see it in 3D. That was the most serious problem for us, as the movie was exceptional.

Yes, there were references to Norse gods, and there were a few very slight instances of bad language (like the love on a battlefield line), but, overall, this movie was far better than most of the movies that come out these days. While it didn’t glorify God, it didn’t mock him or our values, either. That is no small feat for Hollywood. The story of loyalty to your family and loyalty to your friends was a valuable one.

The movie itself was fast-paced, and the quality was excellent. I would recommend it to Christians who aren’t upset by the thought of dragons being our friends.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Alan, age 42 (USA)
Positive—My wife and I took our 2 young children (5 and 7) to see this movie on opening night. I have to add that we are VERY particular about what we allow our children to see. For example, we would not even allow them to view the commercials for Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” (voodoo, evil spirits, curses, etc). Prior to seeing this, our main concern was the subject of dragons, which we don’t like to encourage. We were pleased that the dragons in this movie are not portrayed as mythical supernatural beast, but actually as pests to the Vikings.

Overall, we very much enjoyed the movie, as did our children. Some of the humor between Hiccup and the other young vikings is teenage in nature, but, of course, passed right over our children’s heads. As the reviewer noted, there is very brief reference to Norse gods, but it is very brief and doesn’t dwell on them in any way. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and it is definitely one that we will add to our Blu-Ray collection when it is available.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James, age 40 (USA)
Positive—I took my 3 boys 10, 8, and 6 to see “How to Train Your Dragon.” We all really enjoyed it; it is the best animated movie we’ve seen in a long time. We read the book before going; the plot is very different, but I must say I personally liked the movie better than the book. It definitely might be scary for younger children.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Julie, age 34 (USA)
Positive—I love this movie… it’s good.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—max, age 31 (USA)
Positive—“How To Train Your Dragon,” overall, truly teaches a valuable lesson, “Don’t Judge a book by it’s cover.” My husband and I took our seven year old daughter to see this movie, and we were both surprised at the strong message that was sent. “Toothless the dragon is feared by the vikings, a fear that has been passed down through generations of book keeping and story telling, yet this playful little dragon is very much misunderstood. “Hiccup” is on a quest to prove to his father that he is/can be a dragon slayer; Yet he befriends the injured “toothless” and comes to find that Dragons and Vikings can live in harmony once they understand each other.

I base my rating of “better than average” on the display of massive “protective” tiki torches surrounding the island, in conversation Astrid and Hiccup refer to the Vikings “Gods”, and when Astrid and Hiccup are taken to the “Dragons Nest” by Toothless, all of the dragons and paying “offerings” of food to a massive dragon.

Overall, I believe this movie is family friendly a word of caution for those with children 6-, a massive dragon lives in the “dragons nest” and in this scene swallows a small dragon whole, this scene really upset my child because the dragon is small enough that is looks as if it were a baby dragon.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Chanelle Patel, age 24 (USA)
Positive—I was honestly very pleased with what I saw when I watched “How to Train your Dragon.” The story has much more depth and imagination than I ever would have given it credit for, before seeing it.

A) Hiccup and his father don’t see eye to eye with each other, Hiccup deciding he doesn’t want to fight dragons while his father says that he should attend to dragon fighting as soon as possible in the training arena. His father doesn’t understand his son and vice versa because both have a hard time telling each other what is important to one another. This is especially true when Hiccup feels he couldn’t explain to his dad, much less his acquaintances in the village, about his growing friendship with a night fury dragon named Toothless. It is only when his father and the other vikings are in true peril of losing their lives that Hiccup proves to his father how much he cares for him, regardless of the arguments they have had with one another. His father also realizes how hard-hearted he had been towards his son, finally listening to him and seeing what an honorable young man his son is.

