How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Appropriateness Rating: Don’t Miss It
Entertainment Rating: Epic
How to Train Your Dragon is an excellent animated movie about a young boy (Hiccup) whose inventive mind and lack of physical strength sets him apart in his Viking village. Everyone around him has a warrior attitude and they are all obsessed with killing the dragons that constantly carry off their sheep. Hiccup wants to fit in and defeat a dragon, but his kind heart and inventive thinking lead him in a completely different direction and he ends up making some discoveries that could turn their lives upside down.
How To Train Your Dragon centers around the theme of Hiccup being different from everyone else because he’s less apt to kill and destroy things and in the end his less violent thinking ends up being a better way of thinking. It’s an adventure story with many exciting scenes and a lot for the whole family to enjoy, however parents of young children should be aware that it does have several scenes of physical attraction and phrases referring to viking pagan beliefs in many gods which should, at the very least, be discussed with your child. Overall, it’s a great movie that you shouldn’t miss and it’s one that can be enjoyed again and again.
Warnings: one kissing scene, girlfriend/boyfriend interactions, reference to Viking pagan beliefs.
The film begins with the main character, Hiccup, describing his life in his village and how important it is to kill dragons and he refers to the idea that killing a dragon would get him a date or a girlfriend.
Throughout the film it is made clear that the main character, Hiccup, is attracted to a girl from his village named Astrid. The way he says her name and tries/hopes to attract her attention makes this clear. Your kids, even very young ones, will not miss it. By the end of the movie he succeeds in impressing this girl and she kisses him. While this scene can be skipped easily it’s also important to talk to your child about the other, less overt interactions shown between the two in the movie.
There are also several references in the movie to Viking paganistic beliefs in more than one God. Hiccup’s father makes exclamations like “Odin help us!” and “Thor Almighty.”
Messages: non-violence, using ingenuity and invention to solve problems, caring for animals/creatures
The film centers around non-violence and living in harmony with the dragons instead of mindlessly killing them. The hero of the tale is a very moral character who doesn’t agree to kill just because everyone else accepts it. He also uses his flair for invention and ingenuity to invent some machines and tools that come in handy and of course, he is the one to envision a better life where the dragons and humans can live in harmony.
Of course dragons are not real, but one can see the interactions between Hiccup and the dragons as an analogy for interactions with animals – the message comes out very clear that they should be treated kindly.