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How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by Bonnie Arnold
Screenplay by
  • Will Davies
  • Dean DeBlois
  • Chris Sanders
Starring
Music by John Powell
Editing by
  • Darren Holmes
  • Maryann Brandon
Studio DreamWorks Animation
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • March 21, 2010 (2010-03-21) (Gibson Amphitheater)
    March 26, 2010 (2010-03-26) (United States)
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $165 million
Money made $494.9 million

How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 American computer-animated action fantasy film loosely based on the 2003 book of the same name by Cressida Cowell, produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film was directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois from a screenplay by Will Davies, Sanders, and DeBlois, and stars the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and Kristen Wiig. The story takes place in a mythical Viking world where a young Viking teenager named Hiccup aspires to follow his tribe's tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After finally capturing his first dragon, a Night Fury, and with his chance at last of gaining the tribe's acceptance, he finds that he no longer wants to kill the dragon and instead befriends it.

How to Train Your Dragon premiered at the Gibson Amphitheater on March 21, 2010, and was released in the United States five days later on March 26. The film was a commercial success, earning nearly $500 million worldwide. It was also critically acclaimed, being praised for its animation, voice acting, writing, musical score, and 3D sequences. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score at the 83rd Academy Awards, but lost to Toy Story 3 and The Social Network, respectively. How to Train Your Dragon also won ten Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature.

Two sequels, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, were released on June 13, 2014 and February 22, 2019, respectively. Much like their predecessor, both sequels were widely praised and became box office successes. The film's success has also inspired other merchandise, becoming a franchise.

Plot

The Viking village of Berk, located on a remote island, is attacked frequently by dragons, which take livestock, damage property and endanger lives. Hiccup, the awkward fifteen-year-old son of the village chieftain, Stoick the Vast, is deemed too scrawny and weak to fight the dragons, so he instead creates mechanical devices under his apprenticeship with Gobber, the village blacksmith, though Hiccup's inventions often backfire. During one attack, Hiccup uses a bolas launcher to shoot down a Night Fury, a dangerous and rare dragon of which little is known, but no one believes him, so he searches for the fallen dragon on his own. He finds the dragon in the forest, tangled in his net, but cannot bring himself to kill him, and instead sets him free.

Stoick assembles a fleet to find the dragons' nest, and enters Hiccup in a dragon-fighting class taught by Gobber with the other teenagers, Fishlegs, Snotlout, twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut, and Astrid, a tough Viking girl on whom Hiccup has a crush, to train while he is away. Hiccup returns to the forest and finds the Night Fury still there, unable to fly because Hiccup's bolas accidentally tore off half of his tail fin. Hiccup befriends the dragon by offering fish and giving him the name 'Toothless', after his retractable teeth. Feeling guilty for crippling Toothless, Hiccup designs a harness rig and a prosthetic fin that allows the dragon to fly, but only with Hiccup riding, controlling the prosthetic.

Hiccup learns about dragon behavior as he works with Toothless, and is able to subtly and nonviolently subdue the captive dragons during training, earning him the admiration of his peers but causing Astrid to become increasingly jealous and suspicious of his behavior. Meanwhile, Stoick's fleet arrives home unsuccessful, though Stoick is cheered by Hiccup's unexpected success in dragon training. Hiccup is judged the winner of his training class, and must kill a dragon for his final exam. He tries to run away with Toothless, only to be followed by Astrid in the forest. Hiccup takes Astrid for a flight to demonstrate that the dragon is friendly. When Astrid reminds Hiccup of the exam, Toothless unexpectedly takes the pair to the dragons' nest, where they discover a gargantuan dragon named the Red Death. The smaller dragons continuously feed it live food in lieu of being eaten themselves; the two realize that the dragons have been attacking Berk under duress. Astrid wishes to tell the village about their discovery, but Hiccup advises against it to protect Toothless.

Back at the village the next day, Hiccup faces a captive Monstrous Nightmare dragon in his final exam. Instead of killing him, however, he tries to subdue him in an attempt to prove that dragons can be peaceful. When Stoick inadvertently angers the dragon into attacking, Toothless arrives to protect Hiccup, but is captured by the Vikings in the process. Hiccup accidentally reveals to Stoick that Toothless knows the location of the dragons' nest. Stoick disowns his son, and sets off for the nest with Toothless chained to the lead ship as a guide. After the Vikings have left, Hiccup is devastated, but Astrid prompts him to come to the realization that he spared Toothless out of compassion and empathy, not weakness. Hiccup then regains his confidence to go after Toothless and save him along with Astrid and the other teens.

The Viking attackers locate and break open the dragon's nest, causing most of the dragons to fly out, but also awakening the Red Death, which soon overwhelms the Vikings. Hiccup, Astrid, and their fellow pupils fly in, riding Berk's captive training dragons, providing cover fire, and distracting the Red Death while Hiccup frees Toothless. Hiccup almost drowns while doing so, but Stoick saves them both, reconciling with his son. Toothless and Hiccup destroy the Red Death by puncturing its wing membranes and then tricking the beast into making a plunge from which it cannot pull up after shooting a fireball into its mouth. Hiccup is injured in the fight, losing his lower left leg. Hiccup awakens back on Berk, finding that Gobber has fashioned him a prosthesis, and he is now admired by his village, including Astrid, who kisses him. Berk begins a new era, with humans and dragons living in harmony.

Cast

  • Jay Baruchel as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the awkward son of Stoick the Vast.
  • America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson, Hiccup's fellow student in dragon training and his love interest.
  • Gerard Butler as Stoick the Vast, the chieftain of Berk and Hiccup's father.
  • Craig Ferguson as Gobber the Belch, Berk's blacksmith, a close friend of Stoick's and teacher of the tribe's young dragon-training recruits.
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman, an enthusiastic youth knowledgeable in dragon lore which he often relates in role-playing game style.
  • Jonah Hill as Snotlout Jorgenson, one of Hiccup's dragon-training classmates. Snotlout is brash, overconfident, and fairly unintelligent, but reliable.
  • T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig as Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston, a pair of quarrelsome twins.
  • David Tennant as Spitelout, Snotlout's father.
  • Robin Atkin Downes as Ack, a blond-bearded Viking.
  • Philip McGrade as Starkard.
  • Kieron Elliott as Hoark the Haggard, a Viking with a knotted beard.
  • Ashley Jensen as Phlegma the Fierce, a Viking who works as a botanist at the School of Dragons.
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