I'll admit I saw this just to fill out the cinema day. I had no real interest or investment and like all CGI films that aren't made by Pixar, it looked OK, but gave me no real reason to see it as a grown ass man and not a 7 year old. But in that entirely plasticated kids movie way, I left with a big shallow smile on my face and the thing had enough personality and charm to get by.
Jay Baruchel voices Hiccup, the subtly named oddball in his Viking community, full of giant men trying to kill dragons for awesomeness' sake. Hiccup doesn't fit in, so naturally he befriends a giant reptilian predator and wacky dragonized hijinks ensue. I like Baruchel, and he lands a welcome dryness in his delivery, which prevents Hiccup from the kind of insipid little shit that kids who crack wise can be, so that was nice. Similarly the dragon flying sequences capture that innocent sense of wonder that you want from this kind of thing. Simple yet strangely beautiful. The plot of the film runs like disney clockwork and you know exactly what will happen, that the feisty little viking girl with the voice of Ugly Betty will drop her girl power pretense and become weak at the knees for our heroic little twirp. Because that's the way it will always be. That the dragon's are not fiery monsters of the skies, but kittens in scaly clothing how just really want to be our pets, and not kill us. Which makes them a 100% less awesome in my book.
But enough ragging, its a simple enjoyable kids movie that feels a little less factory assembled then most. Also, contains some Gerard Butler voice work as the viking in chief. It may be his best performance of the year. Butler power.