***Note: Spoilers may be present within the article
Most people are intrigued by the typical hero story, of a man or woman rising to challenge a tyrant or the status quo. Their quest to either find their self or save a damsel in distress. The villain of the story is defeated before the hero or heroine rides off into the sunset or journeys off onto another adventure.
Dreamwork’s and Paramount Pictures decided to take the outline of the hero’s story and give it a unique update. For what better way to show a hero then to choose an outcast despised by his own tribe yet is then sought out by his community when they’re faced with an unstoppable force?
How to Train Your Dragon Plot
How to Train Your Dragon is based on a fantasy island called Berk that is contently stuck in the season of winter. The village has been contently at war with dragons who visit the island to steal livestock. During a battle, Hiccup, the main protagonist. uses a boa to shoot down a legendary night fury.
Hiccups hope is to kill the fallen dragon claiming his mark of manhood in the tribe. Instead Hiccup befriends and trains the injured dragon he names Toothless. His hope is to end the war between Berk and the dragon queen becoming the Viking his father claims Hiccup will never amount to.
How to Train Your Dragon Characters
Gobber the Belch, played by Craig Ferguson. Is the town’s blacksmith and a close friend of Stoicks, who is the teacher for the dragon fighting class taught to Hiccup and the other teens of Berk. He is more of a father figure to Hiccup teaching Hiccup how to use the forge, but also as a mentor having an open ear for when Hiccup needs guidance from an adult. He is also there to help Stoick to have a better understanding of his son.
Stoick the Vast, played by Gerard Butler. the proud chief of Berk, who sets off to find the dragon’s nest to keep his village safe. After the death of his wife, Valka, Stoick was forced to raise their son on his own. Fearing that a small boy wouldn’t survive the frozen wasteland of Berk he decides to raise his son like his own upbringing. Thus, causing Stoick to be cold and distant to his son, hoping that this would force Hiccup to become like the other Vikings. Stoick is hot tempered and stubborn only changing his mind when Hiccup saves the day doing the opposite of what Vikings are expected to act. It’s clear that he loves his son even if he is limited on showing these emotions.
Hiccup Hemendeous Haddock III, played Jay Banuchel. Hiccup means the runt of the litter given to small animals that aren’t expected to survive. He is Stoick’s son and the future chief of Berk. Unlike most Vikings. Hiccup is short and thin for his age making him unable to wield most common weapons. Hiccup is an artist and inventor often seen drawing in a notebook. He is Gobber’s apprentice giving Hiccup a background knowledge of how the forge works, using it to repair weapons but using these skills to bring his inventions to life. Toothless is a night fury that Hiccup rides while leading the other teens to the battle of the red death. Night furies are rare being the creation of lighting and death.
Astrid Hofferson, played by America Ferrera, Training to fight dragons to fulfill her dreams of becoming a shield maiden. She is known for carrying around an axe which she usually throws at Snotlout’s head when he tries and fails to flirt with her. Her goal at the beginning of the movie is to be the top of the class yet due to her jealousy of Hiccup becoming better then her. At the end Hiccup gives her a ride on Toothless and through the flight her views about dragons are changed. Her dragon Stormfly is a deadly nadder.
Fishlegs Ingerman, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, a teen who knows a lot of facts about dragons and has no problem sharing these facts even when no one asks for them. Fishlegs is a pump, short teen that is shy and goes along with the other teens, even if he knows what they’re doing is wrong. The other teens mostly Snotlout and the twins see Fishlegs as a coward that fears his own shadow. Fishlegs is a kind-hearted teen that wants to see the good in everyone. His dragon is meatlug a gronokle type that is small compared to the other dragons.
Snotlout Jorgenson, played by Jonah Hill. Is Hiccup’s cousin and Stoick’s nephew. In his head, Snotlout is under the assumption that he should be the next chief of Berk instead of Hiccup. Snotlout is a bully causing trouble for Hiccup. He is the one who leads the teens into name calling Hiccup and forcing him to feel like an outcast. Snotlout is a young brute thinking that his actions are the best way to solve a situation instead of using his head. His nightmarish nightmare called Hookfang who enjoys setting his rider on fire.
Ruffnut, played by Kristen Wiig, and Tuffnut Thorston, played by T.J. Miller, are often referred to as the twins these two enjoy destroying buildings and causing chaos in their wake. thinking that it’s a fun way to kill boredom. They are not very smart often going for a quick and simple solution thinking that if it ends up on fire or harming others then it worked. Barf and Balch a hideous zipplrback type dragon. This type of dragon has two heads and acts like its riders.
How to Train Your Dragon Personal Reaction
When I first saw the movie preview on television I was inbreed. I’m a fan of both Viking lore and dragons so I was curious to see how DreamWorks was planning to mix the two genres. I was not disappointed the movie blends style of animation with a heartwarming story arc. I would give this film an eight out of ten rating and have viewed the film on more then one occasion. I appreciate that the man hero of the film is an outcast and that he only becomes the hero in the end, by embracing what makes him unique and rebelling against what the role expected of him by his tribe.
Many people who are esterized or bullied tend to run away from the situation hoping to find a place where they can be accepted for who they are. Hiccup does the opposite helping those who bullied him including his father. who disowned Hiccup due to his son protecting a dragon.
I found it a bit harsh that because the backstory isn’t well explained people see Stoick as the villain until the village is forced to take on the red death. Stoick is trying to raise Hiccup, so that he can survive using the same lessons that were taught to him by his own father. In the end Stoick is proud of his son and even accepts that dragons can be good.
Furthermore, what I enjoyed most about the film, is the story not the bonding of a father son relationship, but the idea that those who feel like outcasts or bullied can still be the hero they imagine in their dreams. That to be the one to save the day. you can be the one that doesn’t fit what society considers normal. It reminds us that those who have experienced being bullied or tossed aside that despite this moment of darkness there is still hope for the light that lies beyond it.
Now. shush, I’m trying to read,