This is an example of a film which proved to be better than its premise. I didn’t find the film funny for the first 30 minutes. Jokes that are long in coming is hardly an excuse to put a film down entirely, it it? I hadn’t really seen the film until June, but I’d heard of it when a college classmate did a project on it back in 2011.
The script is full of unexpected wit, and a lot of heart too. Some scenes have no words but still manage to convey a maelstrom of emotion. The animation is beautifully done and awe-inspiring. It isn’t the sort of film which looks like it would be better suited as a Saturday morning cartoon. The fact that this film has a TV series too is beside the point.
You could say that ‘nothing much happens’ in this film – yeah, they fight dragons and learn the true meaning of difference. Setting the foundation stones gives scope for them to build on with the sequels. An unexpected gem of loveliness which people of all ages will enjoy.
Its also such a relief to have a female character who is actually strong, for a change. Mostly the female characters are shrinking violets with nothing redeemable at all. I really liked Astrid. She was strong, and able to stand up for herself. We need to see more characters like that in film, instead of having women who sit around and wait for their prince to come and save them.
MY RATING: *** / *****