Dreaming Up How to Train Your Dragon

With the animated How to Train Your Dragon, DreamWorks goes soaring into Pixar-dominated skies

Paramount Pictures

A scene from How to Train Your Dragon

Two young people take flight on a dragon, just like in Avatar, but the trip is longer and way swoopier. Ancient warriors strut their testosterone in approved Beowulf or 300 fashion. A kid befriends an otherworldly creature — a flame-spuming update of the alien from E.T. — and tries to hide him from adults. It's a foolproof scheme for picture making: take the plot elements of favorite movies, paint the concoction with bright colors so it looks like the zazziest customized car, set it running at NASCAR speed — then add 3-D — and you have How to Train Your Dragon,...

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