It's true—I didn't sit down to watch this film expecting a future Academy Award Winner for Best Animated Feature. Granted, the action scenes looked great in the trailer and that theme song was rather catchy. My expectations were suitably low, and as a result, I was able to enjoy it.
My first complaint,however, is with the interactions between the characters. Many start out so incredibly flat, one can check off the standard high school character archetypes from one's mental list as it progresses. The Shallow Love Interest? Yup. Jerk Jock? Uh-huh. Loser friend that makes our hero look like a knight? Right-o. Only our hero seems to develop an inch during the film. Many characters' personalities and loyalties change as the plot demands, which is terribly cheap. The pacing isn't exactly handled well. Action and conflict arise with little build-up and seem so incredibly contrived at times that it's hardly believable. I hated it's abrupt end and ignored subplots, but it is supposedly a pilot/movie, so we can expect a series to tidy up the mess it left. Thankfully:
Though he's hilariously angsty for a kid with crazy awesome dragon ninja powers, our hero stands by and protects his "friends" (his crush, who was repulsed upon discovering his scaly parentage; his best bud who angrily told a room full of people about said scaly parentage; a federal agent who sees him as a threat to humanity). It's a cute, yet hollow last-minute Aesop. Fire Breather
made up for it by the great animated action scenes— and the Godzilla-esque coolness of the hero's father. Speaking of which, I found myself extremely curious as to the nature of his parents' relationship prior to their divorce. And then there's the matter of how our hero came to be...
A solid 6/10 from me. Great premise, fantastic action sequences, but lacking any real depth.