Really, I did not think I would have liked this as much as I did. I didn't just like it, I loved it. The story is simple enough: A bunch of vikings with "Stubbornness issues," have been making their stand against dragons for years now. Hiccup, the son of the chief is not your standard viking and gets no respect. What no one knows is he has secretly caught a dragon and begins to learn how to tame these dangerous creatures. So judging from that synopsis, I figured I knew exactly how it would go down from beginning to the end where father and son hug.
Well, mostly I was right in my predictions, but that didn't change the fact that i had fun following Hiccup's adventures. At first, I didn't care for the vocal work for Hiccup. He sounded a bit too smart ass for my taste. But like the film, his character really grew on me as time went on. I think the whole film really came together and became something special when he first confronted the dragon he captured and found out he could not kill. Sure, it's the type of scene you see in a lot of kids film but there was something in the expression captured in the animation that really sold it for me. From then on, the film just got to a slightly deeper place than I thought it would go. It helped that they nailed the characters of the dragons perfectly. They were funny and scary and smart, but they were also creatures that were a part of the natural world. Hiccup, and we the audience, begin to understand their little secrets. What makes them happy, what scares them. We are drawn into their world and that depth changes everything.
The rest of the vocal cast, specially Craig Ferguson, are a smart and funny crew. The designs are crisp and just beautiful. The animation is slick without being dreamworks craptacular. Really, this was just a beautiful film about a boy and his dragon. Who can't get behind that?