How to Train Your Dragon

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

Main actors: Jay Baruchel (Voice), Gerard Butler (Voice), America Ferrera (Voice). Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Vikings living on a remote island near the North Pole are threatened by dragons of all shapes and sizes. Their leader, Stoick ( Butler) cannot hide his disappointment in his young son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who clearly has no interest in training as a warrior or joining in the destruction of the dragons. Instead, the boy secretly befriends a huge black dragon with the face of a giant cat trapped and wounded in the woods. Hiccup trains and rehabilitates his new friend (“Toothless”) after many frustrating and comical trials and errors. Filmed in 3D, How to Train Your Dragon serves plenty of action, humor and heart.

PREVIEW REVIEW: This animated fantasy tale about dragons and Vikings will be a sure hit for the young and young at heart. Hiccup soaring through the air on the back of Toothless is exhilarating and the action scenes are exciting. Parents will understand Stoick’s unrealistic expectations of Hiccup, who is nothing like his dad, and perhaps rethink their own expectations. In the school of dragon slaying classmates taunt and humiliate the gentle son of the village leader, but ultimately “Johnny Zero” becomes a hero through kindness and compassion. As the old adage says, “You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”

Some fairly intense action, made even more intense because of the 3D film, may frighten very young children. Overall, How to Train Your Dragon can be recommended for the whole family.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Paramount Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Some fairly intense action scenes in dark caves, explosive fires, Viking vs. dragon battle scenes, classmates bullying boy; Vikings train boys and girls to become warriors.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: Family

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.