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“But you just pointed to all of me!” – On cuteness done correctly in “How to Train Your Dragon”

I have to say that this is the cutest, sweetest, most exciting movie I have seen in a long time.  Screw “Thor,” which was terrible; it’s all about children’s movies!  I know it’s been a year since it came out, but Orion and I just sat down to watch “How to Train Your Dragon” today, after it was highly recommended over a Seabury dinner by Will, so thanks for that!

The premise is simple – the village of Berk is plagued by a little problem…dragons come and raid their livestock!  In response, the Vikings try again and again to find the dragon nest, to destroy them once and for all.  Despite this rather violent-sounding idea, the movie is still intended for children, and so everything is funny looking – the dragons are either fat or cute, and the people are either huge or scrawny.  This works quite well, actually, and the main dragon, named Toothless, is ridiculously adorable.

I’m not sure exactly why this movie was so good – it seems so simple, yet every aspect was done well.  The story moved at a reasonable pace, the characters were likable, and the animation was superb.  Very exciting, albeit silly, details make the movie even better.  (It turns out dragons hate eels and love grass, that they will chase reflected lights like cats chase laser pointers; who’d have thunk?)  Actually, the look of the dragons reminded me of an adorable children’s book, which I’m sure some of you must have read: “My Father’s Dragon”?  That book was adorable!

At the same time, the movie has a simple maturity about it.  It’s not particularly dark, but there are serious repercussions to messing with dragons, and in terms of a bildungsroman, our main little Viking Hiccup does seem to have learned by the end of the movie.  His rather funny relationship with his father Stoick the Vast, his friends, and also his dragon companion Toothless, are all reasonably (though by no means thoroughly) fleshed out.  It’s enough to drive the movie, anyway, and a very good one at that!

Overall – 5/5; this is an example of a movie that has everything done right.  Maybe this is because children’s movies have a smaller target audience (you’re only a child for a couple years; you’re an adult for a lot longer), but I feel that children’s movies have more thought put into them, more details considered and addressed.  It’s a shame the same can’t be said for older-audience movies – there are too many terrible ones to count!

Best regards,

Apple

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