You might say that How to Train Your Dragon is just another Hero's Journey story, and you'd be right, but then again so was Star Wars. What How to Train Your Dragon is, is awesome, it is like they asked themselves while creating each scene, "How can we make this more awesome?" It worked. I've only had two movies effect me this much. The first was Ratatouille, every scene I seemed to be saying, "It's beautiful." With How to Train Your Dragon it was, "It's awesome." Hiccup, on the other hand, is curious about the Night Fury, it just happens that the Night Fury is a little curious about him too. Forbidden Friendship is the most awesome first contact scene ever. Hiccup wasn't reaching his hand out to an herbivore, but a top predator. Looking away and holding out his hand was a true act of faith, because he didn't know if he'd ever get that hand back. Was Toothless domesticated? Don't make me laugh. Tamed? Not hardly. They became friends because Toothless decided to be Hiccups friend, not the other way around. The climax is more awesome then the average movie-goer can comprehend. When the Red Death came out I was actually surprised there were no cries of Ragnarok, the end of the world, from some of the Vikings. The thing that comes to mind in their mythology that matches the Red Death is Jormungandr, the Midgard serpent, which Thor will fight at the end of the world. Thor doesn't survive that battle. That little conversation between Stoic and Hiccup on the edge of the sea means a whole lot more when put in that kind of context. To go up against the Red Death didn't take balls of steel, but weapons-grade plutonium. Taking off to fight put Hiccup and Toothless into the realm of legendary Viking. They'd have to invent the opera format just to do their legend justice. That Stoic was surprised that Hiccup was alive wasn't surprising. That the Dreamworks team had the guts to give Hiccup a permanent injury is another bit of awesomeness that just won't get the due it is worth. There are a lot of injured veterans out there, and I really feel it honors them for the sacrifice they have made. You don't fight something a hundred times bigger then yourself, alone and come out unscathed.
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