Animation is not for everyone. One just assumes that it’s for the kids. How to Train Your Dragon begs to differ, with an intelligent storyline and dark undertones.
Set in a Viking village where the main occupation is fighting dragons, it seems least likely that they would be interested in training one. Bang on! The leader, Stoick, has a teenage son, Hiccup, who is anything but a Viking. Brilliant with his mind, he is good with inventions, but no matter how hard he tries he can’t seem to nail a dragon! When by fluke, he captures the most mysterious and deadliest of the creatures, the Night Fury, no one believes him. He can’t believe it himself, until he stumbles upon the hurt creature in the woods. As the two observe each other, you are tickled by the visual treat as they mirror one another’s emotions of surprise, fear, apprehension and acceptance. When it comes to dragon-fighting training, he’s the geek the other kids pick on. That changes when he reveals a few tricks he learns from a new fire-breathing ‘pet’ he’s been training, christened Toothless.
The dragons are designed with detailed characteristics, right from the double-headed acid leaker to the ‘overgrown sausage’ to the tiny variety. Not only do the characters have distinct personalities, so do the dragons! As relationships transform between father and son, girl (Astrid, who has Hiccup all coy) and boy, man and beast through a path of discovery, the vivid imagery captures every expression in heart-melting moments. It almost seems real and major credit goes to the 3D effects.
The final adventure is impressively action packed where the Vikings and dragons unite to fight the ultimate enemy. As harmony finally transcends, a strong message comes across despite the theme: we often fail to recognize the good in someone, because we are so focused on the bad. War is a defense, peace is the result of acceptance.
How to Train Your Dragon is brilliantly adorable.
Contributed by Raashi Malhotra