Saturday, September 28, 2013

Live and Let Fly: Things I liked! Post 3

Another thing I actually really liked about the first episode of Defenders of Berk is that Hiccup felt very much in character and very down to earth. I don't know... sometimes he felt a bit to brash, cocky, and outgoing in RoB. Hiccup is always sarcastic, but he usually does it in a self depreciating, defensive kind of way in the film. In RoB it almost felt like he occasionally used his whit to one-up other people and make himself look good, and I didn't like that. We got none of that here! Hiccup felt very much like movie Hiccup. He was brave, but he wasn't exactly super outgoing and he certainly didn't feel like an extrovert. That was nice. I loved how he initially went out to fly at night alone because he did not want to get others in trouble, and I really, really appreciated the fact that he was being conscience and conviction driven again. Yes, he's going against his dad because he is trying to do what is right. Very much the movie feel! I even liked his little speech to Fishlegs (which Fishlegs completely missed the point of). It almost was a summation of what Hiccup believes: One must do what he knows is right no matter the consequences. It is an incredibly admirable trait of Hiccup in the film, and getting to see that conviction bleed into a simple twenty minute episode really was fantastic!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Live and Let Fly: Things I liked! Post 2

Alright, the first thing that I really appreciated in the first episode was the tiny spat between Hiccup and Toothless! My goodness! It was gloriously charming and so in character for both of them! Nice to see Toothless being given some personality! The event may have been pretty short, but it was still precious to see them interacting with each other! I think the quieter, more character centered events always wind up being my favorites. Sure, the fights and new dragons and enemies are exciting, but in the end just seeing Hiccup and Toothless together is always really beautiful.

So first Toothless is looking happily at the sunset expecting to get to fly, but hours go by, and Hiccup won't take him. Enough's enough, and look at how charmingly cross Toothless is as he prepares to slap Hiccup in the side of the head! He wants to fly, he's got a mind of his own, and he's going to express that in a lot of ways before this scene is over!

So after slapping and gesturing outside doesn't work, Toothless goes up and shoves Hiccup in the back. Hiccup is trying to keep his mind busy by working on new inventions, but Toothless wants to fly. Hiccup's certainly going to have a hard time focusing if Toothless can help it! I love how he just sticks his nose in Hiccup's work! He certainly feels that he is more important than Hiccup's contraption!

Hiccup points, and Toothless is disappointed that his efforts are not working. Hiccup can't give Toothless what he wants without disobeying his dad, so Toothless is going to have to do more than shove and slap him to get a flight! Hiccup points for Toothless to go outside, but the Night Fury has more tricks up his sleeve!

So, first he roars at Hiccup. Of course that doesn't work. Hiccup knows that Toothless won't do anything to him, but of course he feels bad that Toothless is cross. Still... this roar is a sham, and Hiccup  knows it. 

When roaring doesn't work, Toothless moves on to his final phase of attack: SMILE :D I loved seeing him try all these different methods of convincing Hiccup! It is like he is experimenting, trying to figure out the one thing that will hit Hiccup just right and win him over! Very charming to see that Toothless knows different ways of convincing! Nice to see him smiling again! Don't you just love this dragon?

And when Hiccup calmly gestures for Toothless to lay down, Toothless does! Nice to see that he is respectful of Hiccup's command, BUT he sulks! Very cute to see Toothless pout. He's tried a lot of different methods, but Hiccup isn't convinced, and now Toothless is going to sit there and throw a little pity party for himself! It does go to show how much he really loves the night flights with Hiccup, and that in and of itself is another lovely thing.

And then... Gobber comes along, tactfully talks about how great it would be to fly, and Toothless's determination is rekindled. He gets right up in Hiccup's face. He's not going to forget it. Hiccup tells him they can't so he might as well stop thinking about it, but that's soooo not going to happen. A determined Night Fury is a determined Night Fury, and Hiccup might as well surrender. Toothless doesn't always back down, and now he's going to breath in Hiccup face (which Hiccup comically wafts away. Don't you love it that Toothless can have really awful breath? Makes sense, and I kind of think it is cute! The GotNF moment with his dragon breath was priceless!) until he gets what he wants. In the end, Hiccup agrees, and Toothless emerges the victor of their little argument.

