Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Skrill Sepia Sketch

Alright, here's another sepia line art that I did this afternoon. It is sort of in anticipation of December 5th! We've waited a long time to actually see the Skrill step into the HTTYD story. During that wait I know I for one have featured him in fanfictions and fan art, and then I've seen other people doing the same, and most everyone does one thing in common: The Skrill is an antagonist. He just works so well as a rival for Toothless. I have looked into the plot synopsis of A View to a Skrill, and I do confess being a little worried that it might not be as Hiccup and Toothless/Skrill centered as I would want, but I am not sure. I am also now not that sure that the Skrill will be a villain, but then there is that picture on the back of the action figure box, so I have a theory. Perhaps since Tuffnut is going to try and rescue the Skrill from the Berserkers, the kids assume that Dagur wants to kill it or use it wickedly somehow. Maybe, just maybe, they arrive and discover that Dagur is training it, even riding it! That would be cool, and it would allow for the Skrill to be a slightly nuanced villain. Anywho, can't wait for that episode! The art above is big, so if you open it in a new window, you should hopeful get a better view. I looked a a few references and tried to be pretty accurate. Man, the Skrill is a gorgeous, terrifying creature! I am so excited!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Labyrinth of Shard and Shadows Part II

Alright, this is part two of my three part chronicle. If you want to know what happened before and what the stakes are, please read part one. As for this next part, I think some explanation needs to be given for those of you who have not read the web novel that the Skrill known as Skari comes from. Skari and Skari's family are responsible for the death of Toothless's parents. There has been years and years of blood-fueds between Skrills and Night Furies, and Skari plotted for years on how to kill Toothless. Toothless and Toothless's parents are also guilty for the death of both Skari's parents as well, so both the Night Fury and the Skrill have taken bitter losses at each other's hands. Loki, earlier in the story, organized a way for Skari to find Toothless, and while Skari was trying to delete Hiccup, Toothless and Link defeated him, but Hiccup showed the Skrill mercy. Upon receiving such unexpected kindness, Skari actually sacrificed himself to save Hiccup. Skari was deleted, but after Link discovered a way to break deletion and free Hiccup, Hiccup decided to free Skari as well as thanks and as a way to give the Skrill a second chance. That is why Skari is with them at the moment. He and Toothless are still very on edge around one another, and that will play into the plot. Hope you enjoy it. Part three is even longer and is one of the most bizarre plots that I have created, but at the same time it is really quite fun.

p.s. And Skari calls Toothless Dagr which was Toothless's old name, and Toothless does not like it. Ugh. This all makes sense if you have read Inhonoredglory and Toothlesslove's web novel!

Hiccup and the Blooddaggers

This is just another small fanart I made for Inhonoredglory and Toothlesslove's webnovel. It is actually the first one I ever created for it, but I forgot to post it. It is a truly incredible part of the story where Hiccup is sent to be executed by lethal water dragons known as Blooddaggers. These creatures emerge into the dark execution chamber, but instead of eating Hiccup, they pity him because they can feel his pity extending to them. He trains his own executioners! Anyway, it came at the end of tremendously tragic and tense part in the story, so to see some goodness in these dragons' hearts was amazing. Hiccup was actually able to sleep in this watery chamber of death; he was able to rest when he was supposed to be being killed, and it was a shockingly peaceful moment imo.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Labyrinth of Shard and Shadows Part 1

Ok, here is where the Dsplash Chronicles really start picking up. From this point forward, there should be very, very few plot holes (in other words, I won't skip a ton of events in between Chronicles like I have before). This plot is very fun, very tense, has some good character moments, but overall is just wacky! You'll see why if you read it. This first part is only about four pages long and it follows Hiccup, Toothless, Link and Skari as they enter a deadly maze which is the hiding place of a very crucial treasure, the Gemshard. I hope you enjoy it. This is a three parter and the next two parts are significantly longer. In my opinion, this is where the Chronicles really do start to make sense as a story and I did try very hard to put good writing style and plot into these. As always, feel free to comment.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Another tongue moment!

