Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this excellent adventure comedy about a clever young Viking includes some fantasy violence and potentially frightening images of dragons which could scare some young movie-goers. The dragons attack the Viking village, causing mass destruction, and in a couple of cases, they cripple characters. There's some mild flirting and two brief kisses between teens, and one bittersweet discussion about a deceased mother (and her armored breast plate, which has been fashioned into two helmets). Because the 3-D effects up the intensity level of the action sequences, easily scared older kids may jump out of their seat in the dragon-fighting scenes. On a positive note, with a strong female character and an honorable, brainy protagonist, kids will learn the value of cooperation, teamwork, and seeing beyond the surface of a situation.
Mild flirting and two brief kisses between Astrid and Hiccup.
Some of the dragons -- particularly in the opening and climactic sequences, along with the dragon training scenes -- are scary looking and cause a lot of destruction. The dragons have burned down homes, killed random characters and maimed a couple of central characters. The huge "queen dragon" is big and imposing and is just as likely to swallow a smaller dragon as she is to crush humans in her way.
Exclamations like "Thor almighty!" and "By Odin it was rough" that substitute the word God for the names of Norse gods. Some mild taunts and insults like "coward" and "useless" and one joke about a "breast hat" (a Viking hat formed from a breast plate). One use of "hell."
Hiccup's actions prove that cooperation and teamwork can be better than competition and animosity. By looking past the superficial, Hiccup discovered that the dragons weren't the blind, ruthless killers his people thought they were, and that training a dragon had far more benefits than killing a dragon. Another important message is that the love between a parent and child is unconditional and not based on whether the child is following in the parent's footsteps. There's also the message that girls and women (the Vikings are surprisingly pro-girl-power) can be tough and fearless too, and that brains can be just as powerful as brawn.
Expect lots of branded merchandise to accompany this movie.
Drugs / Tobacco /