This scene was really cute to see them both rubbing each other the wrong way! This might be my favorite bit of the whole episode. Friends don't always just get along perfectly, and when Toothless and Hiccup don't agree, one of them is going to have to concede! They take turns doing that, but this time it was Hiccup's turn! 

Live and Let Fly: Things I liked! Post 1

Alright, this is sort of going to be a review of the first Defenders of Berk episode, Live and Let Fly.

When I say "sort of" I mean it. I don't plan to go in depth here, and I don't plan to cover everything. What I do want to do is just point out things I appreciated in the episode. As usual, there were things that I didn't think were on par with the quality of the film (only one episode in RoB actually felt completely perfect to me), but I don't plan to drag out the things I didn't like. I DO plan to explode all over the place explaining what I did enjoy in the episode because there were moments in there that I really just loved.

So, there will multiple posts of this thing, and I'll probably do this with other episodes if I catch things that I liked. These should be quick, fun, hopefully interesting little tie-bits about what I liked in each episode. One advantage to them being quick is that I can pump them out even with my cramped college schedule. Again, I plan to mainly focus on the positive sides of the episodes, but if I do wind up getting into the negative area, bear with me; I'll get back to the good stuff soon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

And another Bday Gift!

Thanks so much to Justoffravenpoint aka Rima! I appreciate you making this and going to the work of getting it to me! Sorry I'm not on Tumblr with you folks as much anymore. You are very kind to think of me and keep in touch! I love the art! Really charming! And you remembered! Haha! I think I said anything with Hiccup and Toothless together would be great! Thanks!

Monday, September 23, 2013

My birthday!

Well, this last Friday was my birthday. I wanted to write a post about it on that day, but I was far, far to busy! It was probably one of the best birthdays I've had, definitely was the one where most people knew about it and did things for me! Let me see... I wonder if I can sum it up in a way that would be interesting!

I woke up at four am. Not good. I had two very large, very important exams, and I was soooo nervous. Since I couldn't get back to sleep I checked my inbox. AddyD had actually sent me a text all the way form Germany, and posted a very kind message for me on the wiki, AND sent me a long email! Pretty cool to find all of that. Then I also had mails from my grandparents and two other really great HTTYD friends, Toothlesslove and Inhonoredglory!

Tests went fine. I went home, and I downloaded the Defenders of Berk episode in HD from iTunes. That was exciting! iTunes released the new season on my birthday! I was also gifted a whole Album of Lindsey Stirling (seriously, if you don't know who she is, you need to go listen to some of her stuff.) As soon as I got home I called AddyD via Skype, and boy did he have a surprise for me!

When he came this summer, he planned out this whole CRAZY scavenger hunt for me! That was three months ago! He had prepared notes and hidden clues all over the house (along with the aid of my clever younger brother). I was shocked by his amount of foresight in this action! So… the thing started by an HTTYD video that AddyD sent me explaining the first step (Haha! It explained it by using lines form HTTYD). After that, each clue was written in rune, and was always, ALWAYS a riddle of some HTTYD based nature! Everything from saying "Gobber needs to take a look at your little brother's dragon" to hints where I had to look up passages in the HTTYD books, to one that told me to find a picture of the title of my favorite RoB episode. Really interesting! Anyway, I finally discovered the prize behind the "Ticking thing", and it was a card that he had bought and written WHILE here this summer! It was an LotR card that I had noted as being really cool while he was present. He had written a really, really kind message… all in rune! I was really amazed at how thoughtful he had been, AND at how well he and my brother had kept the secret! That was one of the most well planned birthday things I'd ever done, and it was very cool because it felt a lot like the episode Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man. My little brother also gave me twenty dollars hidden in the card. That was really something, and I chatted with Addy for about an hour after that. When he had to go, I watched the DoB episode over again. Even though it is a little too much much stuff crammed into twenty minutes (imo), the episode is BEAUTIFUL! Wow… I got chills several times while watching it! Lots of stuff could I could point out in it that I love! Then it was off to go and pick my little brother up.