Ok, you've gotta admit this bit was super cute with Toothless! Actually, several of the dragons in DoB Zippleback Down showed off some charm! Ok, I'll just do this Toothless moment for now and then post more on Torch and BarfBelch later. This Night Fury is just so adorable!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Astrid as she appears in Dsplash

Well, the title should make it clear that this is another image of characters as they appear in the Dsplash story. It is another digital line-art. It contains a good deal of stats, so if you open it in a new window you should be able to read them. Unfortunately I've not really written out the plots where Astrid has been prominent, but TRUST ME, she's played a huge role in the recent events of the adventure!

Stark's Last Stand

This is another Dsplash Chronicle, and it is fairly short and relatively random! It kind of jumps away from the main characters and main events and shows you that really bad things are also happening to other people who have been abducted. This one will probably be completely confusing, so if you have questions, I can answer them in the comments. This is actually happening because of the actions of Link, Astrid, Tabuu, and Toothless, so it is sort of relevant to the overall story.

Zippleback Down

Ok, so this episode was actually pretty good. The visuals were STUNNING! Just, AGH! I can't wait until I get a version of it that will allow me to take screenshots!

Now when I learned about the episodes coming out December 5th, I worried that they would totally ruin this episode by making it feel like it was just something in the way, a barrier between me and the Skrill. However, it turns out that I liked this episode a good deal! I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Now, my one complaint, and a complaint I could seriously mount against tons of the recent DoB episodes, is that this plot and many other just don't focus on Hiccup and Toothless. This one is ok about it, but others are just getting annoying. I like the teens, but they don't deserve as much spotlight as they keep getting... especially Fishlegs. What is it now? Three episodes where he has been the "hero" of the story or at least the main character? I like him in little portions, but he seems to be dominating way too many plots. I would very much like to see the View to a Skrill episode focus a LOT on Hiccup and Toothless. Just... we fell in love with HTTYD for those two, not so much the entire group. I like the group, but I don't like it when the other teens get more screen time than they deserve. This one focuses a lot on Tuffnut, and honestly I think it does a pretty good job with him! Lots of funny lines and some decent character moments, so overall I liked it! I just hope this is our one Tuffnut focused episode, not the beginning of another series of twin centered things. Episode 2 of DoB started us off on a looooooong Fishlegs/Meatlug marathon, and I am kind of hoping that has ended. No hard feelings against them or any of the other teens, but I would like to see more of Hiccup and Toothless. Give us another The Night and the Fury or What Flies Beneath. Those were episodes worth their weight in gold!

Now, I have lots of stuff to pull out and enjoy from this episode, but I'm going to wait until I get HD images. As soon as I can get some screenshots, I'll be posting and discussing the many very cool elements of Zippleback Down.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

HTTYD2 Theatrical Poster

DreamWorks has released the first HTTYD2 official movie poster! Though it hasn't really shown much that is new, it has made some really good things really clear!

Ok, first off, the texturing is really remarkable! Everything from the little threads of Hiccup's green shirt to the leather and armor to the scratches across Toothless is incredible! Just... wow! The image is bigger, so if you want to get a closer look, open it in a new window.

Next, Hiccup! So much is the same, yet so much is also so very different! He's certainly gotten a much cooler outfit, and you can even see his little insignia on the side of his helmet. His freckles are back! They were either missing or hard to see in the teaser. They are a little faded, but that actually does happen sometimes with aging. I am just glad they didn't give him perfect, super hero skin. He was so charming in the first film because he felt down to earth and human, so with his suit being souped up and his age increasing drastically, I worried that they would go way too far into the realm of action hero and lose the charm of the original Hiccup. I don't think we'll get that. Sure, he looks cool, but according to some clips from comic con, I am very convinced that he will have the same personality!

