How to Train Your Dragon (DVD: Juvenile Collection) c. 2010

Summary: Hiccup is a young Viking, a member of the northern island community of Berk. The village is locked in a constant struggle against pillaging dragons, and for a young Viking killing a dragon is everything. When he encounters a wounded dragon, however, Hiccup discovers that most of what his people know about dragons is wrong.

Review: This is probably the best movie I watched in 2010; I don’t watch many, so that may not be saying much. The story, which is packed with both humor and action, holds equal appeal to adults and kids. While it is entirely appropriate for kids (it’s rated PG), it is worth noting that this is not a Disney movie. At various points, the characters in the movie have to make hard choices, often resulting in very real sacrifices and consequences. While I acknowledge that some parents may be bothered by this (hence making it an individual judgment call), the movie is much, much stronger because of it. The animation is also lovely; it’s easy to see why this was a 3D IMAX movie.

View-a-likes: The wit and cross-generational appeal of How to Train Your Dragon is very reminiscent of the Shrek movies. If you enjoyed the dragons, you might pick up Eragon or Dragon Hunters, though both are better suited to a teen audience. And, of course, the movie is based on a series of books by Cressida Cowell.

Availability: This item is available from the Lake Bluff Public Library in both DVD and Blu-ray. Click here to check on the availability!

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