B) The relationship between Toothless and Hiccup was probably one of my favorite aspects of this movie. Toothless speaks volumes of emotion through his eyes, body movement, and mouth without saying a word. Unlike many dragons, Hiccup discovers that he is different from the others. Night furies are known to kill their victims but this one decides to let Hiccup live, as a result of Hiccup freeing him after he captured him the night before. Their growth of trust and dependence on one another is brilliantly executed throughout each scene when they are together. Little by little, the dragon learns to overcome its own doubts and misconceptions of humans, accepting Hiccup and allowing him to help him recover from his injuries. Hiccup and Toothless share a bond with each other that is precious and proves itself to be a lasting one in the end no matter what the cost may be for either of them.

C)This is not just your usual fairy tale where you have mythological creatures and heroes to fight them. Both dragons and vikings have seen each other as enemies for several hundreds of years and neither has wanted to understand the other. Hiccup is truly the first viking of his kind who gets a unique opportunity to see through a dragon’s perspective, just as Toothless is the first of his kind to see that not all humans are without compassion. This is definitely not a safe world that Hiccup lives in. There are intense moments when there is the possibility he or any of his family and friends may not survive. There is also beauty and wonder to behold for Hiccup as he becomes inseparable with Toothless, learning to fly on the back of a dragon. There were definitely scenes in this film that had me tearing up because of the amazing writing and thought that was put into this movie.

In the spirit of “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar 2,” I can say that Dreamworks is definitely heading down the right path. I hope you’ll find as much enjoyment as I did with “How to Train Your Dragon.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—The Writer, age 20 (USA)
Positive—I liked this movie. I gave it a better than average rating instead of a “good” rating, because of the false gods mentioned in the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—G.M., age 23 (USA)
Positive—We took the whole family (daughter aged 10 followed by 5 boys ages 8, 6, 5, 2 and 11 mo) and everyone enjoyed it. No one was scared and everyone was entertained, though the 2 year old had typical ants in his pants. The story is clean and entertaining. There is humor but this is predominantly an action/adventure coming of age movie. The 3D is spectacular especially when flying with Hiccup and Toothless. My wife who gets motion sickness probably should have taken a Dramamine prior to the show. I thought the father/son relationship was overdone at times but it resolves well at the end. I was genuinely drawn to the characters and their story. The artistry of the landscape and multiple dragon designs is excellent. I look forward to seeing it again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—James T, age 39 (USA)
Positive—Based on comments from previous viewers to the effect that the film was suitable for younger audiences, I went expecting my kids to enjoy the movie more than I. But all of us, young and old, found it equally enjoyable. The plot and characters are engaging, and everything works out well in the end—just as a family film should. We will definitely see it again when it comes out on DVD.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chris, age 46 (USA)
Positive—I noticed the main reviewer and many of the viewers are considering the comment about a breastplate as some sort of offensive comment. A breastplate is the part of armor that covers the chest in modern times it could be called chest plate but in any classical references it would be a breastplate. I did not feel that this was meant to be offensive but more of the classical sense, i.e., Bosom buddies are friends near to your heart. Sometimes I feel embarrassed by the efforts we will go to be offended by things. If you try hard enough to be offended by everything I am sure you will succeed. I prefer to look for good.

I found this movie to be a fun and enjoyable movie for my whole family. It was a good story and had many good messages. But is was also fun, toothless was the cutest! Reminded me of my cat! If you have a young child (5 or under)who is easily scared, this might have scary scenes for them. But if you let your kids watch disney movies then this movie has much less objectionable content! I recommend it for the whole family! My husband and I enjoyed it as much as our 7 year old daughter!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—DJ, age 31 (USA)
Positive—I saw this a grand total of 7 times during my deployment—certainly not because of a lack of more productive things to do. We all put in 72 hour workweeks, so “free time” was sparse at best. Now, the VHS copies lent out to our various Morale & Welfare venues were nowhere up to snuff with their digital counterparts, much less the whole “silver screen” experience, but even so, I fell in love with this movie from the get-go (ergo the 7 times). It’s beyond replayable. It’s magical, it’s unclassifiable, and all are broad terms I realize, but if it’s any indication, I’ve only watched a handful of movies that many times, e.g. “Braveheart,” “Les Miserables,” “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future,” and “The Dark Knight.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Mega Tron, age 24 (USA)
Positive—…The christian church (and Vikings) can have the reputation for anti-intellectualism. Hiccup is a role-model for thinking about things, and asking questions. He is also true to not compromising your conscience. There is typically none of that in modern entertainment.