Oh, and then of course we can al see the beginnings of a beard. Yeah, he's older. I kind of like it, but really I am completely on the fence. I don't want him to get a full blown beard in the course of the films, but that little bit of scruff is SO realistic for a viking! Man! It is nice because it is their, it adds realism, I guess some people might like it, but at the same time it is not blatantly obvious! We still want to see him as the first movie Hiccup, just older, and if you made the facial hair too developed it would be too shocking. This scruff nails it perfectly.

Then Toothless! Wow! He has such a presence behind Hiccup. You really get that feeling of mystery and power that he displayed in the first film (and that we kind of lost in some episodes of RoB). I love how the whole frame of blackness shrouds around him and Hiccup and how Toothless is almost one with the shadows. Man, his eyes are gorgeously detailed! Even better than the first film, and they are so striking GREEN, and his scales are so strikingly BLACK (sorry, pet peeve. Can't stand blue Toothlesses with yellow eyes). His scales are covered with tiny scratches and scuffs. He's probably lived a pretty adventurous five years since the first film! That is just so fascinating to look at all the nicks and knocks in his those smooth black scales. Again, the realism is marvelous!

Probably the most notable new thing is the glow in Toothless's nostrils! Now that is interesting! We know he does not have that glow all the time (teaser trailer) but apparently his fire can flare up into his nostrils! Now, I am not sure what you think of that but I think it is very neat! Your nose and mouth are connected, so perhaps when wanting to be threatening or when feeling angry, Toothless might let off some steam with a snort. It gives a real feeling of burning power welling up inside of him, and we never saw that in the first film. Has he grown into his acetylene? Perhaps so! As a mature (I assume he is reaching maturity) Night Fury one can only imagine the power of his fire! I like that he can kind of flare it off with his nose, so overall I am very pleased with how the poster presents him.

Now, though we did not see any of the other characters or very much new info, this poster really, really enforces what I wanted it to enforce. This movie will focus on Hiccup and Toothless. Yes, I like the teens, I like Hiccup and Astrid, but Hiccup and Toothless are the characters that we really loved the first movie for, and I want the second one to center around them and their relationship every bit as much as the first one did. So, YAY! Hiccup and Toothless oriented poster! Now, one other interesting note, this picture is DARK! The whole surrounding is dark! Everything is shrouded in shadows, and it feels so mature! I mean, what other animated film has made this kind of a movie poster? Then toss in the new and mature looking HTTYD2 logo, and you have an excellent theatrical poster! I cannot wait for this film!

*Little addition to the above by AddyD:
I happened to notice, that the poster, that was officially released by Dreamworks on facebook differs in small details: The noose is closed and the borders are a little extended. Also the writings differ a little and the colors are less saturated. Oh... And you can see even more details. Just for the record: I can't wait for this film either!

Lots and LOTS of news today!

Ok, so the HTTYD poster is out, but it is not yet out in high resolution (at least in the English version). When that is released, I will write out a post on it, BUT there are some other things coming to light that are equally exciting!

The Skrill! The notoriously beloved and feared dragon of the HTTYD fandom who has never really made much of an appearance will finally step into the HTTYD world as a full fledged character! December 5 we will be getting a TWO part episode called View to A Skrill !! Both episodes will be released on the same day! Very, very, very exciting!

I have said, though I don't know if I have posted this or just mentioned it in discussions with others in the fandom, that I really want the Skrill to be given a huge amount of respect when it finally does appear. I love that dragon's design, and more than that, I love his POTENTIAL. The Skrill's design comes almost directly from some of the earlier, more sinister, night fury concept art. He pretty much is a frightening anti-Toothless. He could make the perfect antagonist! Forget Mildew and the Screaming Death, the Skrill would give Toothless a foe who is actually his equal! So, hearing that he would be starring in a two part episode is really a good sign! Perhaps they will have enough time to really show him off. I can't wait!

And possibly even more interesting is this image that has been posted on ebay (which I found on the grapevine comments. Thanks StatictheSkrill!).

