Writers: William Davies, Dean DeBlois, & Chris Sanders
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Craig Ferguson, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, TJ Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
"This is Berk. It's twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village. In a word? Sturdy, and it's been here for seven generations, but every single building is new. We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunset. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice or mosquitoes. We have dragons." The directorial duo who brought us 2002's Lilo and Stitch have returned with How to Train Your Dragon, a film detailing the struggle of a village of Vikings who are constantly forced to defend themselves against frequent dragon attacks, and Hiccup (Baruchel), the town's scrawny yet intelligent misfit, always striving to gain his father's (Butler) approval.
Dreamworks's CGI films have generally been less highly regarded than rival Pixar, and I personally would only recommend 50% of them, up to and including this one, whereas I can't point to any wholly bad Pixar film (although Cars was kind of meh). Sure, the adult Vikings have Scottish accents and the kids American, and then they throw Norse runes in there for the written language, and normally such things would bother me. But shockingly, I was able to put this aside for once and enjoy the movie. IT WAS THAT AWESOME. The script is solid, even the supporting cast is very entertaining (I laughed at lines from the trailer; I never do that)...and a film finally figured out the right way to use 3D. Remember the scenes with the flying creatures in Avatar? The dragon-flying scenes in this movie are a hundred times better. HEAR ME, JAMES CAMERON? THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT!
Oh, and Baruchel's character shines in the moment when he imitates his father, with a spectacular Scottish accent. To see more of him, check out Fanboys, a movie from 2008 about four Star Wars fans attempting to infiltrate Skywalker Ranch to see an advance copy of Phantom Menace, back when we thought that might be a good movie. Remember those days?