Parents' Guide to

How to Train Your Dragon

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Thrilling adventure sends brains-over-brawn message.

Movie PG 2010 90 minutes
How to Train Your Dragon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 165 parent reviews

age 6+

Innocent Love Story, Creative, and Fun. (May Be to Violent For Younger Viewers)

How to train your dragon is funny. It is a tale of Vikings and dragons. However, it starts violently for younger viewers. We watched it when my daughter was younger, and she was terrified and had nightmares. However, she now loves the series. There are funny jokes, creative graphics with the different dragons, and a wide dynamic of characters. Overall it is a good show. The innocent love between Hiccup (the leading man) and Astrid (the pretty leading lady) is refreshing.
age 6+

If only the twins were non-existent.

Pretty great, interesting enough to keep us entertained for our son's sake. I just wish that the unending violence between the twins was gone. They're not exactly setting a great example for my son who still iffy on the arrival of his baby sister.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (165 ):
Kids say (209 ):

Based on author Cressida Cowell's book, the story is surprisingly touching. It's not just about a nerdy kid hoping to show-up his peers and win the attentions of a pretty girl in the process. It's about the pressure of living up to your father's expectations, self identity, war and peace, growing up, and other seemingly heavy themes that are seamlessly woven into a funny, gripping adventure. Ferrera, who at first seems like an odd choice to voice a platinum blond Astrid, is pitch-perfect, with her authoritative voice making Astrid sound appropriately confident and mature. As in Baruchel's live-action comedy, Astrid seems out of Hiccup's league, but she's open-minded enough to realize he's special -- just like this movie.

How to Train Your Dragon is actually worth the momentary headache that 3-D glasses can cause. It's spectacular, particularly when coupled with fire-breathing dragons flying around a colorful fictional island. The detailed animation on the Vikings (who are inexplicably depicted as more Scottish than Scandinavian, perhaps because Butler and Craig Ferguson, who's the dragon-training teacher, have such great accents) and the dragons (so many different kinds, all with their own quirks and strengths) is on par with Pixar -- the standard-bearer of animation.

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