How to Train Your Dragon was one of the best 3-D films of the last year. It was shot using new technology — unlike many other films that were converted from 2-D to 3-D — and it took advantage of it, giving filmgoers a glimpse into what the future might hold for movies.
But while you won't be able to watch Dragon, which comes out Friday, in 3-D on your DVD player (it's available in 2-D only), it is still an enjoyable family-friendly animated action-adventure.
It has a young hero, a Viking lad known as Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), who unlike his muscled dad (Gerard Butler) is more of a thinker than a sword wielder. But dragons have long plagued the land, so Hiccup is sent to dragon-slaying school anyway.
Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders and based on a popular children's book by Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon isn't about war, however. It offers the sweeter message of learning to get along with others. That includes Hiccup's fiery love interest (America Ferrera), crusty but lovable teacher (Craig Ferguson) and goofball friends (Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse). But mostly he learns to come to an understanding when he comes across a jet-black, cat-eyed dragon named Toothless — very cute.
The film soars, literally, in the flying dragon scenes, reminding you of similar moments in Avatar. Like that film it is willing to let the visuals — along with an expressive score by John Powell — do the talking. A third dimension on video would have been nice, but it remained a fun, satisfying kids' film anyway.
How to Train Your Dragon retails for $29.99 or $39.99 Blu-ray.