I was recently invited to view a private advanced screening of How to Train Your Dragon before the general public release. After viewing the trailer, I couldn’t wait to go see it. I love animations and what better than seeing a Dreamworks creation in 3D.

Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, which is loosely based on the book by Cressida Cowell. The movie tells the story of Hiccup, a teenage Viking who lives on the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. However, Hiccup doesn’t exactly fit in with the tribe’s longstanding tradition and instead is disliked by them, and his father who is the tribes chief, for being different.

His life is turned upside down when he tries to prove he has what it takes to be a true Viking and hunts down the dragon he shot with a cannon. Later befriending the dragon, calling it Toothless, he challenges his tribe to see that they do not need to be dragon-slayers.

Reasons why I think How to train your dragon is a must see? The storyline flows beautifully from start to finish showcasing Hiccup’s rise from child to man, slowly building acceptance from his tribe, the friendship with Toothless and winning the girl of his dreams. Even though I loved the storyline (hey I’m a sucker for cartoons!), it was rather predicable at parts (almost clichéd such as winning the heart of the girl of his dreams) but this doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a brilliant animation.

The animations were spectacular from start to finish, particular scenes which make you go WOW, were when Hiccup and Astrid were flying through the air on the back of Toothless floating through the clouds and when the Viking ships were sailing over water, absolutely breathtaking!

My favourite parts? When Hiccup & his friends are at Dragon Training school, the fight scenes & the finale, added with 3D effects leave you in awe of the work it took to achieve this level of brilliance.

Even though a 3D ticket at the cinema is more expensive, it is definitely worth every penny, yet, will still be a great movie to watch in 2D & on DVD when released.

After viewing it, I have to say that this is by far one of the best animations I’ve ever seen & am calling it as THE BEST work from DreamWorks by far. I really hope there will be a sequel in the work as I now can’t get enough of those dragons!

Starring the voice talents of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Craig Ferguson. The film is scheduled to be released on March 26th in the United States and March 31st in the United Kingdom.

View the trailer below:

[rating: 5]


  1. How do you get invited to a private advanced screening? rather jealous!

    I honestly can’t say I 100% fancy this film, but I think i’ll give it a go when it comes out, it’d be nice to see a light, fun film in the pictures for a change, everything has got so serious!

    Thanks for the review, short but a pleasure to read!

  2. @ananyah: If I can get the cash together I will go watch it, if not, unfortunately it’ll have to be DVD, losing out on the 3D but hopefully it’ll just be as good!

    Ahh thank you for that, I’ll register straight away, do they contact people regularly? or is it a rare thing?

  3. @Lee Fuller: the DVD will still be a good watch but the 3D effects make it something else! Register & sign up for the VIP membership as well, plus because you are a review site, you will be emailed asking if you’d like to do press stuff (reviews on your site etc), this will allow you to gain access to even more movies. It depends on the season & if you have a cinema close to you that partakes in the service, i’ve had 3 requests this month, but it really depends on what’s being released.

  4. are the 3D effects cheesy? like things flying out of the screen an stuff like that?

    How will they know I do Review’s, Is there a profile section i’m missing? can’t find anything to add a website link information or anything like that? is it there? lol.. would be good if we could get some press stuff like..

    I’m sure Manchester or Liverpool will have a participating cinema, lol..

  5. @Lee Fuller: they are far from cheesy! you will eventually be emailed (when movies become available) and they ask if you want to review them for a website etc, then tell you to email you review link to them at an email address given. After each screening, they email you wanting you to give feedback so you have the chance to contact them etc. And yes Manchester & Liverpool are participating areas 😀

  6. far from cheesy? not sure whether i’m disappointed or not?! lol.. hmm… for cinematic pleasure then? mind you your comparing it to Avatar, so it has to be good! 🙂

    ahh fair do’s, will keep a look out for emails an that! getting my film review writer to sign up too!

    Thats good news, not too far to go then…

  7. Think i’ll definitely have to go watch it in 3D then, cause personally i’m finding it hard to believe, lol… But i am open to all who challenge the effects of Avatar, :p

  8. I will let you know what I think about it, when I go see it! even challenging the greatest depth of field i’ve seen in a film? it has to be good, lol.

  9. Well I like my animations, Shrek 1… for instance… and i’ve seen some great 3D animations whilst i was in Florida last year, so there is definately the possibility of maybe, coming close to beating avatar, :p he he..

  10. I was one of the lucky few hundred who got invited to the screening in Gateshead Metrocentre. I took my kids (6 & 7) and wife. We all had a fantastic time. Son was cheering and shouting “Go on” all the way through, and daughter was going “wow” to the swooping flying bits!

    Yes, the story had a moral, yes, it was slightly cliched in the storyline, yes the heroine was ever so slightly too girly (see the pic above with the flames! – she had more sashay than a box of frogs) but it was a good film. It flowed, it kept your attention and best of all – son is still flying dragons around the house 4 days later!

  11. @ananyah: I dont think it compares to the depth of field of Avatar – but we only got the small 3d glasses not the big wrapover ones – and as a glasses wearer I found them perching out a bit too far which meant there was too much space on the periphery of my vision.

  12. This is a must see for me! I have to see it! I honestly can’t wait to see it! Now we just have to wait for the release!

  13. @Gavlp: it was such a great picture for kids! but even with the cliched parts, it was still a great movie to watch, you were never bored ONCE & it’s great your son is flying dragons! I really hop there is another one in the works! We got the proper 3D glasses so maybe that makes a considerable difference. I wore my contacts just incase, I hate using 3D glasses with my glasses on. Glad you enjoyed it!

    @Marzouq: You’d love it Zook!

  14. Ananyah Great review! makes me want to see it, any idea when it will be released in Canada?

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