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How To Train Your Dragon 2010 *****

With two sequels on the way, it’s worth taking a look back at this Dreamworks animation from Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, an adaptation of Cressida Cowell’s book that does everything right. A whirlwind opening establishes the Viking community in which Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is struggling to grow up; fortified against regular dragon raids, hiccup’s community lives in fear of attack and Hiccup lives in the shadow of his fearsome father Stoik (Gerald Butler). A chance friendship between Hiccup and Toothless, a wounded dragon, sets Hiccup into conflict with his own community, and  into direct conflict with his father’s wishes. This bright story leads to an emotionally charged denouement; it’s something of a shock when Hiccup sustains a grave injury, but How To Train Your Dragon has a punchline that’s intelligent and makes something unforgettably beautiful from the relationship between a boy and his dragon.


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