In a Viking village tormented by frequent dragon attacks, young Hiccup learns that everything his people thought about the fiery creatures is wrong. The Lilo & Stitch (2002) directing duo left Disney for DreamWorks and deliver a very entertaining (and good-looking) animated adventure in 3D. There’s a lot of sweetness and fun to the story about a kid who befriends a lovable (but not overly cute) dragon called Toothless and the filmmakers also include several hair-raising, beautifully conceived action sequences, especially those where Toothless takes Hiccup for a ride. John Powell’s music score is a perfect, emotional accompaniment.
2010-U.S. Animated. 98 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Bonnie Arnold. Directed by Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders. Screenplay: William Davies, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders. Novel: Cressida Cowell. Music: John Powell. Voices of Jay Baruchel (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III), Gerard Butler (Stoick the Vast), Craig Ferguson (Gobber the Belch), America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse… Kristen Wiig.
Trivia: Followed by two sequels, starting with How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014).
Last word: “The main reason Dean and I were asked to come into the film was to ‘age it up’, giving it a little more weight, more adventure, and one of the very first decisions we made was that in the book there were elements of humans and dragons being in a symbiotic relationship but also elements of humans and dragons being at war. We decided it had to be one or the other. We made the decision that they were mortal enemies, which made it possible for Hiccup to take the greatest risk possible by befriending one. It allowed us to have Hiccup live this double life in the second act.” (Sanders, Beliefnet)