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Recap / Collaboratory Here There Be Dragons

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Log Line: “A schoolteacher witnesses the Pirate Queen getting murdered, but when [the murderer] gets caught he gives her the slippers and so she is out on the run from the pirates, and while out on the run she discovers that [the slippers] have the ability to summon Godzilla, and over the course of her time out there she forms a friendship with the strange creature and is struggling to find a home and a home for herself.”
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Here There Be Dragons is the first episode of the Smash (Meta)Fiction project Collaboratory. It features Blanche Devereaux, Joey Tribbiani, Godzilla, and Mel.

In a Pirates of the Caribbean-esque time period, schoolteacher Mel is bored of her life and doodles and daydreams about bards, whose life she sees as romantic. She stops some children from poking a small animal, insisting that only humans are malicious. While lingering after a performance by Joey the bard, she witnesses him killing the Pirate Queen. He gives her the Pirate Queen's slippers, which control Godzilla, to frame her for his crime as he escapes. Mel and Godzilla go on the run from the pirates and Blanche, who is trying to retrieve the slippers. Godzilla and Mel form a friendship as they escape from pirates and Blanche on the high seas, but soon discover a village the Pirate Queen forced Godzilla to destroy. The pirates catch up to Mel and Joey takes the slippers, but Blanche rescues Mel and joins forces with her, leading to a climactic fight. Mel and Joey wrestle for control of Godzilla, and Godzilla manages to destroy the pirate ship Joey is on. After Joey's defeat, Mel orders Godzilla to eat the slippers, setting him free, and they ride off together. The movie closes with the reveal that the whole movie was a story a bard was telling to some children, including one little girl who draws a picture of Mel and Godzilla like the one Mel drew at the beginning.

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Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Mel wants to be this. She gets mixed results.
  • Adaptational Badass: Blanche Devereaux is a spymaster, agent of the crown, and killer.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Joey commits murder and frames Mel for it.
  • Apathetic Teacher: By the time the story starts, Mel is bored with teaching and buries herself in learning about bards.
  • Ascended Fangirl: After daydreaming about adventure and learning about bards, Mel gets thrown headfirst into that world.
  • The Bard/Wandering Minstrel: Joey, an actor in his normal show, becomes a travelling bard in this time period.
  • Beast of Battle: The Pirate Queen uses Godzilla as one of these.
  • Buddy Picture: The genre. It focuses on the relationship between Godzilla and Mel.
  • Clear My Name: The goal, from The Fugitive. Mel has been accused of killing the Pirate Queen.
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  • Clothesline Stealing: Mel assembles an outfit from this.
  • Cover Version: The ending credit song is a raucous sea shanty version of "Beyond the Sea."
  • Dirty Old Woman: The archetype for Blanche. Bob uses this word-for-word to describe her archetype. In the story, she appears during the catalyst scene in a seedy bar, surrounded by young men in a “compromising position.”
  • Disney Dog Fight: At the climax, Mel wears one shoe while Joey wears the other, giving Godzilla more freedom over whose commands he follows.
  • Dragon Rider: In this setting, Godzilla is one of the titular dragons. Mel rides on his back at the end of the movie, and throughout it they share a special bond.
  • Eating Solves Everything: The only way for Godzilla to be free of the shoes is for their holder to command him to eat them.
  • Exact Words: Joey tells Godzilla to "turn around and destroy," meaning the town. Godzilla turns and wrecks the pirate ship with his tail.
  • Giant Squid: Mel and Godzilla run into one of these early in the movie, then lead the pirates into it later.
  • Good-Times Montage: There's one during the B-story as Mel and Godzilla become friends.
  • Groin Attack: Mel punches Joey here at the film's climax.
  • Have We Met?: Blanche runs into Mel while the latter is in her bard disguise. Mel insists that she is a bard who has never met Blanche before.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Between Mel and Godzilla.
  • Living Weapon: The pirates used Godzilla as one of these. Mel and Godzilla happen across one of the towns destroyed this way, with Godzilla feeling remorse for what he was forced to do.
  • MacGuffin: The ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.
  • Naïve Animal Lover: Mel.
    Dan (as Mel): Animals aren’t malicious, only humans are malicious!
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Mel’s bard outfit. It includes a floppy hat and foldover boots.
    Claire: It’s probably pretty bad...She would dress kind of like a bard, in like an over-the-top colorful thing.
  • One Size Fits All: Averted: Joey’s feet don’t fit in the ruby slippers very well, meaning that his control over Godzilla is more limited than Mel’s.
  • Pirate Girl: The pirates have a queen who possessed the ruby slippers.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The plot begins when Mel sees Joey murder the pirate queen.
  • Sexy Woman, Instant Harem: Blanche Devereaux in the bar scene.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: After chasing Mel and the pirates through the first two acts, Blanche teams up with Mel to save the world from Joey, the pirates, and Godzilla.
  • Threatening Shark: Godzilla throws a great white shark in response to a request for surrender.
  • Third Party Stops Attack: When the pirates are preparing to execute Mel, Blanche shows up, kills the pirates, and captures Mel.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Blanche surrounds herself with shirtless crewmen/lovers.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The setting is described as similar to Pirates of the Caribbean. Blanche is in the employ of the British crown, although they also considered making her an agent of the East India Company, which points to this era. They also reference the existence of guns, although they were very rudimentary.
  • Villainous Rescue: Downplayed; Blanche is an antagonist to Mel when she rescues her from the pirates, but is less villainous than the pirates.
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