Alright, so that is Dagur on a Skrill.... AGH! That is perfect! I had discussed this possibility a LOT with Toothlesslove and some other fans, and it just feels so perfect! Dagur was such a good antagonist in episode 3 of DoB, and now he looks like he is coming back with a vengeance! He works well as the anti-Hiccup. He is brutal and kills for fun while still being close to Hiccup's age and with the blood of chiefs flowing through his veins. They have just enough in common to be amazing opposites. So, if Dagur does train a Skrill, he will become the best antagonist of RoB and DoB BY FAR. The anti-Hiccup riding the anti-Toothless! The amount of angst that could be generated by that plot is stupendous! I cannot wait! What a brilliant way to handle HTTYD's most anticipated dragon! Wow, I am going to be so freaked out when the Skrill finally does show up!

Ugh, I have three tests and I should be studying, but all this news is making it very, very hard!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

HTTYD2 Theatrical Poster to Be Released Tomorrow!

Mark your calendars, but unlike most HTTYD2 related things we don't have years to wait! Tomorrow DreamWorks should release their first true theatrical poster for HTTYD 2! We've been given some little clips of it, so I'll show them bellow! I could go off on a pretty monstrous commentary on what I like about them, but I will save that for tomorrow when we actually get the full thing. Still... isn't the texturing here amazing?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What happened at the party...

So, I go to a freshman party and the film we are watching is HTTYD! At the beginning of the movie we had about thirty people in the room, so I was pretty excited about that. Many had already seen it, but a couple hadn't.

Alright, so the movie starts, and I am immediately annoyed. Quite a lot of people are walking around and chatting loudly over the film. I sort of wanted to stand up and ask "Do you mind? Some people haven't seen this." But then I thought that wouldn't be very Christlike, so I kept my mouth shut. People kept talking until the Downed Dragon scene, and then there was almost a hush. Right after that the cacophony picked back up and went straight through the Dragon Book scene and that miffed me. Ok, so right when I think that I would have enjoyed it more on my own, Forbidden Friendship comes along. I swear, the whole room finally hushed. People laughed and aw'-ed at the appropriate moments of the fish scene, and after the touch moment, the entire crowd remained quiet and attentive throughout the rest of the film! I was sooooo pleased! Go Forbidden Friendship! It was amazing to see how people went from not really caring to hanging onto every moment after that, and I got to watch them do it! That really was fun, and several people who had not seen it came up to me and said that they had really enjoyed it! 

After that we packed shoeboxes full of gifts to send off to children in poorer countries. We were up until around midnight, but I am glad we got to do it. Most everyone said they had enjoyed the time, so I am pretty pleased with the night!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Freshman Party!

Yay! My freshman class is holding a party, and thanks to a little recommending I did with my class president, the movie we have chosen to watch is HTTYD! As if having seen it 76ish times wasn't enough, I am so excited to get to watch it over again! I love watching HTTYD with people who haven't seen it before. My lucky class will get to watch the best movie ever! I just hope lots of people show up, and who knows, maybe they'll be going to HTTYD2 in a couple of months!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Toothless as he appears in Dsplash

Another Dimension Splash digital line art! Like the Hiccup one, this gives some statistics and info on how Toothless was coping in my big crossover story. I like the picture of Toothless just in its own right, so you could just consider this a fan art if you would like. It zooms up bigger if you open it in a new tab or window. Anyway, this is Toothless at one of the many stages of the Dsplash story. Let's say this is him at about year nine of Hiccup's existence in the game. I try to keep him as close to the movie as possible, but then I also wanted to think of how Hiccup would clad him if they were both stuck in a war with every villainous character imaginable. 

The Hunt Begins

Ok, so here is the next Dsplash Chronicle. It really shows the minds of the antagonists. To get you up to speed, you need to know that Link did save Hiccup from deletion through a very complicated and dangerous adventure into a realm called The Mirror. The Gemnodes have no idea how Hiccup has been brought back from the dead, and they have accused one of their own, Eminis, of freeing him because she disapproved of the amount of torture he was being given by Sardilic. This shows the confusion they have and the council they hold after the event. So, hope you enjoy it. If you would like to read it, you can click the "read more" below.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy birthday Justoffravenpoint/Rima!