2) Astrid has a scene just after Hiccup’s father (and everyone else) sail off to destroy the dragons where she shows a beautiful and powerful femininity. The Christian church has a reputation for training women to be second class citizens, but I want both my sons and my daughters to grow up to fully fill the measure that God has made them to be. I love her insight, her open-ness, and the kind of relational courage that it takes to have a conversation like that.

This is the best movie I have seen in a long time. I think that my daughter will be richer from watching it 12 times in a row than she would by watching “Finding Nemo” or “Shrek” or any of a dozen… modern movies that do not enrich the soul.
—Michael Munroe, father, husband, and uncle
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie. The only real objection I had was the fact that Hiccup and his father had helmets made from the breastplate of Hiccups mother. Why do they feel the need to tarnish the movie with that? Are these people so out of touch with God that they see no harm in these little jokes? STOP!

I would like to warn anyone who read the book, that this movie is nothing like the book. The facts that they are Vikings, on an Island, Hiccup befriends a dragon, and they fight a large dragon in the end are about the only similarities. However, I like the movie story better than the book. I wish the book had the movie plot instead.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chris Ransom, age 44 (USA)
Positive—This movie truly was one of those movies that I hadn’t expected a lot from but was more than pleasantly surprised. One of the best Dreamworks computer animated movies to date in being clean, interesting, and funny. The humor was spiced throughout in subtle yet very refreshing ways.

Yes, there were references to viking gods but they were vikings so I went in knowing this would happen anyway. The bond between Toothless and Hiccup is very convincing and also beautiful in that they’re two friends who truly trust and depend on each other. As it says in the Bible, if one falls the other is there to pick him up. Toothless also reminded me of my Rottweiler mix and how loyal a dog/horse/cat can become. Seeing it in 3D or without, this movie is a winner. (and at one point it almost moved me to tears) It isn’t without it’s flaws, mention of the breastplate joke and other subtle references, but it’s worth it.

Plus, the aerial shots are so breathtaking in 3D it felt like flying.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Christina, age 19 (USA)
Positive—I think I enjoyed this movie almost as much as my kids (7 and 2)! Other than a few offensive items as mentioned before, I was really impressed with the story line, the amazing graphics, and the way they portray the dragons. Awesome family film that I won’t mind my kids watching over and over.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—AJ, age 32 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—“How to Train Your Dragon” is a decent film. It wasn’t Dreamworks best movie they’ve made, nor was it their worst. There wasn’t much, in my opinion, to laugh at, but I did find myself chuckling from time to time though. The action was good. There was not much that was objectionable, and I didn’t expect that there would be.

There are a couple references made about Norse gods, a comment made about the helmet given to Hiccup, and a kissing scene (very brief) between Hiccup and Astrid. Overall, the movie had a good theme going… standing out for what is right is more honorable than following the crowd. All the other Norsemen wanted to kill the dragons, but Hiccup was the one who stood out and defended the dragons. We as Christians are told, by the Scriptures, to stand out, separate from the world. The Bible tells us we may live in this world but that we are not to be OF this world.

So, overall, was it a good film? Sort of. Again, it wasn’t Dreamworks best, nor was it there worst. However, on a positive note the 3D was good so if you’re going to see this movie, I highly recommend seeing it in Digital 3D. I would recommend this movie to children 10 and older, however, because of the violence.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Alexander Malsan, age 20 (USA)
Neutral—The most offensive thing I found about the film is the mention of Norse gods. Hiccup says “the gods must hate me,” and “oh gods!” I’m pretty sure there are other references, as well. But the worst part I found is when Stoic says something along the lines of “Odin knows…,” “Odin help us” and “Almighty Thor.” Even though this movie is set in a Viking society, and that may be expected, I was uncomfortable with this. To me, it sounds like they replaced God with Odin and Jesus with Thor. Maybe this wasn’t intentional, but that’s just the way it came off to me.

