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Parent reviews for How to Train Your Dragon

Common Sense says

Thrilling 3D adventure sends brains-over-brawn message.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 151 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 173 reviews
Adult Written byAshley F. December 11, 2017

Scary outweighs positive messages

The scary and violent scenes outweigh the positive messages and role models in my opinion. Why is all the fighting and violence needed in children's movies?
Adult Written byhybs January 16, 2013

Great Movie, only loosely connected to the books

This was a terrific movie. The series of books by Cressida Cowel is also terrific. They really shouldn't have the same title. Other than the title and the adoption of character names they have a completely different premise and relationship between the dragons and the people. I found it disconcerting how different they were, even though my family really enjoys both. If you like the movie, check out the books. But come to them with an open mind. They will have a very different storyline than the movie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byTiffany797 January 23, 2019

Stunning. Period.

This is a film for the whole family to enjoy over and over again. "How to Train your Dragon" takes difficult themes like not fitting in, being not cut from the same cloth as those around you, and being physically handicapped (by the end the teen protagonist becomes physically handicapped post battle) and handles these themes in a sensitive and exemplary way. Dreamworks really took care in their product. I read later that the movie had been screened to tester audiences of families who loved it and wanted the story and ending with his handicap to remain just as it is. It is stunning to look at. Perhaps it's just me but I get whiplash. We are indeed looking at the work of animators who went to flight school graduating with certificates in order to understand the physics of flying and apply that to the dragons and their riders. It is stunning to listen to: sound effects, score and voice acting. - Great messages: You betcha. - Great role models: Both the protagonist Hiccup, and his father Stoic are very relatable characters who may not make the best decisions but prove to have and develop great moral values. Hiccup's unique trait is his selflessness even toward creatures such as the dragons who are usually feared, hunted and killed, and his curiosity to continually be learning about them and finding ways where humans and dragons could be peaceful. The sense of responsibility is great with this teenager and with his father, which is not easily captured in children's movies. The female hero is called Astrid, one of Hiccup's age-matches and classmates. She is the kind of "son" Stoic wants Hiccup to be; she has the makings of a true viking warrior in skill and mindset. Very unique, this film. Astrid becomes a large part of Hiccup's motivation to make the difficult and right decisions, and risks her own life, as does the rest of the classmates, to help him save the people and the dragons. - Too much violence: Teens ride dragons who breathe fire and have sharp teeth and the swiftness of predatory animals, but sometimes have the docility of domesticated dogs and cats especially after some time toward the protagonist and eventually toward his classmates. They go to battle against a great dragon to defend their city in which the protagonist becomes physically handicapped. If that sounds violent, it is. But not for the sake of being graphic or macabre and that scored major points for me. The people are vikings so you get stories and a vibe that violence is in their "culture" or in their "blood" or "genetics" - which makes Hiccup particularly unique as he is a peace-seeker. The vikings are a cooperative and generally peaceful people toward each other and fiercely defensive of their city. - Too much sex: The protagonist initially wants to get better at his job / role in order to impress girls and eventually have a girlfriend. There are I count two kisses. There's not much really to talk about in this category. - Too much swearing: It must have gone over my head because the adults have a thick Scottish accent and the children have more North American accents. They do fling names around but they're creative and albeit humorous. There's not much to talk about in this category. - Too much drinking / drugs / smoking: I don't recall any of that.
Parent of a 3 and 5 year old Written bySunny mama February 17, 2019

Fight scenes too scary for littles

A great movie, but wasn’t able to watch it with my 4 year old and she found the fight scenes too scary to watch

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byPeter S. February 21, 2018

Thrilling 3-D adventure is a must see movie for the whole family. Rated PG (for brief mild language, intense action, and some scary images.)

This incredible movie from what I have seen is totally funny and it received an Academy Award for Best Animated Film just like Shrek.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 6 year old Written byMemphisMaestro May 30, 2014

Nothing special, Dreamworks fail...

