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(2010), PG [Hard G-PG*] (1hr 29min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
March 7, 2011
March 8, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2010), PG [Hard G-PG*] ... earned a solid G-equivalence

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): DreamWorks Animation, Mad Hatter Entertainment, Mad Hatter Films, Vertigo Entertainment
Distribution (US): Paramount Home Entertainment
Director(s): Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Producer(s): Bonnie Arnold, Kristine Belson, Michael A. Connolly, Doug Davison, Karen Foster, Tim Johnson, Roy Lee
Writing Credits: Novel - Cressida Cowell. Screenplay - William Davies, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Music: John Powell
Film Editing: Maryann Brandon, Darren T. Holmes
Production Design: Kathy Altieri
Art Direction: Pierre-Olivier Vincent
Viewed on DreamWorks Home Entertainment DVD

PG for "Sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language." That is what the MPAA says about How to Train Your Dragon. We don't. With a final score of 87 out of 100, this film earned a hard G-equivalence. It is no more "scary" or "intense" than Disney's Snow White. The Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area found violence content to be equivalent to many PG-13 movies and the Impudence/Hate investigation area (which includes language) found content to be PG-equivalent. But everything else (the S, D, O and M) were indeed G-equivalent. A tabular representation of the individual investigation area scoring distribution looks like:

  • W - PG-13 equivalent
  • I - PG-equivalent
  • S - G-equivalent
  • D - G-equivalent
  • O - G-equivalent
  • M - G-equivalent

    So, I guess one could say How to Train Your Dragon is 16.6% PG-13, 16.6% PG and 66.8% G. Being the nit-picking Bible thumper I am I had no problem letting my whole family (7, 7, 11, 15, 17) watch this film.

    In the Viking setting of Berk, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (voice of Jay Baruchel) has spent his entire adolescent life trying to measure up to that which Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), his father, expects of him. Hiccup is smaller than other Viking teens. He does not have the drive they exhibit. He just isn't Viking material. At least that is what we are led to believe. Viking existence is to kill dragons. Hiccup just doesn't want to kill dragons. Partly because of his small statue, and partly because of something within him.

    One day, Hiccup found that "something within him." A feared Night Dragon became caught in one of Hiccup's contraptions and suffered loss of one of its flight-stabilizing fins on its tail. After defeating the automatic animosity between man and dragon, Hiccup built another contraption to replace the dragon's lost stabilizer. From then on, the dragon (whose face looked strangely like that of Stitch of Lilo and Stitch fame) and Hiccup were inseparable. Hiccup named the dragon Toothless because of its retractable teeth that do not show unless the dragon jutted them out. Now Hiccup must hide his new friendship with "the enemy" from his father and the rest of Berk.

    Another day when Astrid (voice of America Ferrera), a local Viking girl, and Hiccup were joy-riding on Toothless' back, they discovered the illusive nest of the dragons the Berkonians have been trying to find for 300 years. Now Hiccup has more to hide from his father and the rest of Berk. From the nest, the Vikings could eliminate all dragons from their lives.

    There is much, much more to the often touching and warm story of bold bravado but I won't spoil any more of it should you decide from what we reveal that the film is fit for your family or other audience. Please give a sober look-see at the listing of content findings in the Findings/Scoring section and in the brief investigation area discussions below. There just may be content in the movie that hits an "unacceptable" nerve for you.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 55 out of 100
    There are a number of "intense" periods of fantasy creature violence and battles with them. The final one being the most "intense." It did seem as though the caliber of the life portrayed used violence, though it be of the 'slapstick' style of violence, to settle conflicts and differences. But, subjectively speaking as I did above, the intensity of the battles and other episodes of violence were no more serious or invasive than the dragon of Snow White trying to kill the Handsome Prince. Be that as it may, violence is violence and our Lord is not happy with it. He goes so far as to warn us of its proselytizing effect. [Prov. 16:29, 1 Cor. 15:33] And so does four American profession health agencies.

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 70 out of 100
    "Brief mild language." I suppose the sequence of Astrid yelling euphemistic terms at Hiccup might qualify for that. The single use of the euphemism for the human posterior might also qualify. But other than those terms, I could find only one use of profanity (which our TVGuardian unit) filtered out. [Prov. 22:11]

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 100 out of 100
    When Astrid was first seen she was portrayed as walking in a sultry manner but she was fully and modestly dressed walking in a line with male teens in The Right Stuff™ fashion. The scene was to portray Hiccup seeing her for the first time and being "twitterpated" with her, seeing her differently than others. Nothing overtly sexual about it.

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
    Not one instance of imbibing any form of alcoholic beverage, consumption of illegal drugs, use of tobacco or abuse of prescription drugs was found.

    Offense to God (O) - 96 out of 100
    Part of the Norse lore is the worship of "gods." This film portrays it in a couple places. And while such worship was acceptable to the people of the time, it wasn't acceptable to God and never will be. One of the very Ten Commandments admonishes us that we shall have no other gods before Him [Ex. 20:3] That this film is fantasy does not eradicate the potential of it to mislead and confuse some.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    There were no murders or suicides noted through the entire 89 minutes of programming.


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" ["man" here is enowsh {en-oshe"}: man (collective), mortal, person, mankind; contracted for iysh {eesh}: whosoever, each] can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not since the cinematic display is at the hands men and women, in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil or the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Ex. 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Hos To Train Your Dragon (2010) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 55 out of 100
  • fantasy creature action/battle violence, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 70 out of 100
  • father tormenting and brutal disapproval of son, repeatedly
  • lie
  • crude term
  • hateful euphemisms
  • one use of the three/four letter word vocabulary

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O) - 96 out of 100
  • spiritual pluralism, embracement of multiple gods

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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