How to Train Your Dragon Soars

Critics love Dreamworks' latest animate tale
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2010 11:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Dreamwork’s latest animated romp, How to Train Your Dragon, is earning nearly unanimous critical praise—it’s currently at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s what they’re saying:

  • The story’s pretty conventional, but writer-directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch) “make funny, touching, sublime entertainment out of it,” writes Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. “Kid stuff? Maybe.” But it’ll “charm your socks off.”

  • It’s got “less of the scattershot pop-cult japery of the Shreks and more heart,” so it probably won’t do as well with adults, predicts Stephen Rea of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But the notion of having a pet dragon—just like a pet whale, or a pet lion—should appeal to children of all ages.”
  • The training scenes are “surprising and inventive,” the flying sequences “like a kinder, gentler Avatar,” writes Stephen Whitty of the New Jersey Star-Ledger. It all leads to a “gigantic battle in which there are some real lives at stake and—a rarity, in cartoons—some real consequences, too.”
  • But Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter wasn’t a huge fan. “It's hard to form a rooting interest in either Vikings or dragons,” he complains, and the plot is “standard-issue coming-of-age stuff. Recasting the formula in a Nordic neverland doesn't freshen things up much.”

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