Overall, this film isn’t as offensive as it could have been. The fighting wasn’t gory or extremely violent (although there are images on tapestries and in a book showing decapitated men with blood coming from their necks, and dragons with swords through their stomachs, but not in graphic detail). The fight scene at the end of the movie is probably too frightening for young children, so I don’t recommend taking kids under 7 or 8 to watch this.

The little sexuality seemed fine to me (average boy-crushes-on-girl scenario, and ***SPOILER*** Astrid eventually likes Hiccup and kisses him as well. However, the second time she kisses him is slightly more intense than the first.
***END SPOILER***

One of the Viking twins flirts with Hiccup in a seductive tone, and there is the mention of Hiccup and Stoic’s helmets being made out of the breastplate of Hiccup’s mother.

I’m not entirely sure if this movie is something Christians should watch. It’s not the worst in terms of morals, (there are good lessons of forgiveness, humbling yourself and admitting you’re wrong, defending the wronged), but I don’t feel it’s glorifying to God, especially with the spiritual aspect of the film. It isn’t focused on, it’s just a small part of the dialogue, but we have to be careful of what we allow in our hearts and minds.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Megan, age 18 (Canada)
Neutral—I didn’t find anything objectionable from a Christian viewpoint with this, but not much to inspire me spiritually either. In fact, that’s rather my objection to it technically. It’s a very formulaic film. It started out with the obligatory opening “super-exciting” battle scene, which as usual is far too fast and confusing for you to fully appreciate the technical brilliance and clever ideas that went into it.

It then devolves further with an underdog character who needs to prove himself, a cool girl he aspires to know better, dumb adults locked into an obsolete mind set that the hero has to challenge, and a father who he has to get to know better by doing everything differently. Let me be clear—there’s nothing very wrong with “How to Train Your Dragon,” in fact, it’s a well realized story, but its utterly predictable.

The message (of reaching out and understanding rather than hating and fighting) is hackneyed and unoriginal. OK its a message that bears repeating, but surely there has got to be better ways of doing it. If I had to sum up this film in one word, it would be “bland”. And we know what the bible says about lukewarm, don’t we? I don’t think I wasted my time seeing this, but I won’t be watching it again. And I think I’ll pass on any sequel too.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Martin Bourne, age 49 (United Kingdom)
Neutral—I think the film overall is not bad. The quality of the imagery is really impressive, especially in 3D. I saw it with my 7-year-old daughter (who suffers from an Anxiety Disorder as well as Asperger’s Syndrome), and she was not at all frightened by the intense battles depicted. It’s fun and engaging overall, however what I found most disturbing is the casual sassy attitude among the film’s main characters, the teenagers. Thankfully, the protagonist Hiccup is not that way, but his love interest is. Her overall demeanor and comportment are less than exemplary, and I wouldn’t want teens to view this film and find these examples acceptable behavior and language. Even without using expletives or curse words, the teens' manner and delivery of thought was not something I enjoyed for the duration of the film.

Aside from that and the one comment about Hiccup’s helmet having been forged from his (deceased?) mother’s breastplate (why do kids' films these days almost always lack one parent?), it’s a fun movie. In fact, we may even see it again since my husband wasn’t with us, and we may have a day in town soon with some time to kill and may take him to see it—just for the fun of the 3D imagery going over those rocky cliffs and, of course, the dragons.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Susan, age 49 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I thought this movie was very well made, original, exciting and fun. Sadly, the names of several idle gods from Viking mythology were mentioned. Of course I know this is a movie about Vikings. But I also know Ex 23:13: “And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth.” Could you watch this movie with Lord Jesus Christ sitting next to you ?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—JM, age 45 (Netherlands)
Comments from young people
Positive—I watched this film in IMAX 3D, and it had really great effects! I watched it with my family which contains a 5, 12, 16, and 18 yr old. They all really enjoyed it. The youngest didn’t seem to get scared of the movie (the violent scenes), but she is around of a lot of older siblings and watches things that I was scared of at her age.

