I was tempted to see the 3D version of How to train your Dragon after that it was highly regarded at the time of its release and went to receive several Oscar nominations as well as hatful in the animation industry awards. The film was shown as one of the week’s additions to Sky’s premier releases last week. The film was a financial success grossing half a billion over three times the original budget. The film is not suitable for the very young but having said this it is designed as a counter culture for those films advocating violence and macho toughguyness. The film is set on a mythical Viking Island inhabited by a wide range of colourful dragons that are regarded as the great enemy and children of both sexes are brought learning how to become dragon fighters and dragon killers. The problem is that killing creatures does not appeal to the son of the village chief Stoick the Vast. Hiccup, the name says it all, tries to design a machine which will bring down a dragon to prove his worth to his father who treats him with contempt.
One evening he believes he has hit a dragon flying over and goes out to search. The following day he finds the creature with a damaged tail which prevents flying. Given the opportunity kill the creature he finds that he cannot do so and gradually makes friends bringing the animal some food. He searches a book about dragons and work out how to provide a replacing tail wing to enable it to fly with the consequence he is able to fly with the creature. He keeps this secret from the rest of the village but uses information from the training of the creature to control the various small dragons used to help the young people in their training as dragon killers. The most successful of these will be given the honour of killing one of the capture dragons before the assembled village in the dragon arena.
On one of his flying missions he discovers that all the dragons on the Island are under the control of a super dragon that lives inside a great mountain and their function is to keep the creature supplied with food. They have no interest in attacking human other than in self defence. When he is attacked by another dragon his dragon comes to his aid and is captured by the village and against the pleas of Hiccup his father takes the dragon with the combined Viking force to locate the great mountain and the monster animal. The consequence is that the giant dragon become free and burns the Viking ships and generally threatens to kill the forces on the ground. They are saved by Hiccup and the other youngsters who have been quickly taught to also fly some sympathetic dragons and keep the monster busy until Hiccup is able to free Toothless. By some skilful and dangerous manoeuvres the two manage to get the monster to destroy itself but only with the result of Hiccup falling into the inferno created and Toothless trying to rescue him. The Viking chief finds the dragon badly injured and no sign of his son until the dragon reveals his boy injured but alive cradled within the wing of the creature. The picture ends with dragons and Vikings living in harmony and teenage Astrid and Hiccup becoming more than just good friends. Good fun for a family.