movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: From the directors of Lilo & Stitch… comes a movie much better than Lilo & Stitch. Starring Jay Baruchel (awkward kid in Undeclared, She’s Out Of My League, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Tropic Thunder, Fanboys, Knocked Up, Rules Of Attraction) as the main character Hiccup. Hiccup’s father Stoick was played by Gerard Butler (Kable from Gamer, King Leonidis from 300, Dracula from Dracula 2000). The teacher Gobber is played by Craig Ferguson (talk show host, and “Person Of Indeterminate Gender” from Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events). Romantic interest Astrid is played by America Ferrera (Betty from Ugly Betty). Snoutlout is played by Jonah Hill (Get Him To The Greek, The Invention Of Lying, Funny People, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Horton Hears A Who, Walk Hard, Superbad, Knocked Up, Click, Grandma’s Boy, The 40 Year Old Virgin, I Heart Huckabees). Fishlegs is played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin’ from Superbad, Red Mist from Kick-Ass, Year One, Role Models). Tuffnut is played by T.J. Miller (Get Him To The Greek, Stainer from She’s Out Of My League). Ruffnut is played by Kristen Wiig (Date Night, Extract, Adventureland, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard, The Brothers Solomon). Ack is played by Robin Atkin Downes (Repo Men, Transformers:Revenge Of The Fallen, Disaster Movie, Meet The Spartans, and generally just a voice actor). Basically, a pretty good voice cast of known voices. I kinda wish I’d paid attention to this fact before watching the movie, instead of after.

PLOT SUMMARY: Vikings vs. dragons! But are the dragons really as bad as they seem?

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Vikings progress from extinction agenda to enslavement agenda.

QUIRKS: Family friendly animated adventure. Many Disney-esque Tropes are used, making things a bit predictable.

VISUALS: State-of-the-art CGI dragons. Can’t think of the last time I saw so many dragons rendered so well. Maybe never? But a complaint could still be made: Cartooneyness.

Too bad we didn’t see this in 3-D, though. That would have been even awesomer.

I did like the use of runes in it!

Based on a book.

WILHELM SCREAM: Yea, I think there was one.

MORALS: Things are not always what they seem.

POLITICS: Sometimes the majority is wrong.

GOOD STUFF: Full of heart.

BAD STUFF: Perhaps a bit too family friendly and predictable–but still good.

CONCLUSION: A fun family movie. While predictable, part of the reason for seeing Dreamworks animated movies is not the story, but the visuals. And the visuals are pretty cool.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.6/10 (a low 8).

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.2/10 (181th highest rated movie ever?!?!), Netflix: 4.5/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.3/5 stars–lower than average. Which is pretty amazing, because we usually like anything animated MORE than average. Yet Netflix knew that this would not be the case with this movie).

RECOMMENDATION: Ask yourself one question: “Do I want to see tons of different dragon species rendered in state-of-the-art CGI to then be treated like kitty-cats?” If the answer is yes, watch this.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Cartoon Network’s producing an animated series of this, starting in 2012. But it will probably be a bit too juvenile for our tastes. A 2013 theatrical sequel is planned as well.

Mood: rewarded for not throwing trash away
Music: Tiamat – The Malicious Paradise