Definitely a movie for 10+ years old and up. Lots of "kill" usage and exorbitant amounts of fight scenes and violence, even a few "stab through the heart" phrases. Boring plot as it's the same ole' same ole': Misfit boy doesn't fit in, disapproving father, boy tries to make father proud and fit in and in the end, the boy proves everyone wrong, including his father. And of course there is a mix-in of boy likes girl, girl kisses boy in the end. Don't waste your time, it's better to watch re-runs of Tangled or Toy Story 1 before trying this movie out. Trust me.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 10 year old Written byscratchthis April 22, 2010

a disappointing ode to violence

Luckily I don't see a lot of "kids" movies but I was surprised at how violent this movie was. I was disappointed and wished I had known this before bringing my son to see it. The message of the movie was also very confused. The peace-loving message was ultimately attained through total violence. Very disturbing. While this movie seemed to question war as a way of solving disputes, it ultimately accepts the violent road without question. I was ashamed of the mockery of our troops who return with missing limbs from Iran and Afghanistan.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent Written bySbt2304 April 20, 2019

HTTYD is awesome and completely underrated!!

I’ve seen a few reviews mentioning too much violence or saying this movie isn’t made for little kids and I completely disagree! How to Train Your Dragon is entertaining, funny, and not appreciated enough for it’s positive messages. There are multiple role models for girls and in favor of those who might me considered an underdog. I’ve seen it at least 20 times and I still find myself laughing (and sometimes crying) every time!! STRONGLY RECOMMEND

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bypetra_ste April 11, 2019

Entertaining film with positive messages

A young Viking whose tribe has been fighting dragons for generations befriends a dragon, changing their world forever. This is one of my favorite animated movies since the golden age of Disney, with likable characters, beautiful visuals and set-pieces, a phenomenal soundtrack and lovely messages about integration, mutual enrichment, courage, conformity vs nonconformity, violence vs intelligence. Lots of onscreen fighting, bloodless and non-graphic, mostly comedic in tone. Dragons appear threatening at first, although they are later revealed to be friendly and misunderstood, with the exception of one huge evil dragon who is the movie's only real villain. Some tension between the young protagonist and his decent but blunt and misguided father. The hero awakens after the final battle with a prosthetic leg: very tastefully done, not disturbing. My 6-years-old nephew loved it; there may be some scary stuff but it's the right amount of scary for that age.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byLwFTW March 13, 2019

Emotional Starter To The BEST Trilogy Ever!

Just see it! NOW!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byZensMom March 9, 2019

Intense battles, unnecessary flirting and no positive female role models.

This was a cool story. There were intense battle scenes, the loss of the Hiccup's foot/leg was shocking, the kisses between the ONE female character and Hiccup were completely irritating and unnecessary and highlighted that the only reason for this female character was to be a love interest. She is a fighter, sure, but she doesn't actually ever DO anything. In fact, when the situation becomes more complex and needs a thoughtful solution, Hiccup sends her home so he can "figure it out by himself." Why didn't they both figure it out?!?! Both my husband and I were very disappointed and completely disagree with the review that there are strong female characters. This is a movie for dudes, sadly, even though our daughter LOVES dragons. A girl character could have easily been the lead.
Adult Written bygangsterparents March 5, 2019

This is racist

I didnt see one black man in this movie and you cids are being brain washed by the stupid dragons being able to fly and i want this to go big so what the hell is oatmeal

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byhbs78910 July 21, 2017

Great for kids into fantasy

My family watched this movie for the 4th time tonight and really enjoyed it once again. There is some Viking violence and it may be scary for young viewers, but my very sensitive child was ok with it even as a 5 year old. There are a few mentions of "getting a girlfriend" and two brief kisses.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Adult Written byCardiffict March 22, 2016
Parent Written byredgamer March 28, 2015

amazing

It is a very touching story and it is a good movie for dragon fans

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent of a 5 year old Written byashalthoff January 11, 2015

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 2 and 7 year old Written bySusan L. January 10, 2015

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Parent Written bySteph H July 17, 2014

4 year old

Excellent movie, but not for a four year old. The message was much older than he could understand. First movie my sons seen with kissing and he was shocked! Lol

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 3 and 3 year old Written byseagull77 March 23, 2013

very positive female role models

only saw in 2d on dvd, very positive female role models, my 3 year olds loved it but they are not easily scared. this is the only pg film i have let them see so far.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Parent Written byCourtney W. March 6, 2013

A quality film - love it

I think this movie is spectacular. One of my favorites for kids. My nine year old boy loved loved loved it. A very quality film, I applaud DreamWorks.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff

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