5 Reasons Why “How to Train Your Dragon” is a Near-Perfect Movie

Or, 5 Reasons Why I Will Obsessively and Repeatedly Watch How To Train Your Dragon Until My Husband Hates Me

1. The art is addictively gorgeous (thus the multiple viewings).

The filmmakers chose a story ripe with visual interest. A lonely island surrounded by sea and sky, scaly dragons, Vikings in long ships…what more could an artist wish for? The animation is superb in terms of quality, but more than that, it’s brimming with imagination, beauty, and power. The expressive face of Toothless, the dizzy flights, the pee-your-pants terrifying uber-dragon, and the final fiery battle in the clouds all give me thrills.

2. The music makes me want to a) do a jig, b) heft a battle-axe, or c) weep into my Slanket.

The score generally sticks to strings and drums–appropriate to the austere feel and historical roots of the movie. The Celtic-inspired melodies are perfect, whether the mood is poignant or stirring or scary.

3. Unlike some children’s movies, HTTYD doesn’t sugarcoat stuff. [*spoiler-ish alert*]

Sometimes, in the course of protecting your Viking clan from a monstrous prehistoric dragon king, you may lose a limb. This teaches us that life often brings hardship, injury, and misfortune. Not much you can do about it except carry on (see Item 4).

4. The film promotes good moral values for the kiddies.

These include compassionate treatment of animals, respect for differences among people, commitment to personal principles, and courage in the face of criticism, danger, and personal loss.

5. The story is just GOOD.

Making sure your movie has a good story isn’t simple–even if you’re adapting it from an existing story which is good in its own right. The process involves a lot of teamwork between screenwriters, editors, producers, designers, musicians, etc., as well as lot of intangible qualities like humor, perspective, character development, timing, and so forth. HTTYD hits the nail on the proverbial head on all counts.


2 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why “How to Train Your Dragon” is a Near-Perfect Movie

  1. I’d add to number 4 – encouraging the freedom to question preconceived notions and prejudices. Even if those beliefs are at the root of your culture, they can still be wrong.


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