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!

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