Directed by Dean Deblois and Chris Sanders
Written by Cressida Cowell, Dean Deblois, and Chris Sanders
Starring Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera
This is far and away my favorite Dreamworks movie ever. Given how much I liked Kung Fu Panda, this is pretty high praise indeed. I'm down for pretty much anything involving Vikings, or Gerard Butler, so if you put the two together I am there!
I really enjoyed the portrayal of the Vikings. It got something of the feel of Norse culture in a rambunctious, take-no-prisoners, yet cute kind of way. These vikings do indeed like to vike [it's a verb]. There is plenty to annoy the specialist, such as the adult vikings' Scottish accents, but the look and feel is generally pretty good.
The isle of Berk is spectacularly beautiful. I did wonder what Berk would look like in the 9 months of winter, but it was green and lovely during the summer. I could feel the love of such a place that would prompt rude and uncultured Vikings to defend such a place [well that and a general love of mayhem].
We did not see this in 3D. It was still visually stunning, and well worth seeing. I still see 3D as more of a gimmick than anything else. It was not necessary to enjoy the movie.
Toothless the Night Fury very much reminds me of Stitch, and lo, Deblois and Sanders worked together as writers on Lilo&Stitch. This explains much. Not only its appearance, but also its expressions and mannerisms were like Stitch. But, it works.
There should be few surprises in the plot, but I really don't see this as a bad thing. There are only so many basic plots, the question is really how well you pull off a specific performance. I liked the story, and I got into it. There was even a bit of a salutary moral lesson in that no dangerous activity can be undertaken without serious risk.
I would recommend this movie for anyone. I saw it with my family and friends, from ages 5 to 65, and everyone liked it. The only problem is now I have to stop fending off the Magistra's requests for a pet dog and instead I now have to fend off requests for a pet dragon.