Wasn't sure what to make for this special HTTYD fan, but I decided to shoot for something charming and current. The new images of the racing paint gave me an idea, so happy birthday Rima! I hope you like the image. If you want to read the captions, there is a key in the post bellow.

Hope she likes it. Sorry, but must confess that older Hiccup is hard to draw considering I have only a few reference images of him. 

Happy Birthday Addy!!

Today is a ridiculously dragonific one! Two HTTYD fans that I know have birthdays on this date, AND this is the second year anniversary of the release of Gift of the Night Fury! Now that is special!

I just want to wish my amazing friend AddyD an extremely happy birthday. I drew him this art piece when I learned that he liked my line arts. It is very big and I attempted to make it very detailed. I used quite a lot of references for this image to try and get all the texturing as accurate as possible, and I hope it has paid off! It took about three and a half hours to complete. Yes, it is a picture of Toothless regurgitating a piece of birthday cake.

If you would like to read the caption (which is sort of tongue in cheek funny), here is the key:

I hope he has an absolutely splendid day! Maybe this picture will be one small part of making his birthday great. I had the idea only a few months after his birthday last year, and I have been playing around with it since then. It is meant to be comical, although some people have told me it is gross (of course it is gross! You have to look at it in context!). He is an amazing friend, and I wish I could have done more for him. Happy bday AddyD!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I am completely freaking out! Kindle released images of the covers of some HTTYD books that will be released next year. They may be kid's books, but WOOOOOW. This is just glorious! Thank you Berk's Grapevine for posting these because they are gorgeous!

Hookfang! Hookfang is beautiful! His horns have gotten all gnarled over the years just like some of the other Nightmares in the first film! Hooray! Older dragons! I'm getting used to older Hiccup and Toothless, but the best Toothless image is yet to come. Ugh, lucky kids who get to learn how to read by reading THIS! Why couldn't my school be this awesome? Also, BarfBelch! Oh I could sing! I was worried that they would age all the dragons up and by doing so make every single dragon that we see in the film look juvenile. That wouldn't make sense. You may remember that some Zipplebacks in the movie had extremely long chin spikes. Now we get to see that those were the older individuals because take a look at Ruff and Tuff's beautiful Zippleback's chin!

Ok, Toothless! Down bud, your awesomeness is just murdering me! Check. Out. His. Arm. Spines! I said in an earlier thing that I thought they were longer, but I didn't have a clue how much longer! They are stinking knives sticking off of his arm! That looks so dragonifically perfect! I would have sworn that they could not improve his first movie version, but I admit I was wrong!

What is that four winged dragon in the background!? Curiosity soars. It looks well designed and proportioned, so this should be a nice addition to the dragon family! I wonder if this is Valka's dragon! It fits the description. 

Agh! This is the only image that is small, and it would have to be the one that shows Ruff, Tuff, and Fishlegs! Boo. You can hardly make them out. Ok, if I get a sports car, I'm giving it that Night Fury paint job. He's so cute participating in sports XD

Ok, so that's them. The Art Of How To Train Your Dragon 2 will also be for sale, and I am so excited about that! The first movie's art book was literally worth its weight in gold. Just a must have for any fan, so a second one of those is a dream come true! 2014, hurry up and get here!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hiccup as he appears in Dsplash

Just a line art and some statistics. Pretty fun to make actually. That convicted look really defines his personality in the story. This is a large image, and it even looks ok as a wallpaper, so I would suggest opening it in a new window.

The Death of a Hero, the Destruction of a Friendship, and the Small Stones that Start an Avalanche

This next dimension splash Chronicle is where things actually start heating up. I hinted at these events in the last one, but this is really the beginning of the end of the story. That means that lots of the Chronicles after this will be more closely connected. This Chronicle is ten pages long. Unfortunately, this really is a terribly sad part of the story. It is the only thing I've written that I know has made a few individuals who read it cry. That was very encouraging for me because by the nature of this plot it NEEDS to be sad, and I tried hard to express that in writing. Don't worry though; this is not the end!

