Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is the hapless child of the bold, strong, courageous, fearless, blah blah blah Viking leader. Everything Hiccup is not. Stoick (Gerard Butler) makes no qualms about letting his disappointment for his son be known. Again and again. This part was a bit troubling for me. “How can you be my son?” type commentary. I believe we got it after the first two indications. It felt like the proverbial dead horse was still being beaten. Much like this paragraph. Understood?
The only other area of concern was how much death and destruction is referred to in such a flippant manner. Yes, they are Dreamworks Vikings, but carry over quite a bit of historical violence. (This is the responsible side of the reviewer letting the parents know what the movie contains). I think this is handled so casually because we never see any of the deaths, nor do any of the main characters mysteriously “disappear.” (We do see animated endangered sheep, though…)
All the social responsibility stuff aside, I REALLY wish I had a dragon! Toothless is not terribly big as dragons go, has a feline like personality, and is absolutely awesome! He (gender assumption) is the only Night Fury breed that we see, and appears to be one of the most powerful. I applaud the diversity that the dragons were given, not a singular, across the board limitation (per film) we have known previously. They come in different sizes and have varied powers. The Monstrous Nightmare can light itself on fire and attack whilst flaming. The Hideous Zippleback has 2 heads, one that spews gas and the other ignites it.
Along Hiccup’s trip to greatness, we are granted the pleasure of meeting the more pleasurable of his Viking cohorts. Gobber (Craig Ferguson) is the village weapons master and fixit guy. Who incidentally is missing a hand and a leg… Astrid (America Ferrera) is the crush interest of Hiccup and his main competitor in the dragon training ground. My favorite is Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), while in battle he breaks down the fight sequence as if it is a role playing game.
“Dragon” is a fun romp through the world of animation that has been exploding recently. But like many of those films, (Shrek, Avatar, etc) this may not be a pure child friendly show. Let’s just say it’s a good time to be an adult who enjoys films that one might assume were supposed to be made for kids.