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Western Animation / The Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon

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The first follow-up to DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon, this 22-minute short follows Gobber's quest for the elusive Boneknapper dragon nobody else believes exists, while Hiccup and co. get dragged along to listen to his progressively crazier accounts of his previous run-ins with the beast.

Tropes from this short include:

  • Anticlimax: Gobber's treasure the Boneknapper has been chasing him for years for is a bone he uses as a belt buckle.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Done twice; firstly, the whole village believes that the Boneknapper is a myth and that Gobber made the story up — while them believing Gobber being stalked is fake is somewhat understandable, given the wild details Gobber includes in his stories (including being punched in the face by a frozen Viking, running across a sea infested with hammerhead sharks, and being saved by Thor himself), at the same time, believing the species of dragon doesn't exist is kind of bizarre. After all, they already believe in the (verifiable) existence of dragons like the Whispering Death, Snaptrapper and Fireworms. The second time, Gobber dismisses Fishleg's account that the Boneknapper's roar is used as a mating cry as "a myth", which seems rather two-faced given the circumstances. Admittedly, he's proven wrong seconds later.
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  • Artificial Limbs: Gobber not only sports his normal hammer and such, but also, in his flashbacks, a broom, eggbeater, and guitar.
  • Art Shift: Gobber's flashback stories are told in 2D animation.
  • Bad with the Bone: In this short it's revealed that the Boneknapper dragon uses the bones of dragons and other creatures to make itself a suit of armor. It also has multiple bones attached to the end of its tail to form a powerful warclub.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The second time Gobber encountered the Boneknapper, a Hammerheaded whale drove it away. The third time, a Hammerheaded yak. The fourth time ... The Hammerheaded Yak, riding the Hammerheaded whale. No wonder the village didn't believe him.
  • Cassandra Truth: The short follows Gobber (accompanied by Hiccup and co.) finding the titular dragon, which is written off as a myth by the villagers of Berk save for Fishlegs. It actually is real.
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  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Gobber's pants fall down after he gives the dragon back his bone, which had been holding up his pants for years.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": Gobber laughs at the top of the cliff and suddenly his back gives...
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Once Gobber gives the Boneknapper back its bone which allows it to roar, the dragon is suddenly more amicable.
  • Demoted to Extra: Toothless. Since this is more Gobber's story than Hiccup's, it makes sense.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After the Boneknapper gets its ability to roar back, Fishlegs notes its current roars appear to be a mating call. So this whole time it's been chasing Gobber because it was... frustrated.
  • Gilligan Cut: Snoutlout claims that he won't be dragged off on another adventure. Guess who's seen pouting on a boat two seconds later.
  • Happy Place: Snotlout is trying to find his when they're all under the ribcage and being attacked by the Boneknapper.
  • Lighter and Softer: Generally a sillier story then the movie, especially with Gobber's frequent embellishments. Even the fearsome-looking Boneknapper turns into a pussycat once he gets his bone back.
  • The Munchausen: Gobbler's story telling is clearly a case of Unreliable Narrator to an extreme.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Boneknapper looks like it has two rows of teeth due to wearing the skull and jawbone of another dragon as a helmet and chin-guard.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: According to Gobber, the Boneknapper's lack of roar is what makes it so dangerous. "It's a silent killer!" Ruffnut takes this to mean, "So, if we don't hear anything, we're dead?" And the follow moments are a tense silence as they keep an ear out.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The titular dragon.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hiccup and the crew when they realize the Boneknapper is right behind them.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Oddly enough, neither Hiccup nor his friends decide to take their dragons with them when journeying to the Boneknapper's island, despite how in other works (such as other specials and the TV Show) it's shown that not only are dragons great for protecting their riders from hostile dragons, but can drastically reduce travel times to areas off Berk.
  • Right Behind Me: Hiccup utters this line when he, Gobber, and his friends realize the Boneknapper dragon is right behind them.
  • Serial Escalation: Gobber's story of how he first met the Boneknapper dragon starts out believable enough but then becomes increasingly ridiculous as he recounts in each story being attacked by hammerhead sharks, then a hammerhead whale, then a hammerhead YAK (which bursts out a volcano no less), then being saved from the Boneknapper by the god Thor who strikes the ground with a thunderbolt and releasing the hammerhead yak riding the hammerhead whale who beats up the Boneknapper (of course the Boneknapper gets away every time).
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The Boneknapper dragon uses bones to perfect its skeletal armor.
  • Spiritual Successor: to the Kung Fu Panda short "Secrets of the Masters," which used similar animation style and used a fusion of CGI mixed with traditional animation to tell several short stories.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: When Gobber tells Hiccup and his friends of his past encounters with the Boneknapper Dragon, it's revealed that it has chased him ever since he unwittingly took a piece of the bone from its armor which it needed to roar, pursuing him on desert island, jungle, volcano, etc.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The Boneknapper, unlike other dragons, can not roar. The best it can manage is a squeak. Unless it manages to collect the required bones need to amplify its voice, and Gobber has the last piece.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: The townspeople and the young vikings refuse to believe from Gobber that the Boneknapper dragon exists. His increasingly ridiculous stories of his encounters with one particularly stubborn Boneknapper throughout his life makes it even harder for them to take his claim seriously. Guess what happens in the end?

Video Example(s):


The Boneknapper

The Boneknapper is big and menacing, but it doesn't roar until it is ready to mate.

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Example of:

Main / VocalDissonance

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Main / VocalDissonance