I went out and got ice cream with my little brother. Then I went home and he and I watched the DoB episode (again). He also bought the Croods for me (very nice film if you haven't seen it). I also purchased another of the new Defenders of Berk action figures. Yet another Toothless to scatter around my room!

After that I went to supper with two of my best friends. One had purchased two very cool graphic tees for me (neither HTTYD, but still cool!) and the other had bought me a journal with celtic knots in the shape of a tree on the front. Really liked that. At supper we chatted a lot about good spiritual things, so I was thankful to get to spend the time wisely. They did somewhat have a running gag of yelling "Intervention!" every time I mentioned Toothless, but I knew they were kidding.

After that I went back and watched the third Indiana Jones with my younger brother and friends. It was getting pretty late, but there was still much more bday stuff in store for me! When my friend left and my brother went to bed, I checked to see what my online friends had given to me, and it was very surprising! I'll just list them here.

Tarch7 from tumblr rendered this for me.

Justoffravenpoint from tumblr made me this photo-set (which is a very cool parity between movie images and a book quote).

A digital painting of me with Hiccup and Toothless from Inhonoredglory

And then lastly, Toothlesslove sent me a sort of short-story/drabble that was nothing short of fantastic. Might be my favorite HTTYD gift that I've ever been given (but that is such a hard choice to make!). It is HAUNTING, but in the sweetest sort of way! Really grabbed my imagination. The general plot is that Toothless winds up in my room while I'm sleeping, so I am sure you can imagine that any story like that would excite and enchant me to no end! Beautiful writing style and incredibly in character Toothless all weaved into a tale where I am one of the characters. It was incredible, and I've read the thing five times already!

So that was my birthday. Thanks so much to all of you who though of me and made me gifts. It certainly was a great day! Haha, DreamWorks even gave me the tv season. I can't imagine a better day!

Skrill References

Ok, so according to most HTTYD polls that I have come across, the Skrill is the most anticipated Dragon in the HTTYD franchise. We've seen tantalizingly little of him, and considering he is the only dragon to share a class with Toothless, it is no wonder people are excited by him. In my opinion he may be the second most realistic looking dragon. Anyway, I've got some references to post on him, and some of the stuff I spotted showed me that I have not been as accurate as I thought while drawing him... actually I think I've not seen anyone draw one certain feature of him correctly.

Ok, so the thing I know I've missed, and apparently most others have missed as well is that the Skrill has an underbite. Like most HTTYD dragons, his bottom jaw is longer than his top. I think I missed this mostly because we always see him with his mouth open, but still. These images should make it pretty clear--his bottom jaw is longer than his top.

Now LOOK at that! His head spikes are pulled back as he prepares to blast! The Skrills crown apparently shows some expression, and I find that really cool! He pulls it back while prepping, and then he fans it out violently as he releases his electrical blast. Cool little detail that I missed. I had no idea he could move those spikes around.

Note the absolutely massive wing claws. Very unique, and I imagine somewhat deadly.

No idea what the green fog exhale is. Interesting though. Also, note the crown. The spikes are all almost the same length except for the very center one. It is shorter, which is completely unlike the Nadder and Whispering death.

Pretty easy to tell he has an underbite. However... I think he may be the only dragon whose top teeth show even when his mouth is closed. Makes him look kind of sinister. Also, Skrills have a long spike on their chin.

And finally look at how crooked his back spikes are! Really odd. Skrills also have small nostrils which in my opinion is VERY good. Most HTTYD dragons have huge nostrils, Toothless doesn't, so it is nice to see his cousin has something in common with hime. The Skrill's eyes are a good deal smaller than Toothless's though.

