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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How to Train Your Dragon doesn’t sizzle

    Dragons are, without a doubt, one of the cutest pets you could have. Sure, feeding is a bit trying and apartments are definitely a no-go for living arrangement, but there are perks. For instance, if you have a date, you can say, “”No sweat. I’ve got a dragon.”” Nothing says romance like soaring above the clouds. Plus, you have easy transportation and automatic win status in the “”my dog’s bigger than your dog”” contest.

    Unfortunately, owning a pet dragon is a wee bit difficult for Hiccup. Why? Because he’s a Viking teenager. And what do Vikings do? Kill dragons.

    With anatomy closer to that of a praying mantis than the beefy physique of his Norse kin, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has it rough. His closed-minded father (Gerard Butler), with a huge red beard and thick Scottish brogue, is the village chief and doesn’t understand his son at all. Hiccup has equal bad luck with his fellow adolescents — a bunch of memorable oddballs supported by a stellar voice cast (Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig to name a few).

    When Hiccup brings down a dragon, he is thrilled to finally get a chance to show the village he can be just as adrenaline-seeking, testosterone-filled and fiercely stupid as the rest of them. The only problem is that he just can’t plunge his knife into the frightened dragon. Instead, the two bond and cuteness abounds.

    The conflict of “”How to Train Your Dragon”” stems from the tension between a rising reputation in dragon training and Hiccup’s loyalty to his newfound friend. When the source of the dragon’s constant raiding of the village is discovered by Hiccup, our scrawny protagonist goes out to show everyone that dragons are not quite the evil creatures everyone thought them to be.

    It’s evident that the art department had a lot of fun when creating the movie. The dragons are particularly amazing; from bulbous dragons to serpentine fiends, the attention to detail shines through every scale and flame. Hiccup’s dragon, Toothless, is completely adorable. The wider the eyes, the faster your heart will melt.

    Why see it in 3-D? Same reason why you donned the oh-so-trendy glasses to watch “”Avatar””: the flying. Whirling among peachy clouds to witness fiery aerial battle sequences or dreamy evening flights are some of the best moments in the movie.

    It’s fair to assume some moral heavy-handedness when watching a kid’s movie. But, by Odin’s beard, does this film really push it. First, Hiccup is his father’s son. Then he isn’t — he’s just a disappointment. Now he’s the apparent village hero. Oops, he’s disowned. Boohoo, nobody understands him, yet he’ll “”be himself”” and everyone will eventually love him. Really guys? That’s original.

    While it is a decent animated children’s movie, college students are clearly not the intended audience. “”How to Train Your Dragon”” lacks the relatable humor of “”Kung Fu Panda”” and the amazing writing from “”Up.”” A lack of emotional tendrils beyond generic teenage angst might isolate young adults. In the end, while having a dragon as a pet may be awesome, the movie certainly isn’t.

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