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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Defenders of Berk: Continuing Season 2

Please don’t think my penchant for reviewing DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk every other week means my love for the series is waning.  It’s not!  (Although I am sad that Mulch [voiced by the legendary Tim Conway] is nowhere to be seen this year.)

The Night and the Fury (203)

Tuffnut stands guard with his Zippleback dragon.

Barf, Tuffnut, & Belch. Or is it Belch, Tuffnut, & Barf?

The teens go on a training mission to Dragon Island to test their survival skills against wild dragons (without the help of their own dragons).  Once there, Hiccup runs into Dagur the Deranged, the chief of the Berserkers.  You may remember him from last year’s “Twinsanity” when he wanted to kill Barf and Belch (Ruffnut and Tuffnut’s Zippleback) as a peace pact wtih Berk.  This time he’s killed a Gronkle and Monstrous Nightmare (although its skull looks more like a Typhoomerang to me), and now he’s hunting for a Night Fury.

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Catching Up with DreamWorks Dragons

Here’s a quandary:  Is it better to review the more current episodes and skip the older, probably forgetten episodes?  Or is it preferable to write about all the episodes in chronological order?  Probably the former, but I’m doing the latter.

Riders of Berk:  We Are Family, Part 1 (119) and Part 2 (120)

This episode gets 4 stars.

Hiccup is kidnapped by Alvin the Treacherous.

Oh Hiccup. Kidnapped once again by Alvin the Treacherous.

The season finale of Riders of Berk nicely set the stage for season 2, Defenders of Berk. Through subterfuge, Berk’s most fearsome enemy, Alvin the Treacherous (voiced by Mark Hamill) has learned some basics of dragon training, and is preparing to attack our beloved isle.

Now, if you want to read more about “We Are Family,” you can.  Or, you can just jump ahead to Defenders of Berk‘s first two episodes.

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Grown-ups Like Cartoons, Too!

Defenders of Berk premieres on Cartoon Network at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sep 19.The new fall television season has begun!  Time to fire up the ol’ DVR to check out the new shows as well as season premieres of returning favorites.

Toothless grabs a fish from the basket.

Yum! (One of my favorite caps)

Several websites list new series’ debuts and returning shows’ season premiere dates, the most comprehensive being TV Line‘s printable premiere calendar.  However, as comprehensive as it is, NOWHERE does it list DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk, which premieres on the Cartoon Network this Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Is it because no one considers shows airing before prime time?  Do they think the Cartoon Network is only for kids?  (You wouldnt know it from the irads,)  Or that the series isn’t appealing to adults?  C’mon, everybody loves Toothless!  The graph says so!

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DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk— Watch!

We interrupt this Supernatural review-a-thon to bring you a “Sunday Seven” based on my other favorite sci fi show.

Hiccup takes Stoic for a ride on the back of Toothless.

Hiccup takes Stoic for a ride on the back of Toothless.

Cartoon Network is showing reruns of DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk nearly every day.  If you haven’t seen this award-winning series, I highly recommend you catch up.  Although it’s classified as a children’s show, just like the movie, there’s something for everyone.

The series picks up shortly after the end of How to Train Your Dragon.  Now that the Vikings of Berk are no longer killing dragons, living with them takes some getting used to.  Along the way, we watch Stoic and Hiccup become truly father and son.  What are my favorite episodes?  I thought you’d never ask.

  1. Animal House (103).  The farm animals have to learn to live with the dragons before a severe storm sets in.  Toothless leads the other dragons to protect the humans and animals when they get caught in the storm.
  2. The Terrible Twos (104).  Hiccup discovers a little dragon of unknown species, who causes all sorts of problems for Toothless.  Toothless appears to be jealous, but he’s actually trying to help everyone, including the new little guy.  (I loved this episode so much, I did a previous Sunday Seven on it.)
  3. How to Pick Your Dragon (107).  Stoic gets a dragon of is own, but not before riding Toothless ragged.
  4. Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man (108).  A inaccurate portrait of Chief and son leads Hiccup to believe Stoic would prefer a more Viking-like son.  To prove himself, Hiccup and friends set off in search of a legendary treasure.
  5. Thawfest (112).  For the first time in history, Hiccup has a chance at beating Snotlout in the annual Thawfest games.  But, as Astrid notes, Hiccup is not a very gracious winner.
  6. When Lightening Strikes (113).  Homes on Berk are being crushed by the weight of  dragons sitting on roofs.  After building iron perches, Berk is besieged by severe lightening strikes.  The townsfolk believe the Night Fury is the cause, and force Toothless to leave the island.
  7. Breakneck Bog (117).  When Trader Johann is late in bringing something important to Stoic, Hiccup and the gang go in search of it.  Hiccup learns the package is actually for him, from his mother.  However, the package is trapped on Breakneck Bog, home of the fabled Fog Monster.

Riders of Berk: A Gem of a Different Color (118)

Fishlegs is perhaps my favorite Dragons character, after Toothless and Hiccup, of course.  In the books, he’s Hiccup’s best friend, and he looks more like Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who voices Fishlegs—a skinny dark-haired kid with glasses.  But for all the physical dissimilarities, they’ve kept the essence of the character, a nerdy and loyal friend who recognizes Hiccup’s brain over brawn.  So I was happy to see a Fishlegs-focused episode.

Fishlegs and Meatlug find a gloiwing, color-changing stone.

Fishlegs and Meatlug find a glowing, color-changing stone.

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Riders of Berk: More catching up

Toothless checks out his damaged tail.

The ultimate symbiotic relationship

Wednesday has become my favorite tv night, boasting my two most favorite shows, Dragons: Riders of Berk and Supernatural.  It leaves me with the dilemma of which to review first.  As you can tell, Riders of Berk generally takes the back seat.  It doesn’t help that Dragons‘ schedule is a bit more erratic.  And there’s that pesky “It’s a kid’s show” mentality.  Would anyone reading a blog geared toward the general audience find it relevant?

It doesn’t really matter, because I love the show for many, many reasons.  And so, it’s discussed here.  On to the reviews…

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