How to Train Your Dragon

  • Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
  • Producers: Bonnie Arnold, Michael Connolly, Tim Johnson
  • Writers: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, Story, Cressida Cowell
  • Genres: Animation
  • Actors: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz Plasse, Craig Ferguson

The film is set in a mythical world of vikings and dragons. The story centers around a viking teenager named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who lives on the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. The teen’s smarts and offbeat sense of humor is disliked by his tribe and its chief, Hiccup’s father. However, when Hiccup is included in Dragon Training with the other viking teens, he sees his chance to prove he has what it takes to be a fighter. After he entangles a dragon with a bolas-shooting cannon, Hiccup releases and ends up befriending the dragon. This relationship flips his world upside down as he strives to convince his tribe that they do not need to be dragon-slayers. In the novel, the dragon which is named Toothless is incredibly small for a dragon. In the film, Toothless is a Night Fury, the rarest of all dragons, and is large enough to serve as a flying mount for Hiccup and Astrid.

In initial development, the plot followed the original novel closely but was then altered. About halfway through production, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois took over as co-directors. The original plot was “heavily loyal to the book” but was regarded as geared to a too-young demographic and too “sweet” and “whimsical”, according to Baruchel.[2]

Bolt

  • Directors: Chris Williams, Byron Howard
  • Producers: Clark Spencer, John Lasseter
  • Writers: Idea, Chris Sanders, Screenplay, Chris Williams, Dan Fogelman
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, Malcolm McDowell

A girl named Penny and a dog named Bolt star on a hit television series called Bolt in which the titular character has various superpowers and must constantly thwart the evil plans of the nefarious Doctor Calico. To gain a more realistic performance, the TV show’s producers have deceived Bolt his entire life, arranging the filming in such a way that Bolt believes the television show is real and he really has superpowers. After filming completes for the latest episode, Bolt escapes from his on-set trailer mistakenly believing Penny has been kidnapped by the television villain. He attempts to break through a window, knocking himself unconscious as he falls into a box of styrofoam. With no one aware Bolt is in the box, it is shipped from Hollywood to New York City. In New York, he meets Mittens, a female alley cat who bullies pigeons out of their food. Bolt, convinced this is another adventure, forces Mittens to help him get back to Hollywood, and the two start their journey westward. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, Penny is deeply saddened over Bolt’s disappearance but is forced by the studio to continue filming with a Bolt lookalike. As their adevnture proceeds, Bolt starts to notice that his superpowers aren’t working, and rationalizes this is the effect that styrofoam has on his body.

Penny and her mother subsequently quit the show when their agent attempts to exploit the incident for publicity purposes. Penny herself adopts Mittens and Rhino, and moves to a rural home to enjoy a simpler, happy lifestyle with Bolt and her new pets. The show continues, but with a replacement “Bolt” and “Penny”, and adopting an alien abduction storyline suggested by a character they met on the way.

Lilo Stitch

  • Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
  • Producers: Clark Spencer
  • Writers: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers, Kevin McDonald, Ving Rhames, Jason Scott Lee

Dr. Jumba Jookiba (David Ogden Stiers) is put on trial by the galactic governing body for illegal genetic experiments, including Experiment 626, an aggressive and cunning creature that is nearly invulnerable. Jumba is imprisonsed while 626 is set to be exiled on an asteroid. However, during transport on Captain Gantu’s ship, 626 escapes to the planet Earth. The Grand Councilwoman orders Jumba to work with Agent Pleakley (Kevin McDonald) to recover 626 discreetly. 626 survives his escape attempt to Earth and lands in Hawaii, but is knocked unconscious by a passing truck, and is taken to an animal shelter believed to be a breed of dog.

After the recent death of their parents in a car accident, 21-year-old Nani Pelekai (Tia Carrere) is forced to take care of herself and her younger, more rambunctious sister Lilo (Daveigh Chase). They are visited by Cobra Bubbles (Ving Rhames), a social worker that warns Nani that if she cannot care for Lilo, he will be forced to take her to foster care. To try to help Lilo relax, Nani allows her to adopt a dog from the animal shelter, and Lilo immediately takes keen interest in 626 despite misgivings from Nani and the shelter. Lilo names 626 “Stitch”, and shows him around the island; Stitch quickly discovers escape is impossible as he cannot swim. Nani is forced to bring Lilo and Stitch with her as she attempts to secure a job, while Lilo uses the time to try to curb Stitch’s aggressiveness by making him behave as Elvis Presley. However, Stitch’s antics, at times foiling Jumba and Pleakley’s attempts to capture Stitch, ruin Nani’s chances. David, Nani’s friend, suggests a day at the beach for the four of them to help relax Nani. While attempting to teach Lilo and Stitch how to surf, Jumba makes one more effort to capture Stitch from underwater; as a result, it appears Stitch attempted to drown Lilo. Though everyone is safe on shore, Cobra saw the whole event and tells Nani he will be by in the morning to collect Lilo. After being chastised by both Nani and Lilo, Stitch leaves on his own, recognizing the importance of family.

Stitch manages to escape his confinement, and with help from Jumba’s ship and by launching a gas tanker truck out of a volcano, he is able to free Lilo and stop Gantu. After they land, they find that the Grand Councilwoman has arrived nearby, escorted by Cobra, to arrest Stitch personally. However, when she sees Stitch hugging Nani and Lilo, she realizes he has become a civilized creature. Using Lilo’s certificate of Stitch’s ownership as proof, the Councilwoman asserts that Stitch is now a part of Nani and Lilo’s family on Earth, and lets him go free. As her guards take Gantu away, she exiles Jumba and Pleakly to Earth, and orders Cobra, a former CIA agent who previously met the Councilwoman at Roswell, to keep an eye on the new family. Lilo becomes integrated into Nani’s and Lilo’s family, and their house is rebuilt with the help of Jumba and Pleakly.