How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

The seaside village of Berk is a constant target for dragon attacks, and the villagers battle the flying firebreathers tirelessly. A young Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) isn’t like the rest of his peers desperate to kill dragons. He likes to tinker with all things mechanical, being the blacksmith’s apprentice, and he’s also smaller than his friends. Determined to prove himself as a dragon killer and gain his Chieftain father’s respect, he targets the most feared dragon—a Night Fury. With his gadgets, he hits his mark, and the next day, the search for his bounty is fruitful when he finds the downed menace. Compassion for the creature overrides his yearning for glory, and instead of killing the dragon, he sets it free. Not so sure he’s cut out to be a dragon killer, he’s finally allowed to train with the other teens, but he’s not convinced that all dragons are killers. With daily visits and feeding, Hiccup becomes friends with the injured dragon he now calls Toothless because of his retractable teeth and mends his injured tail with his ingenuity, but it’s only with Hiccup that Toothless can fly. By observing Toothless, Hiccup understands the firebreathing creatures, and with his new knowledge, it’s up to him to change how these animals are seen and learn why they steal from the village for their survival.

The story of young Hiccup blazing his trail despite a disability and showing caring and cooperation would carry on to the second film, How to Train Your Dragon 2, taking place five years later, where the village of Berk lives in harmony with dragons. An older Hiccup finds his mother and must save dragons from a villainous threat and take on more responsibility as a young man.

Based on books by Cressida Crowell, Canadian Dean DeBlois co-directed the first How to Train Your Dragon with Chris Sanders, with whom he also co-wrote the script along with Will Davies. Starring Canadian Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, and Craig Ferguson, It would be nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Score in 2011. In 2014, DeBlois directed and wrote the second chapter: How to Train Your Dragon 2, where it would again be nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette


Jay Baruchel

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Animated Stories, Family, Oscars

Canadian connection

Co-directed by Dean DeBlois, starring Jay Baruchel
Dean DeBlois wrote and directed many award-worthy animated features like Lilo and Stitch and continued with the How to Train Your Dragon universe with a series and video games.