March 26, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

Posted by at 8:42 am in Book to Big Screen, Celebrities | Permalink

Dragon_130 Based on a book by Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon (rated PG) is a movie about a scrawny, very un-tough Viking boy named Hiccup who doesn’t fit in with the rest of the teenage Vikings who have names like Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Snotlout. They are all sent on a sort of manhood test where they have to capture and train a dragon. The toughest Viking in the group is a girl named Astrid. She is not in the book at all, but they added her into the movie because they thought it would be fun to have a girl character who is just as strong as the boy Vikings. Yeah! Girls can kick butt too!

At a press interview, America Ferrera and Jay Baruchel, the actors who voice the characters of Astrid and Hiccup talk about the movie and what it was like to play their parts.

What is your favorite thing about Astrid?
Astrid America Ferrera:
I loved Astrid because she was ready to fight with the boys and play those dragons and I love that the movie never really makes a big deal out of it; it just is what it is. She is the best young fighting dragon player and there is no mention of you’re a girl, so that’s ridiculous or any of that.

I think that Astrid was like a newer kind of character for me to play, because she was so tough. And actually in the beginning you think, she is the most likely hero. Because she is – she is smart and she is prepared and she is physically trained and everyone thinks she is the star Viking. And I think, her biggest moment in the movie comes when she realizes that she is not going to be the hero, and she encourages Hiccup to go and be the hero and – and I think that makes her the hero in a way that she never thought she would be.

Do you think Astrid’s character has a message to girls?
America Ferrera:
Totally, I think just having her in this movie, just having a girl in this movie at all who isn’t, you know cooking or knitting. I mean, back in the Viking times, women were not Viking, so that’s not even historically correct. But it’s really wonderful that Astrid is in it and is playing with the big dogs and wanting to be the best and wanting to go down as the biggest Viking dragon player
there ever was. And that we don’t ever talk about it like it’s a bad thing.Girls watching this love an adrenaline rush and an adventure action movie as much as any boy out there, because I know I do. I think we’ll be super inspired by a strong girl who thinks that she can be just as good as any of the guys.

Hiccup How do you relate to your character, Hiccup, and what did  you learn from him?

Jay Baruchel: I relate to Hiccup because he was real skinny and
childlike. And his dad wants him to be more athletic and physical than he wants to be. So these are all things that resonate with me. And what I learned from him? I learned how to design medieval siege weapons that take dragons out of the sky.

The movie looks like it has a lot of excitement, like explosions, and chasing and things like that. Did the role feel really physical for you, like you are always moving?

America Ferrera: Yes, I would say that it felt very physical. I mean we didn’t have to fly dragons or anything but just to kind of get those Viking screams and warrior calls and grunts. We were constantly panting and I found myself you know getting really physical in the room just to kind of get to that place where you know, you feel like you were running from a dragon. There is a lot of running in the movie.
Jay Baruchel: Yes. And we have like you know, where they’re constantly just asking us to do a grunt. Do a grunt like you just caught something. Do a grunt like you just landed somewhere. So yes, like it’s, even though it’s just like America and I literally standing in a room with microphones in front of us. If you saw what it looked like, yes, it looks ridiculous.

The movie is called How to Train Your Dragon but how does Toothless [the dragon] end up training the Vikings?

Jay Baruchel: Well without giving away too much, I think Toothless ends up training the Vikings in that he is the first one to kind of make them look at dragons differently because you know before him dragons are villains; dragons are the ones who burn our houses down and take our food and they are 100 percent evil. I think that once Toothless appears, you see that there is more to dragons than what we thought and as a result it changes the entire Viking demeanor and approach. So I think just because he is adorable and loyal and responsive, and all the good things, you know all the attributes that Vikings like in themselves, they see this in the dragon, and he kind of makes them change their whole game plan.

Dragon

Were there movies like this that captured your imagination when you were kid?

Jay Baruchel: Oh, yes. The Sword in the Stone – that movie was it for me. And I feel like I am kind of paying homage to Ward through Hiccup in that.
America Ferrera: I remember as a kid just being so like attracted to movies that were about kids, but dealt with really kind of deep and dark things; like, I loved Stand by Me. I loved The Goonies, where there was real danger in these kids’ lives. Now, I love Harry Potter. I love movies that show young people being able to change the world in a way that older people can’t. And I think that totally stays true in this movie because Hiccup and the kids are the ones who are more open to learning about the unknown more so than any of the adults are willing to. And I think that’s so attractive for kids to feel in a way that they have something special because they are young and because their imagination is so open and free and wild.

How to Train Your Dragon is out in theaters starting today. Let me know in the comments if you read the book or see the movie. I would love to hear which one is better!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Photos courtesy of DreamWorks Animation
Interviews by Gerri Miller

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  1. Astrid21

    The movie is so cool. I really like the character Astrid she is so awesome and cool I actually relate to her a lot ☺️

    Reply
  2. breezedragon9

    I thought the movie was the best thing I have seen. For huge fans of the movie, their makeing the sequal in 2014

    Reply
  3. Emma

    HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  4. Emma

    The movie is super cool!!
    I have seen the movie 100 or more times. My favorite character is Astrid.
    The animation is amazing!!

    Reply
  5. Pippi

    I watched this movie and it was a great production. It taught a lesson about not judging a person by their skins or clothes. I am also a fan of dragons and love this movie. This movie was made for kids, but it is really for all ages.

    Reply
  6. Anna

    how to train your dragon is one of my faaaaaaaavorite movies EVER so even if you’ve already watched it, keep watching it because its AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ITS AWSOME!!!

    Reply
  7. Desi

    That movie was great!!! I laughed almost all the way through. There were some touching parts that almost made me cry, but it all turns out in the end!!!

