2010 Preview: How to Train Your Dragon

by Brandon Gray
How to Train Your Dragon

January 15, 2010

Release Date: March 26 (conventional theaters and IMAX 3D)
Studio: Paramount (DreamWorks)
Genre: Animation
Director: Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders
Writer: Cressida Cowell, Dean DeBlois, Adam F. Goldberg, Chris Sanders, Peter Tolan
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasses, Kristen Wiig, T.J. Miller
Studio Description: Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn't exactly fit in with his tribe's longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup's world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges he and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.
Watch the Trailer

Analysis: Over the years since the success of the first Ice Age, March has morphed into a prime month for the launch of major computer-animated features: Robots in 2005, Ice Age: The Meltdown in 2006, Meet the Robinsons in 2007, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! in 2008 and Monsters Vs. Aliens in 2009. Now comes How to Train Your Dragon from DreamWorks Animation, which produced Monsters Vs. Aliens as well as another series that included a dragon: Shrek.

Dragon-centric movies haven't exactly burnt up the box office. Eragon's the highest-grossing one with $75 million, followed by Dragonheart at $51.4 million. But How to Train Your Dragon is gunning for broader family appeal, striking a tone that's more comparable to Lilo & Stitch (not coincidentally from the same director team), Shrek and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It's also being pushed as a 3D event like Monsters Vs. Aliens, which launched with $59.3 million and ended up with $198.4 million. While How to Train Your Dragon doesn't immediately appear to have as concise or saleable a subject as Monsters Vs. Aliens, it is well-positioned to find a sizable audience.

Similar Movies: Monsters vs. Aliens, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Shrek, Meet the Robinsons, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Eragon, Dragonheart, Lilo & Stitch

Related Charts: Brand: Dreamworks Animation; Animation—Computer; Dragon—Focal Point of Movie

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