By Zach Hagadone
Among the many milestones of parenthood is waking up one day to realize you’ve gained an encyclopedic knowledge of some movie or TV show (or both) that you would never have otherwise given much thought. Fun though “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” may be, most adults wouldn’t devote their mental energy to parsing the delicate politics of Equestria — woe betide the parent who confuses Canterlot, Ponyville and the Crystal Empire in conversation with an astute 4-year-old.
Some kids’ filmic fare is far better than others, however, and if your little ones are going to get obsessed with a movie/series, it’s a bonus if it’s something enjoyable for viewers both young and old. Such is the case with “How to Train Your Dragon,” the first installment of the three-film franchise that also spun-off into several shorts and two small-screen series — the most recent, “Dragons: Race to the Edge,” ran from 2015-2018 and still streams on Netflix (nearly every day in some parents’ homes).
The movie that started it all hit theaters in 2010, earning Oscar nods for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score, and has lost none of its appeal after nearly a decade. Now it’s coming to Lakeview Park on Friday, Aug. 16, as the second-to-last installment of the 2019 Movies in the Park open-air film series presented by the Bonner County History Museum, Pine Street Dental and Sandpoint Parks at Rec.
Featuring the voice talents of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig and T.J. Miller, “How to Train Your Dragon” is set in a fantastical Medieval world in which hordes of dragons descend on the Vikingesque community of Berk. While Berkians at first fear the beasts, the bravery and ingenuity of village youngsters led by Hiccup (Baruchel) and Astrid (Ferrera) show them that dragons can not only be trained, but become their best friends.
Parents whose kids have fallen under the spell of the “Dragons” universe will come to Movies in the Park well acquainted with courageous Hiccup’s trusty Night Fury dragon Toothless and loyal Astrid’s mount Stormfly, the arrogant Snotlout and his dragon Hookfang, gentle Fishlegs and Meatlug, and the feral Thorston twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut astride their two-headed Hideous Zippleback named Barf and Belch.
It’s a testament to the enduring and endearing story that it won’t matter if it’s your first or 50th time watching it. “How to Train Your Dragon” is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and what better venue to see it in than a grassy park under the stars.
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