How to Train Your Dragon

In theaters.

I wasn’t completely on board with How to Train Your Dragon until that dragon made its first real appearance. Oh, sure, the human hero Hiccup is cute and all, and the dragon attack on his village is exciting and well done, but meeting the Night Fury up close was what really captured my attention. The animators don’t try to anthropomorphize the creature. It doesn’t talk, and it doesn’t understand every single word humans say. It is clearly alien, clearly dangerous, and thus absolutely fascinating. And yet, gradually, the movie also reveals dragon traits that feel familiar. I’ve heard it described as dog-like, but I think the dragon, whom Hiccup eventually names Toothless (a joke, not a descriptor), acts more like a cat. In fact, Toothless’s big golden eyes and his many feline mannerisms reminded of nothing so much as my cat Luna, and that made me love him all the more—which is appropriate, seeing as How to Train Your Dragon is, in a weird way, a sort of romance of domestication and human-animal symbiosis. If only my Luna could fly!