How to Train Your Dragon

From the creators of Shrek, DreamWorks Animation's latest creation, "How to Train Your Dragon", gives its competitor Pixar a run for its money. The film, with smart scripting and striking visuals, promises to delight audiences of all ages.

"How to Train Your Dragon" is based on popular children's book by Cressida Cowell. Teenage Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is son of strong and fearless Viking chief, Stoick (Gerard Butler), who persistently and painstakingly takes on their mortal enemies - the fearsome dragons. In the midst of the awkward lad's struggles to belong to the dragon-slaying Viking tribe, he encounters injured dragon, Toothless, and discovers to his dismay, his lack of the tribal instinct. Instead of slaying the dragon at its weakest, he frees the beast, befriends it and ultimately trained it. In other words, he defied tribal tradition and came to love the enemy. The plot thickens as Stoick comes to knowledge of Toothless and Hiccup struggles to reconcile the humans and the beasts.

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The animation film offers many thoughtful insights - Hiccup's realisation of his own character instead of conforming to tribal pressure, his tireless attempts to revise his dragon-saddling costume and equipment, and how timeless traditions may not necessarily be always right. The ending - which we shall not reveal here - gives a nice touch of realism to the film.

The DreamWorks Animation film, directed by Chris Sanders snd Dean DeBlois, is extremely entertaining and emotionally engaging in 2D and having the option of viewing it in 3D is merely an excellent bonus. The many glorious flying sequences, the misty skies, colourful villages and dragon's lair makes perfect display of 3D prowess.

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There were striking similarities to box office hit Avatar in terms of character - rebellious member of a tribe who learns to love the enemy - and visuals of mythical flying creatures, taming misunderstood beasts a pets and rides, and magical mountains.

It all adds up to a great family film for both adults and kids - value-for-money as weekend entertainment for yourself and as a cheap babysitting alternative.

Related links: How to Train Your Dragon official site, DreamWorks Animation website

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