DRAGONS!

Hiccup and Toothless have a bond even Alphas can't control.

Our Heros

Have you ever noticed the scar on Hiccup’s chin in How to Train Your Dragon?  I did, but then I’ve watched the movie dozens of times.  Today I learned how he got it, and it’s a lovely, sweet addition to the saga.

Hiccup has a scar on his chin.

Can you see Hiccup’s scar?

Yep, I finally saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 this afternoon.  It’s the first feature film  I’ve ever seen in 3-D.  Truthfully, I barely noticed.  Perhaps my eyes became desensitized to the 3-D after awhile.  Or perhaps I was so caught up in the story, I simply didn’t notice.

Two things I’ve loved about the DreamWorks Dragons television series:  the develpment of Hiccup and Stoick’s relationship; and Hiccup becoming a leader through his role as head of the “Berk Dragon Training Academy.”  It was wonderful to see these two elements carried through in HTTYD2.  Another delightful nod to the series?  Gobber making dragon saddles and performing dragon dentistry.

Comparisons between How to Train Your Dragon and its sequel abound.  It’s only natural, and I’ve done some comparing, too.  But the two are very different films. How to Train Your Dragon is about finding your way in the world, forging a new path  HTTYD2 is more a coming-of-age story, discovering your past and accepting responsibility.

Several reviewers have likened HTTYD2 to The Empire Strikes Back.  It certainly is darker that the first film, the stakes are higher, and the consequences much more dire.

HTTYD2 is extremely emotional—and heart-breaking.  I had read some of the spoilers before seeing the film.  In a way, I’m glad I did, because they were so shocking and unexpected, I can’t imagine what my reactions would have been had I not known about them.

Stoick and Hiccup reunite with Valka.

Reunited!

You might think Hiccup finding his mother was a major spoiler.  Rumor had it that DreamWorks was upset the trailers included their meeting, but I’m sure it was intentional.  There was so much more to come, things I wouldn’t have imagined in a “children’s film.”

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you might want to stop here.  On the other hand, if you don’t mind spoilers, read ahead.

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101 Dalmaitons, no, Dragons, er, Followers!

Woohoo!  SciFi Chicks followers have broken the 3-digit mark!  Thank you!

In looking over which posts have received the most views, the popular shows seem to be Supernatural and everything in the How to Train Your Dragon universe—movies, television shows, and books.  Hey, those are my two favorite fandoms, too!

I wish I had some sort of contest or give away to celebrate, but I don’t.  So, how about this:

Your How to Train Your Dragon 2 Musings

Toothless & Cloudjumper want to read your reviews of How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Toothless & Cloudjumper want your opinions!

Have you seen How to Train Your Dragon 2?  (I’ve been waiting for the weekend rush to subside.)  If so, I’d love to hear what you think.  Please post your thoughts in the comments section.  You can do a complete review, link to a review you wrote or like, or just say whether you liked it or not.

Thanks, everyone!

[P.S.  Just as this post was published this, another follower joined the fun!  Welcome!  Whee!]

Only 26 Days More Days…

Only 26 days until How to Train Your Dragon 2 is in theaters!

There’s been a ton of How to Train Your Dragon 2 news recently.  The movie was shown at the Cannes Film Festival this past week.  Even Toothless attended!

Yesterday Jay Baruchel (Hiccup) tweeted what an honor (he spelled it “honour” because he’s Canadian) it was to have been part of the event.  When Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs) asked how it went, Jay said “It fucking destroyed!”  adding the film received a 5-10 minute standing ovation!

IMDB has video interviews with the stars, director, producer, and several other people involved with the film, including my beloved John Powell,who—because it can’t be said enough—was robbed of an Oscar for film score!  John informs us that bagpipes are the only instrument (that he’s aware of) created to threaten, i.e., as a signal of war, which is why they’re so loud.

Speaking of music, three songs from the movie’s new soundtrack have been released, as well as a couple new clips.  Berk’s Grapevine has a post that, in addition to those interviews mentioned above, has two new clips from the movieI dare you not to cry at the first one!

