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Western Animation / How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming

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How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming is the second Christmas Episode of DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon franchise. When it becomes clear that the new generation of Vikings doesn't remember the bond between dragon and human, Hiccup sets a plan to celebrate dragons with a grand Snoggletog holiday pageant and gets a heartwarming surprise visit from Toothless for one more adventure.

Tropes used in this short include:

  • All Part of the Show: The stage fire and Toothless appearing and replacing Hiccup did nothing to impede the pageant's intended purpose (to acclimate the children to dragons and honor Stoick). If anything, it helped.
  • Answer Cut: As Hiccup asks if Toothless misses him, we see Toothless drawing a picture of Hiccup on the sand.
  • Artistic License – History: In-Universe. Gobber's play takes heavy liberties with the story of how Hiccup tamed Toothless and brought peace between Berk and the dragons. Most notably, Hiccup himself isn’t the one to tame Toothless at all.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Tuffnut's portrayal of first film Hiccup is stilted and awkward... not that it doesn't describe Hiccup or anything...
  • Black Comedy: One holiday the Hooligans have is "Black Plague Friday" where "nothing gets done, everybody's just shopping and coughing."
  • Broken Aesop: A retroactive one for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. In that film, Hiccup decides dragons and Vikings should be separate for their safety, and the dragons can return when humans "deserve" them. This is meant to be about a hard, loving choice made for the greater good. But in this short, the next generation of Vikings have grown fearful and superstitious of dragons, specifically because of their absence. Hiccup tries to make a pageant to convince them otherwise, but this ends up a near-disaster, and in the end, it only succeeds because Toothless returned. So the separation between Vikings and dragons is shown to be the wrong choice, which has deepened the divide, and only the dragons' return fixed that divide.
  • Butt-Monkey: Hiccup is constantly hit by his daughter's dragon traps, gets reminded of what kind of a person he was like before the events of the films to the extent that his wife actually mistakes the person playing Hiccup as him, got Demoted to Extra in his very own play, has all his achievements credited to his father, and becomes trapped in the Toothless costume he himself invented. In the end, he gets some consolation when his play accomplishes what he wanted: to honor Stoick's memory and endear the next generation of Berkians to dragons.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': The Night Lights sneak off to visit New Berk. Toothless and the Light Fury figure out they snuck off within hours.
  • Christmas Episode: This is the second Christmas special set in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, the first being Gift of the Night Fury.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After hearing Fishlegs do a dead-on impression of Stoick, Gobber comes to the conclusion that he should play Stoick himself.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The fact that the Night Lights sneak off to Berk (and unwittingly bringing their parents there) happens the same day the New Berkians make a pageant to convince the children that dragons are good is a complete coincidence.
  • Covers Always Lie: Toothless, Hiccup, and their families don't meet in any intentional way. The dragons aren't even there for a visit; Toothless and the Light Fury come by to retrieve their wayward kids and leave almost as quickly.
  • Demoted to Extra: In-Universe, Gobber's script for the pageant makes Stoick the one to tame Toothless, while Hiccup is demoted to being the Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Dénouement Episode: Serves as one to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise as whole, as this is set after the Grand Finale shown in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, but shortly before the Distant Finale since it shows how the people of New Berk are coping without their dragons ten years after parting ways.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: Hiccup has this reaction at Tuffnut's impression of him.
  • Good Parents: Hiccup and Astrid are shown to be this to Zephyr and Nuffink. Likewise Toothless and the Light Fury are shown to be good parents to the Night Lights.
  • Happily Married: Hiccup and Astrid are this after ten years of marriage in addition to having two children, and are shown to be still loving and supportive to one another.
  • Hey, Let's Put on a Show: Seeing that his children are growing to fear dragons in spite of what their parents tell them, Hiccup decides to throw a Snoggletog pageant.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Inverted. Gobber demphasizes Hiccup's role in ending their war with the dragons and emphasizes his less admirable traits, the Hiccup character in the pageant being portrayed as more cowardly and weak than he was.
  • History Repeats: Discussed. Hiccup stages the play because signs point to their children's lack of exposure to dragons will cause them to fear them like their ancestors did.
  • Inventional Wisdom: Hiccup felt the need to include the ability to breathe fire in his Toothless costume, which Gobber rightly questions as Hiccup flails around in the costume trying to get it under control.
  • Kid Has a Point: In-spite of every adult's insistence to the contrary, Zephyr's fear of dragons is perfectly rational in a vacuum. They are giant, flying, sharp-toothed, fire-breathing animals that were technically responsible for her father's missing limb. Good thing she never asked who killed her grandfather...
  • Like Father, Like Son: Zephyr is shown to be mechanically inclined like Hiccup. Nuffink is shown to have a rough and tumble personality not unlike Astrid.
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: With the smoke caused by the fire and Hiccup unable to see inside his costume, no one catches on that "Toothless" is the real thing.
  • Running Gag:
    • Nuffink has the odd habit of banging his head against random things.
      Astrid: Kid can take a hit.
    • Every time Hiccup says in voice over "and then it hit me", he gets hit by something.
  • Slapstick: A lot of comical mishaps occur to different characters that walk into Zephyr's traps.
  • Stock Footage: The special ends with a cropped and edited version of the ending of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Sending the dragons away to the Hidden World does not resolve the issue of them being misunderstood by humans, and in some ways it actively worsens it. Despite Hiccup's attempts to pass on his positive view of the dragons, Berk's future generations are not able to see first hand what wonderful creatures they are, and they start to become superstitious and fearful of them just as their ancestors were. Zephyr, Hiccup's own daughter, adamantly refuses to believe that dragons are anything other than dangerous monsters, and doesn't change her mind until she sees a dragon face-to-face.
  • Vanity Project: Hiccup has the idea of making a pageant that retells how the Hooligans made peace with the dragons, and asks Gobber to co-produce the show and write the script. Gobber winds up hijacking the show by making it all about him and his grief over Stoick, rewriting events so that it was Stoick who tamed Toothless, with Gobber even insisting that he himself play the lead-role.
  • Voice Changeling: Fishlegs is able to mimic Stoick's voice perfectly, amazing everyone who hears it. Despite this, Gobber still passes him over for the part.


Video Example(s):


Zephyr and Dragons

In-spite of every adult's insistence to the contrary, Zephyr's fear of dragons is perfectly rational in a vacuum. They are giant, flying, sharp-toothed, fire-breathing animals that were technically responsible for her father's missing limb. Good thing she never asked who killed her grandfather...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / KidHasAPoint

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