Nobody thought the response would be so overwhelming. It's the highest-rated movie to come out of 2010, the best for any Dreamworks film. Critics liked it so much the approval seems unanimous. Try to find a bad review and you'll be hard-pressed to find one, if there's any at all.
Nobody thought it was going to do well at the box-office after an unimpressive debut. But after four weeks? It hasn't dropped out of the top three, and it has one of the lowest declines in sales ever because of some fantastic buzz driving the very long run at the box office. That alone has made it a huge success.
Nobody thought Dreamworks could come up with something serious, smart and sincere. But it did, and it's time for Disney or Pixar to watch out.
98% Certified Fresh! ... Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars. - Rotten Tomatoes
How to Train Your Dragon is a little more serious and more ambitious than the signature DreamWorks films at least as much an action epic as a cartoon comedy. In its loftier moments, it might almost be called Pixarian. - Richard Corliss, TIME
3D Moviemaking at its best! A reason to put on those glasses! - Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Tonight
How to Train Your Dragon rouses you in conventional ways, but it's also the rare animated film that uses 3-D for its breathtaking spatial and emotional possibilities. It makes you feel in every way miles high. - Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
A wonderful good-time hit! - Gene Shalit, TODAY
A study in how nuance can actually complement the spectacle we've come to demand of 3-D animation. The dragon tale is an especially nice touch itself, which is both heartwarming and heartfelt, a significant departure from the pop culture saturated sarcasm that had become something of a DreamWorks Animation staple à la 'Shrek' - Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
Funny, touching, it works miracles in 3-D! - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
DreamWorks Animation tries a new tack, embracing sincerity over satire, a thrilling drama interspersed with amusing comedic elements (rather than the other way around) ... Weaning itself entirely from the gimmicks of stereoscopic 3D, 'Dragon' makes dazzling use of the format, particularly during high-flying dragon ridesthe exhilaration of which is echoed in John Powell's fleet score. - Variety
Uses 3-D to capture the thrills of flying! - AO Scott, At The Movies
This adventure soars in 3D... Atmospheric, surprisingly detailed, and remarkably immersive. The overall use of 3D here is exemplary. - Ain't It Cool News
Swift action, a smart script, stunning animation and capable set of voice actors come together for a movie that soars. The story has enough heart and thrills that it doesn't need the amazing effectsbut 3-D IMAX elevates this family flick to a whole new level. - Leslie Gornstein, E!Online
For years, the studio got by on making solid, profitable, mass-market work that often involved frantic funny animals quipping through slapstick sequences and making loads of pop culture references. An inkling of a sea change came with Kung Fu Panda, but How to Train Your Dragon takes things much further. This is a movie that has faith in the power of animation, leaving old habits behind as the story comes front and center ... I am still not completely sold on how Hollywood tends to use 3D, but How to Train Your Dragon is an example of them doing it right. - Philbert Ortiz Dy, ClickTheCity.com
It's funny, dazzling, and it's got heart! ... The 3-D scenes would make Avatar jealous! - People Magazine
Gorgeous and Funny - Karen Durbin, Elle Magazine
Dreamworks has topped itself... It takes 3D animation to new heights and should keep audiences of all ages enthralled ... With its mix of action, comedy and heart it feels like no other animation film in recent years. - Peter Hammond, Boxoffice Magazine
We knew word-of-mouth would be extraordinary, but this has really exceeded everyone's expectation! - Anne Globe, DreamWorks Animation head of worldwide marketing
I've read about people who were adamant on avoiding HTTYD thinking it would be another piece of garbage the big studios cared nothing of just there to get a few bucks out of people, (then after an accidental viewing for some) those same people became instant converts by the time the credits rolled in. Some were even surprised to find themselves crying at certain scenes. Others have seen the film two more times already, some even went so far for a fifth (yours truly is guilty of two viewings already: in regular 2D and in IMAX 3D).
There's just something enchanting and really charming about How To Train Your Dragon that's got people gushing over it, I guess. Yes, yours truly included. :) You won't understand til you see it for yourself, and I have no doubt that you will thank me for it.