Earliest HTTYD Drawings

These are the oldest HTTYD pictures I still own. They may be the first I ever drew. Wow... the memories! HA! The mistakes! I think I may have improved a little bit over the last couple of years, but still, I am glad I saved these.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Gemlord Speaks His Mind

Alrighty! Next Dsplash Chronicle. This is another short one. Again, if you want to read it, just click the "read more" link below. This gives you a very good idea of what the motives of the Gemnodes are. You may remember them from the first Chronicle I posted. The Gemnodes are original characters to this story, and they are the main antagonists. For ten years Hiccup and the other characters knew practically nothing about them, but as Hiccup began to look into their motives, he saw that these beings are truly evil and dangerous. So, anyway, this a Chronicle that will give you a good view of their plans. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Escape In The Rebellion

This is yet another fan art piece I created for Inhonoredglory and Toothlesslove's web novel. I posted it on Tumblr a while ago, but I believe I forgot to put it here. I am not sure... but either this piece or Toothless's Vengeance may be my darkest HTTYD art pieces. Probably the other one. Anyway, this one is somewhat intentionally stylized and dramatic, but it is in the middle ground between my most stylized images and my more realistic attempts. The fire was particularly tricky, but it was very fun to play around with. As usual, the image will be bigger if you open it in a new window.

If you have not read the web novel, I would highly recommend it. I don't do fan art for most fan fictions, but that thing has really provoked me to make a lot of paintings! Here is a link to the site if you want to read it:


So, to try and keep this spoiler free, I'll just say that this image comes from the most recent chapter posted. Things were looking horribly, horribly bleak, and Hiccup was about to face execution. Toothless rushes in to try and save him, and the dragon is wounded by arrows in the process. Hiccup is too weak and hurt to work the foot pedal, and so all he can do is cling to Toothless and beg the dragon to run. Toothless does, and they are pursued. Then... as if things could not get any worse, a dragon rebellion that had been brewing in the air for ages finally broke loose. Fire and death pores out on the island as hundreds of dragons free themselves and attack their captors. Hiccup and Toothless are lost in all of this, injured, exhausted, hunted on an enemy island, and surrounded by the flames of the rebellion. I am completely terrified to think what the future chapters may hold, but at least both Hiccup and Toothless are finally free! I certainly hope it stays that way because they have been capture and hurting for so long. Maybe, just maybe, there is a ray of hope that they can grasp.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Encountering the Frozen Fallen

Alright, Chronicle number two! This one is a good deal longer, and it has some fun character interplay. It will really introduce you to the three main heroes of this world: Hiccup, Toothless, and Link. They are a lot of fun to see together. This Chronicle takes place years after the last one, and these characters are continually growing more powerful in the dimension. Interestingly, in this world, a character does not age over time. They also do not die if they are killed per-se. That gets complicated, but I'll just leave it at that. You don't die when you are killed, you just pop back up at the nearest portal. That is a good thing... and yet it is also a really, really bad thing. Hope you enjoy this one. I rather like it, and you get some HTTYD book references as well 

Toothless's First Battle with a Gemnode

This is the earliest Chronicle I have written. It happened very, very early on the the story, but it is one of the first major events. MOST of the stories will be far more connected to one another than this one is, but it gives you a glimpse of how the world works... and how the Gemnodes do as well. So, this might be confusing, but it all makes sense in the end. I hope you enjoy it. It is not very long, but I am going to put it bellow a "read more" link. Click that to access the actual fan fiction. This is the first major battle Toothless fought with the Gemnodes, but it will certainly not be the last. I do really like how I pretty much used a huge crossover world to display the strength and beauty of Hiccup and Toothless's friendship. This is my shortest chronicle, and it happened early, early on in the history, but be prepared for much longer ones. Again, I hope you will enjoy these, and feel free to leave questions if anything is overly confusing.

