'Train Your Dragon' wins applause at theater

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

People in the audience applauded as soon as the closing credits began to roll for “How to Train Your Dragon.”
The reaction surprises me because I think the movie is more pleasant than fantastic. It’s not a waste of time, nor will it win a 2011 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Let’s review the story: Our hero, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), lives in a Viking village where most of the residents have Scottish accents.
For generations, dragons have attacked and destroyed the village. The highest title a young Viking can earn is “Dragon Killer.”
Hiccup is the smallest guy in the village. He’s a laughing stock, but he’s a laughing stock with a quick, inventive mind.
He designs a weapon that takes down one of the most feared dragons, but when it comes time to make the kill, Hiccup can’t do it.
Instead, he becomes friends with the dragon, and he learns that the stories the villagers have told about dragons are not true.
How will Hiccup convince his father, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), that killing dragons is not the answer?
There’s fun to be had whenever Hiccup climbs onto the back of the dragon and flies through this animated world. I thought the filmmakers could’ve added more 3-D effects, but that’s a minor quibble.
“How to Train Your Dragon” is short on slapstick comedy, which I’ve come to expect from animated movies. It’s a mostly lighthearted film, but there are characters who go off to war and don’t return.
If you peel back the layers of the movie, you’ll find an after-school special in the middle. If you put the layers back, you’ve got an engaging animated story with a mix of comedy, action and drama.
It’s a good movie, a pleasant one. You’re free to applaud, but I wouldn’t go that far.
I give “How to Train Your Dragon” a B.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville.

Wizard review
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “How to Train Your Dragon” a C plus.

“It’s not as good as I expected, but the kids seemed to love it.”

Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.