I really hope DreamWorks will give this dragon a really epic part in the HTTYD story. It could be so much! I am dying for a Night Fury to Skrill rivalry, but we'll see what happens.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stoick's newspaper

I know, I'm not that active in contributing on this blog, but today I want to share with you something really interesting about the newest episode "Defenders of Berk - Live and let fly".
It appeared a bit strange to me, that our most favorite vikings happen to read newspaper, but anyway. I was curious about what it would contain.

Now what would you think? Something about a big fishing tournament? News about dragons? I tell you... It's way more than that! Here is what it says:

"Four score and seven years ago
our family brought farth on this continent
a new nation conceived in liberty
and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated
to the great task remaining before us

that from these honored dead we take
increased devotion to that cause for

which they gave the last full measure
of devotion that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall
not have died in vain that this
nation under God, shall have

a new birth of freedom and
that government of the people
by the people for the people
shall not perish from the earth"

Have you noticed it? Well I hadn't. I decyphered the whole bold part of it on my own, but then it became a lot harder, so I fed Google with it. Turned out, that is the "Gettysburg address". I was like... "Okay... Well... Who cares" but when I sent my thoughts on the episode to Toothless and mentioned that, he replied, that it is one of the most famous american speeches ever! That's great, isn't it?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ok! I'm back!

I took my break, and now I am returningI I should hopefully push out some decent posts in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out. I plan to write my thoughts on the most recent episode, and that is pretty exciting to be getting new HTTYD material to dive into!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Taking a Break

I'm gonna be taking a week long break from HTTYD related stuff. It is dominating me far more than I think it should, and it is bothering those who care about me. I do not think that it has become idolatrous per-se, but if it has caused those who really care about me to be concerned, then I feel it would be highly unwise to ignore them. I'll probably be back in a week. Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dragon Journal pages 29-30

Next Gronckle pages! This is the entry on the Gronckle's flight abilities. It was a fairly fun one to do because the Gronckle flies in a very unique way. I like the bottom image especially. I do enjoy it when the images sort of cross both pages. Not sure why. I especially like it in this post. Hope you enjoy. More Gronckle stuff to come.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why I Love How To Train Your Dragon

This is probably one of the hardest writing assignments I have ever been given! If you read the post about my first English Comp class in college, you will remember that I was told to write a five paragraph essay explaining why I liked my favorite movie. Fifty minutes, five paragraphs, and a cramping hand! That was crazy! I had an extremely hard time narrowing down the major reasons I love the film, and this was written very much on the fly. So, if given only five paragraphs to explain why I love HTTYD, this is what I said. (Please note: Some of this has been taken from brilliant videos and other tributes to HTTYD. Thank you very much to those of you who made those because you worded things far more incredibly than I could! Also, a few things here are references to quotes from movie critics. All that to say, yes, most of this is original, but I have semi-quoted some really incredibly HTTYD fans)

Why I Love How To Train Your Dragon

     Movies, books, stories, these mediums shape the minds and hearts of those who allow themselves to engage in them. Some have a remarkably negative impact, some leave the viewer unchanged, but some grab the heart and inspire the viewer to think on good and beautiful things. How To Train Your Dragon is one of those stories. It is my favorite film by far because of its admirable protagonist, its display of true friendship, and its visual and emotional impact.