How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens June 13th, a week before my birthday.  I’ve already informed my friends that my birthday present be to see the movie in IMAX 3D.  (I’m ok with waiting a week to let the young ‘uns—and teenagers—have their go with it.)

I could not possibly love the original How to Train Your Dragon more than I already do.  Ditto for the soundtrack.  But then, if you follow me, you know of my love for dragons, and especially this wonderful Night Fury.

Toothless becomes acquainted with Cloud Jumper.

Defenders of Berk: Cast Out (Both Parts)

I’m a little sad.  DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk is over.  No more new Toothless cuteness for awhile.  But “Cast Out” was excellent and a great way to bow out.

The citizens of Berk come under attack from both the Screaming Death (the most frightful dragon the series has produced) and Dagur the Deranged.  I guess we should be thankful that Alvin the Treacherous died at mid-season, or he’d be adding to the chaos.

Part 1 (219)

Tuffnut prepares to take over Snotlout's stall at the Dragon Academy.

Tuffnut prepares to redecorate Snotlout’s stall.

During a training exercise, Snotlout disobeys orders (again), knocking Astrid unconscious and nearly killing her.  Hiccup grounds him.  Not one to take orders, Snotlout flies off with his dragon Hookfang to a small deserted isle—which he immediately names Snotland.

But is it deserted?  Snotlout spies a wrecked Outcast ship.  (I wish I knew how to capture screen shots, because there’s a lovely shot of Snotlout and Hookfang checking out the wreckage, with the sun low in the sky, highlighting the billowy clouds.  There’s a reason this series won an Emmy for animation!)

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Bing! Bam! Lloyd! Er, Darren?

Part 1 of the two-part DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk season finale airs next week.  In preparation, we got a hilarious, silly, and (yes) touching episode in “Bing! Bam! Boom!”

Three young dragons are found on a sea stack.

Cute, colorful, and, in this case, cacophonous.

Hiccup and Stoick discover three young Thunderdrum dragons stranded on top of a sea stacks.  (Don’t know what a sea stack is?  Check out Google images.)  Ok, stranded might not be the right word, because the trio follow the Vikings back to Berk.

If you’ve not seen the short The Gift of the Night Fury (which aired at Christmas on Fox and is available on Netflix), baby dragons are quite colorful, and these are no exception.  Even Stoick calls them “cute.”  However, as the Dragon Manual tells us, the Thunderdrum  produces a “concussive sound that can kill a man at close range.”  Although the roar of these three young ‘uns isn’t fatal, it’s loud enough to wreak havoc on the island.

The twins enjoy the noise of the young dragons while everyone else covers their ears.

Thunderdrums roar, the twins revel, and normal people cover their ears.

Stoick allows Hiccup and the Dragon Academy to try to train the young Thunderdrums, but it turns out to be quite a difficult task.  The first step in training a dragon is to name it, and the twins promptly christen Bing, Bam, and… Lloyd.  That’s Tuffnut for you.  When the others tell him he’s got it wrong, he goes with… Darin.  (T.J. Miller as Tuffnut is especially amusing in this episode.)

In case you don’t remember (or have never watched—shame on you!), last season Stoick bonded with a Thunderdrum which he trained to ride and named Thornado.  Thornado takes quite a shine to the young dragons, and they to him.  In fact, Thornado seems to be the only authority Bing, Bam, and Boom recognize.

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The Best Little Show You’re Not Watching

(and the other “D” show)

Terrible Terrors come in all colors.

Terrible Terrors come in all sorts of colors.

That best little show would be DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk.  The “other D” is Dracula.  Let’s dispense with the latter first.

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So Many Shows, So Little Internet Quick Takes

So much has happened in TV-land since my internet modem crashed last week.  I was able to post a couple reviews I’d already started (Agents of SHIELD and Supernatural—and a reply to Natalie) during interludes of access, but that’s it. Now that things appear to be stable, here’s a super-duper brief roundup.

Yep, all these shows are discussed (to a limited degree) under the cut.

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