Australian Council on Children and the Media

How to Train Your Dragon

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

Young Hiccup dreams of being a Viking hero, killing dragons and defending his people, just like his father Stoick who is the leader of the Vikings. He is the strongest and most fearless of them all, while Hiccup is just a boy who feels he will never be worthy of his father’s praise.

This all changes when Hiccup manages to take down a Night Fury, one of the most feared and dangerous dragons of all, with a new weapon he invented. Of course no-one believes him and his Father leaves in disgust with a band of people to set out across the ocean to look for the dragon’s lair. Meanwhile Hiccup goes into the forest to look for the Night Fury and finds him trapped and injured. He is more magnificent and terrifying than Hiccup could ever have imagined.

Hiccup takes pity on the injured animal and finds he can’t kill him. Instead they become firm friends and then Hiccup’s real battle starts when he tries to persuade the village people that dragons don't have to be their enemies.

What to look out for

Quite a lot of action violence in this movie and battles between dragons and people such as:

  • Dragons attack a village, burning and destroying as much as they can. The villagers fight back with swords killing as many dragons as they can.
  • Hiccup is chased by a dragon that almost sets him on fire and eats him.
  • Hiccup holds a dagger over the downing dragon and tells him that he is going to kill him.
  • Toothless (the Night Fury) jumps onto him with a terrible scream and then flies away.

These scenes are quite scary especially in 3D and would frighten younger kids as well as the following:

  • Hiccup is very upset when his father captures Toothless and ties him up in chains. He tries to rescue him but they both fall into the water and Hiccup is unable to break the chains that bind Toothless.
  • A huge dinosaur-like dragon bursts out of the mountain, attempting to destroy everything in its path. It eats Vikings, burns their ships and tries to kill Toothless and Hiccup who draw it up and away from the village.
  • Hiccup loses a leg in the battle.

Moral of the Story

The message of the story is that it’s better to try and understand your enemy and make peace rather than continually fighting them.

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