     How To Train Your Dragon is a beautifully constructed, multi-faceted story. At the center of this story is its hero, Hiccup. He is a convicted, clever, charming, and somewhat sarcastic viking teen. He struggles to fit into the viking culture because he is small and weak. His father is the chief of the tribe, and Hiccup deeply wishes to to please him. The vikings are at war with their age old foes: Dragons. Hiccup wants to kill dragons at first so as to please his father and win the respect of his tribe, but when Hiccup is given a once in a lifetime opportunity to kill the deadliest of all dragons, his conscience stirs within him, and he frees the animal. He saw something in the dragon, almost saw himself in its fearful eyes, and so Hiccup’s convictions cause him to go against culture, tradition, and even his own father for the sake of what is right. He is an extremely admirable and likable hero. He gives up what he wants most for the sakes of those he loves and the for the sake of what is right. He is given the power to kill, but he chooses to love. With a hero as incredible as Hiccup, How To Train Your Dragon becomes one of the greatest stories ever told.

     The next aspect of How To Train Your Dragon that grabbed my heart and the hearts of thousands is the incredible friendship Hiccup forms with the dragon he could have killed. He names the dragon Toothless, and watching Hiccup and Toothless grow closer and closer through the course of the film is heart-melting. Toothless is a powerful, deadly creature, but when he opens up to Hiccup in a bond of friendship he becomes a charming, loving, and even cute companion for the viking boy. At the beginning of the film Hiccup and Toothless are arch foes, but curiosity, fascination, and conviction pull them together. By the end both are willing to face humiliation and death for the sake of the other. They are inseparable, and the loving bond between them is the heart of How To Train Your Dragon, and what an incredible heart that is!

     The final thing I will discuss about How To Train Your Dragon is its visual and emotional power. The graphics are extremely life-like, and this allows for a genuine sense of peril. It lives and breaths like a live-action film while still keeping the innocence and heart of animation. With that you get extremely tense scenes, scenes of heart-wrenching emotion, scenes of sobering beauty and realism, and scenes of soul stirring triumph. The emotional capacity of this film is extremely beautiful and deep.

     Some films are worth watching, but few are a “Must-See!”. How To Train Your Dragon is without question a story that everyone should experience and enjoy. With its incredible hero, its beautiful friendship between boy and dragon, and its deep emotional power, How To Train Your Dragon soars!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dragon Journal pages 27-28

Next Dragon Journal pages. We've left the Nadder and moved onto the somewhat comical Gronckle. Again, this is in my anglo saxon alphabet, so unless you have downloaded the key found in the first of these Journal entries, you may find it tricky to read. I like the Gronckle; it is a very unique dragon, and because of that it lends itself well to this journal. Sorry (haha. Not really sorry) for little Toothless sneaking into the picture. The pages wouldn't stay flat. Hope you enjoy this.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Psychology Class Doodles

My psychology class is really, really fun in college. Kind of wacky at times, but I still enjoy it. While I take plenty of notes in class, I also like to draw little relevant HTTYD doodles in my notebook. When I looked back over these, I thought, "Huh...might as well share them!", so here you go.

So Toothless likes my first page of Psychology notes...

It is a real question! What would Toothless's brain look like? He has such heightened and advanced senses, but then at the same time he has good thinking ability and emotional depth. Very interesting... Just the way Toothless thinks and acts fascinates me!

Theories of Personality: Well looky there, I went and doodled the brains of all our favorite dragons! Wonder how much of those dragon's personalities come from their basic biology...


We were told to start defining terms. We defined a lot of things: Personality, Trait, Thought, Love, Fear, Aggression, and all sorts of other stuff. The image above was my definition of fear.

Reunion at Snoggletog!

I love this moment to pieces! So many, many beautiful aspects to it! A picture really can speak a thousand words! Look at how pleased Toothless is after putting Hiccup's helmet back on his head! Look at how Hiccup teases him with that wagging finger. Most of all, I love Hiccup and Toothless's hugs. That first one Hiccup tugs himself into Toothless and he looks like he never wants to let go again!  He thought he might have lost him. But then that second one! Hiccup hugs around Toothless's neck in a simple, thankful, loving hug, and Toothless almost doesn't know what to do with it! This is the first time we've seen Hiccup hug Toothless, and judging by Toothless's response, I would venture to say this really is the first time Hiccup has given him that sort of loving, thankful embrace. Beautiful moment.