DreamWorks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury

  • Review Date: December 18, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 22 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Touching holiday follow-up will please original's fans.
  • Review Date: December 18, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 22 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

This title intends to entertain rather than to educate.

Positive messages

The story has heartwarming messages about appreciating the important things during the holidays. Being with friends and family and giving selflessly are common themes, as is the joy of friendship. The story centers on a winter holiday that resembles Christmas, but it keeps references vague enough that it could be enjoyed by viewers of any faith or culture.

Positive role models

The characters live in relative harmony in this movie, and relationships between the adults and kids are happy and without incident. Hiccup's father in particular shows his softer side, helping his son cope with his sadness over missing a friend.

Violence & scariness

Exploding dragon eggs ignite houses and send residents scattering, but there aren't any injuries.

Sexy stuff

Hiccup and Astrid share a brief kiss.

Language

No cursing, but there's some name-calling. A girl tells her brother that he's "such an idiot," and "stupid" is heard a couple of times in reference to objects, not people.

Consumerism

The movie follows a very successful feature-length film, and knowing its back story adds to the enjoyment of this holiday special.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that DreamWorks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury is a holiday short film that follows How to Train Your Dragon, so knowing the story behind the characters' relationships will help you jump into this one. There's some marginal language (a girl calls her brother an "idiot," and "stupid" is used a couple of times), exploding houses, and mild gross-out humor that's bound to delight kids, but these make less of an impression than do the meaningful themes about family relationships, friendship, and the joy of giving. Because the story centers on a fictional Viking holiday, it welcomes viewers of all beliefs and cultures.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

It's the holiday season in the Viking village of Berk, and all of the residents are busy decking the halls for the annual celebration when without warning all of the dragons take to the air and disappear. All except Toothless, that is, whose prosthetic tail keeps him grounded without the help of his human, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel). Seeing this, Hiccup invents one that gives his best friend the freedom to fly unaided, and Toothless takes to flight as well, leaving Hiccup and his friends at a loss for why they've left or if they'll return. But when a straggler inadvertently takes Hiccup along for the migration, he learns that there just might be hope for a joyful holiday reunion after all.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: GIFT OF THE NIGHT FURY will hit the spot this holiday season with fans of the popular feature-length movie. It's short and sweet at just 30 minutes long, but it fills that half-hour with humor, adventure, and plenty of messages about appreciating the non-commercial gifts of the holidays. As in the original, Toothless and Hiccup's sweet relationship takes center stage, with each one acting out of selfless affection for the other in a way that beautifully illustrates this season's often-overlooked joys. Families will also enjoy how the story incorporates familiar holiday traditions with a Viking spin into the plot.

Because this short film moves at such a quick pace to accommodate the short time frame, young kids might have a hard time following the plot. What's more, it assumes viewers know the story behind the characters' relationships, so if you haven't seen the original, you might not grasp all of the nuances among the cast of dragons and humans. But none of this dampens the story's touching sentiments or cancels out the great writing and family friendly humor that marks this fun holiday film.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their holiday traditions. What are your favorite ways to celebrate the season? How do family and friends factor into these traditions? How do they reflect your faith or culture? What role does the media play in these traditions?

  • Kids: What gifts did Toothless and Hiccup give to each other? How did each one show how much the giver cares about his friend? What gifts can you give to others that don't require money?

  • Families can talk about how the characters have evolved since the original movie. How has Hiccup's relationship with his father changed? In what ways is it better? Do the kids get along well now? How has having the dragons around improved their lives? What do they learn from each other?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 15, 2011
Cast:America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Jay Baruchel
Director:Tom Owens
Studio:DreamWorks Animation
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Book characters, Friendship, Great boy role models, Holidays
Run time:22 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of DreamWorks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Essential School Tools