    Reply
  8. russian c

    i tank that the movie is really good and the book is to and i dont think that the movie is stupid i thank that is a good movie is because i would like to tran a dragon one time in me life and be in a movie star .thanks share it

    Reply
  9. johnny

    this movie is horrible it was a waste of money and one hour and thirty minutes of my life and i dont recomemed this movie to any one amrican wedding was better then this

    Reply
  10. David

    Hi it me again I here to say that how to train your dragon was the best move I have ever seen and I’ve seen it 2 times and I am only 12 years old.

    Reply
  11. Lela

    Is this movie really good?? I read some of the book, but found another book that interested me more.
    Cant wait to see it!

    Reply
  12. Cade

    I realllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly want to see the movie. It will be so cool!

    Reply
  13. alise

    I can not beileve that people are saying that they don’t want to see the movie. I have read 4 of the books and watched the movie. I still want to read all the other books in the series.My mom said that they are making another movie. I can’t wait to see it!Me and my friend know SO MUCH things about dragons. So yeah just ask me.

    Reply
  14. readerboy123

    it kind of looks good and kind of looks boring,but i want to c sriek forever after (AMAZING)it looks funny

    Reply
  15. tinypeguin16

    that was a good movie would recomend it to anyone who wants to see a good movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  16. Marie

    Astrid does appear in the books! Her name was was changed from Camicaze though. The books are phenomenally creative and fun. I can’t wait tosee the movie!

    Reply
  17. Chris

    top comment i dont see what you mean cause im 18 and i loved the movie. it had alot of fun and excitement to it and tootless had a snese of cuteness and power that most characters just cant cover

    Reply
  18. Vanillacream12

    My comment:
    Well, it looks like a good movie, but the Main Character, Hiccup, is kinda like Greg Heffley, from Diary of a wimpy kid.
    His dad is trying to get him to be more atheltic, and Greg is Wimpy, hence the title.

    Reply
  19. bethany

    i really want too see the movie ive seen only the first part because i fell asleep not cool!!!!!!!!!!!! but im a sort of person whos into fantasy stuff and all sortts of stuff like that

    Reply
  20. Mirva

    I haven’t cried watching an animation since The Lion King. The flying scenes were breathtaking. In my opinnion this is the best animated (and 3D) movie ever made.

    Reply
  21. megan

    i really wanna see this movie! ive seen preveiws and wat ive seen, it is da bomb! it also looks pretty romantic! i love romantic novels and movies! this movie looks soooooo cool! in the preveiws, the girl and boy r on the dragon and she has her arms around his waist and all the other dudes like her!!! this is gonna be soooooooo cool! im gonna beg my mom 2 take me 2 see it! my baby bro also wanna see it! he’s gonna loooove it! funny, romantic, sweet, and cool! i forgot who’s gonna be the voice peeps! LOL!!! if i ever do see it, i’ll tell ya’ll commenters bout it! cant wait 2 see it! my sis says that its gonna be lousy!!! NOT! boy, is she wrong? well, ive gotta go u commenters. i’ll comment when i see it! peace, love, happiness! this movie will be da bomb! peace out!

    Reply
  22. speedyrunner13

    I saw this movie at the theatre last night, and my bro (age 5) enjoyed it a lot more than me. I thought it was OK, but not that good 4 my age group. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Alice in Wonderland, though.

    Reply
  23. megan

    i want to see it to and if they cried then it is probably a awsome movie i might be seeing soon!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Reply
  24. Tammy

    The movie wuz a totally waste of time. I hated it. I wuz bored out ov my mind. I think that the book wuz boring 2. I had 2 read it 4 a Literture book goal. IDK if u would like it though.

    Reply
  25. Greenpie3

    I just saw the movie on Friday, March 26 ( the day it came out ) and it was really great and SUPER-FUNNY!!! I LOVED IT!!

    Reply
  26. patience

    hi i went to the move theeders and watched the move how to tran your dragan it was funny and sad i went with my mom because my dad is in texes and my sister was at her friends house because her friends mom said its all right and i crid because i wonted to go bye bye …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Reply
  27. dannyphantomsuperfan

    I got to go see the movie on Saturday. It was really cool because we got to see it in 3-D and it’s the first movie I’ve ever seen that is like that. In fact, all day I’ve been feeling miserable because I want to see it again, but we only go to see movies in the theater once, then we wait for it to come out on DVD, which won’t be till anywhere from mid-May to late-July judging on the average movie to DVD time period, so I guess I’ll just have to wait :( .

    Reply
  28. G

    I want to see it really badly.
    I wonder at the end of the movie they give us dradon toysI hope I can get the first copy of it in 3D

    Reply
  29. kayli247

    i think the movie will be really fun and enjoyable and i also cant WAIT till i watch it my dad sais he might take me to the imax version!

    Reply
  30. loki25

    I’ve read the book. In the book the don’t fight the dragons they train them. The movie looks okay but not like the book at all.

    Reply
  31. Josephine

    I think the movie is pretty cool-I liked that they added a girl-but I expect the book to be better because that’s usually the case. Anyway, if anyone said the movie was stupid before they saw it, I’d tell them that they are charging the book by its cover.

    Reply
  32. DanceRox!!

    I really want to see that movie i cant wait for it to come out!!! i think that this movie will ROCK!! thank you to the people who thought of this AMAZING (well i hope its going to be AMAZING) movie:)

    Reply
  33. Britney

    I haven’t seen the movie and I really don’t want to cause it looks boring in my opinion. But my brother says it looks sweet.

    Reply
  34. fireflies101

    A lot of people are talking about this movie. In my opinion, this movie doesn’t look very interesting.I’ve seen the previews on television, and it looks like a great movie for children between the ages of 3 and 15.

    Reply