The only negative thing I have about the movie was the use of words like hell, and they said the Lord’s name in vain once, which was offensive in that way. They also had a kiss on the cheek and on the lips, which I find inappropriate, because they are 12 yr. old children kissing. Also, Hiccup’s dad gave Hiccup a helmet, which he referred to as his mother’s breastplate, which I didn’t like because this was supposed to be a kid’s movie, but, overall, I enjoyed this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Hope, age 15 (USA)
Positive—I went to the movie with my younger sister (8) and both my parents expecting another predictable, but cute, Dreamworks film. Although it was extremely cute, funny, and sometimes even vulgar, it was one the best movies I’ve seen all year. The only way to really describe a film like this is heartwarming. Yes, it had its moments that were both dark and scary, but in the end, you’ll probably end up smiling about Toothless and Hiccup’s adventure long after you’ve left the theater.

***SPOILER ALERT*** Some scenes may be scary for younger viewers. Some of the dragons, especially the big, bad dragon (the only real “bad” dragon for that matter) and some of the others are downright frightening. All the dragons have many sharp, pointed teeth (Toothless' are retracted most of the movie, thus his name) and at the beginning there’s an opening sequence of many swooping down and snatching helpless sheep. A fiery battle ensues. No blood is shown. The bad dragon eats both a dragon (taking a snap at Toothless) and the sheep, amongst fish and such. Speaking of fish, on two occasions Toothless regurgitates a piece of fish in an attempt to share it with Hiccup. The final battle takes place in the sky and ends with the bigger “bad” dragon literally burning from the inside out (nothing it shown) and Hiccup looses a foot (also, nothing shown). Astrid and Hiccup kiss, but nothing actually sexual happens.
***END OF SPOILER***

Other than that, Dreamworks was able to treat me and my family, and many other families across the US with a warm-'n-fuzzy movie that’ll make you proud to take your kids to! Hope this review helped!!!…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—RM, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I loved it. This was excellent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Justin, age 8 (USA)
Positive—I thought that this movie was an amazing example of how people can grow in themselves! This movie, made by Pixar (who also made other disgusting movies such as “Shrek”) contained no annoying cheap laughs, like passing gas or burping. This was the first time I’d ever encountered this!

I was never bored, and I loved the adorable little dragon’s and the funny dragon “Toothless” who was obviously not toothless! I loved this movie, and so did my mom and dad, my 15 year old sister and her friends! I highly suggest this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emma, age 13 (USA)
Neutral—I loved the movie and the storyline a lot, and I thought that it was a really cute movie. The character toothless shows a ton of different emotions through his eyes in the movie, which is really cool. I enjoyed the story line, but didn’t much like all the references to the Viking gods. Other than that I loved it and would recommend it to all ages.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Madi, age 11 (USA)
Neutral—It was cute, but DreamWorks has done much better. As far as language goes, there were several uses of “hell”, one *ss, and I think I heard one d**n from a Viking falling off a dragon, but I wasn’t sure. Would I sit through this movie again? Probably not.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emily, age 11 (USA)
Positive—This was a very good movie. I just saw it with my friend. I highly recommend it. You should go see it. It truly is the best film of the year. Nothing offensive.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Joseph, age 12 (USA)
Positive—I have enjoyed Pixar films for quite a few years now, and with good reason, but this precious gem, fresh out of DreamWorks Studios, rises close to the top in animation films of all time. Better than Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.”, “A Bug’s Life,” “Finding Nemo,” “Cars,” “Up,” and perhaps others, “How to Train Your Dragon” presents a beautiful, heartwarming tale with the same depth and humor that adorns so many Pixar projects.

