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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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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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.