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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

How to Train Your Dragon (10/15/2010)


Rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language

Directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch)

Starring the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera and Craig Ferguson


Todd's Rating: Worth Buying


One of the best films of 2010.

Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

As I sat down with my family over the weekend for our “Family movie night” to watch How to Train Your Dragon, truthfully all I was hoping for was for this movie not to suck. It seems that the last few “Family films” were real duds. It only took about five minutes for me to know that I was in for a real treat. And when the credits rolled all I could think was, “Wow, I loved that movie”.

I know one of the big reasons was the classic underdog story. Hiccup is misunderstood, different and picked on a by all the cool kids. But he’s a dreamer and when his dream becomes reality he becomes a true hero who conquers his fears.

Another reason was the cast that includes Butler and Ferguson who both speak with thick Scottish accents and Baruchel speaks perfect “nerd”. Ferguson and Baruchel are hilarious and Butler returns to his 300 form.

Besides a great cast, DreamWorks once again produced a visually stunning film. With CGI getting better every year, How to Train Your Dragon takes full advantage of the latest technology and simply put, this film looks amazing. I mean there are scenes where Hiccup is riding the dragon...and it’s almost as good as Avatar.

How to Train Your Dragon is a real charmer from beginning to end. Some may wish for more “adult comedy” ala Shrek, but I found both the humor and the occasional awkwardness between a Viking father and his to be something special. In fact I loved everything about this film...it’s Worth Buying!


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
ABSOLUTELY!


Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

Q: What’s the message/theme of this movie?


A: Conflict is often the result of misunderstanding.


Q: How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?

A: Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” This film shows us the danger that can result in us not doing everything we can to understand those who are different from us and doing our best to live peacefully with them.


Q: How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?

A: One thing we can this week is seek to resolve any conflict that we have recently experienced. We can also be aware of how easy it can be for us to judge other people because they look or act differently from us.



Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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