I loved “Ratatouille” because of its lovable main character who has meager beginnings but rises to the top of French cuisine. Hiccup, from this similar, but more exciting tale, essentially does the same thing, except maybe more. He’s a puny, weakling who can’t do anything right at the beginning of the story, and finds out later that he’s a coward too, despite his wishes at the beginning of the movie to be a dragon slayer like the rest of the men in his village. But what he finds by the end of the movie is that he doesn’t have to be a brawny warrior in order to be worth something. Instead, he finds this his gift is compassion, and a wonderful gift it is. Hiccup is such a realistic character, that I found that I could relate almost perfectly with him, which might be why I loved the movie as much as I did.

It’s a near perfect tale of family values wrapped up in a family-friendly movie, and an incredible one at that. Violence might frighten some younger members of the audience, but I wouldn’t know about that. Language is mild, especially after recently watching the foul-mouthed “Traffic” and “Black Hawk Down.”

Sex is mildly PG. Come on, it wasn’t all that bad, and especially not as bad as many other of DreamWorks’s previous “family” movies. I speak as a 16 year-old who has seen plenty of offensive material, from both R movies and PG-13 movies. I loved this movie for its wonderful storytelling and its timeless themes, just as I loved The Last Samurai and Black Hawk Down. I just loved How To more. This is the Best Picture quality of Pixar’s best films, namely Ratatouille and Wall-E, but not Up (didn’t like that one as much).

Roger Ebert, on his comments about Ratatouille said, “Animation isn’t ‘just for children’ but ‘for the whole family,’ and ‘even for adults going on their own’.” He is right. This movie is nearly perfect in every way, and it’s well worth the money you pay for a ticket. I am definitely going to buy this when it comes out on DVD, and if you don’t see it in theaters, it’s also certainly worth a rent at Blockbuster.

I recommend this movie for everyone, but perhaps especially for the many teenagers struggling to find their worth and purpose in life. So instead getting a ticket for Kick-A**, or a dirty comedy, do yourself a favor and go see something more innocent and worthwhile: How to Train You Dragon. You won’t regret it. I promise.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Joseph Hughey, age 16 (USA)
Positive—This was an incredibly AMAZING movie!! I loved every second of it! Not only was toothless(the dragon) cute, but there was nothing bad about this movie. There were a lot of fighting scenes that might scare kids, but the dragons are sweet and cute. I could tell that a lot of people loved the dragons because of the sounds they made in theatre. I would recommend this to almost anyone(but leave your younger kids home. it all depends on how much you think they can handle)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Brianna, age 13 (USA)
Positive—Who wouldn’t love this film? Nothing offensive! Great animation, etc.! Great dragons, too! I loved Toothless, he reminded me of cute dogs! After watching this, I really wish dragons existed, and so I could get my own little Toothless dragon! …Great movie!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Andre, age 15 (Canada)
Movie Critics
…DreamWorks Animation tries a new tack, embracing sincerity over satire, with “How to Train Your Dragon,” a thrilling drama interspersed with amusing comedic elements (rather than the other way around) …seems destined to become another cornerstone franchise.…
—Peter Debruge, Variety
…It devotes a great deal of time to aerial battles between tamed dragons and evil ones, and not much to character or story development. But it’s bright, good-looking and has high energy. Kids above the easily scared age will probably like the movie the younger they are.…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…as sweet as it is, there’s not enough heart or farcical action (dragon slaying training) to make up for the lack of ready laughs.…
—Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
…one of those movies that feels like the story (and maybe the jokes) was devised by the merchandising department… [2/4]
—Kyle Smith, New York Post
…an engaging yet bloodless adventure with a sterling message about meeting the enemy and discovering that he is us (to paraphrase Pogo). The swarming dragon attacks may truly frighten the littlest viewers, but the depiction of the pleasures of flight and the conquering of one’s fears should make How to Train Your Dragon a perennial delight. [3½/4]
—Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle
…serves plenty of action, humor and heart.… may frighten very young children. Overall, “How to Train Your Dragon” can be recommended for the whole family.
—Mary Draughon, Preview Family Movie and TV Review