Introduction to Dimension Splash

I have debated for a long time whether or not to post this on my blog, but I have finally decided that it is HTTYD oriented enough to be on here. In short, Dimension Splash is a gigantic cross-over story. Pretty much any character from anything can and has appeared in this world. Now... that means things get pretty crazy, and there is a lot of stuff that does not really play into the HTTYD world that goes on in this story, BUT Dsplash's main character is Hiccup, and so this is pretty much one humongous fan fiction exploring how Hiccup would handle being thrown into a dimension other than his own. He and Toothless have gone tons of adventures over their ten years of being trapped in the Dsplash world, but now I am writing an in-depth conclusion to this tremendous tale. This story actually operated as a very fun role playing game for three years, but then I decided to write it out, and now it has sort of become a web novel of sorts. This is pretty much my ultimate tribute to Hiccup and Toothless. I spent three years developing the general story, and now I am taking far more time trying to finish it in a way that will really make them shine (hopefully). This is a story of Hiccup, Toothless, and a few other characters, and how they overcome the greatest villains who have ever existed. It will be confusing because I am writing the story in somewhat random chronicles, so if you have questions when I post them, I would be happy to answer them. If I get enough questions, I'll write out answer posts on the blog. There is a huge backstory behind this thing, so I would be happy to explain it.

Critique of a Critique

For my college writing course, I had to find an article online that I disagreed with and debunk it. Sooo... yeah. I decided to find a critical review of HTTYD and see what the critic held against it. I found a pretty good one, and I had fun running around and seeing what he thought and seeing how I strongly disagreed with him! Anyway, I thought I might as well post it here!

Prepare for the fire breathing! When I read this assignment I knew immediately what I was going to do with it! Just a few days before, I had discovered a very critical review of the movie How To Train Your Dragon. Not only was the review not favorable, it was actually at points inaccurate. The author is a noted movie critic, so I expected more of him. Roger Ebert was well known for his concise and interesting opinions on film before his death. I would have hoped he would have put a little more work and thought into this review because it was highly unimpressive.

I will just go into a couple of his opinions and debunk them. He accuses the movie of being a film that aspires to be a video game. His reasoning behind it is due to the fact that the film has a fairly large amount of flight scenes in it, and these are handled with an over-the-shoulder camera angle at times. He also complains that the film spends far too much time doing that rather than developing the characters. He asks if anyone can remember when the protagonists of stories were teens and not children, and he even claims that the 3D was a complete waste of money. Every single one of these opinions is ridiculous.

First, the film does have a lot of flying, it has a lot of fights between good and evil dragons, but the real heart of the movie is the relationship between the boy and dragon. Sure, the flying is exciting enough to feel like a video game, but that is not its purpose in the film. Practically everyone who likes it likes it for the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless. It harkens back to other stories of great friendship and loyalty (the Lord of the Rings for one), and also has the classic and beautiful story of a boy befriending a powerful, fearsome, magnificent creature. In truth, much more of the movie is devoted to building the friendship of the boy and dragon. The whole second act is an exploration if that. Just because they fly during that does not mean there is no character development. How does one befriend a flying creature without riding it? How To Train Your Dragon is usually applauded for the beauty of the relationship between Hiccup and his dragon, but apparently Mr. Ebert missed something.

Roger Ebert also accused the movie of having a child protagonist and wished back for the days when it was older teens who were proving themselves. Quite frankly, he is completely incorrect. Hiccup, the protagonist, is fifteen in the film. He is not a ten year old as he is accused of being. Fifteen is a very unique, very interesting, age to delve into because it is in the middle of the teen years. Hiccup is certainly not a child, but he is not a man either, and this is actually one of the films strong points, not one of its weaknesses. I mean, come on! How many ten year olds have the beginnings of facial hair?

Finally, the review claimed that the 3D experience was not worth the money. Absolute rubbish. Many, many critics praised How To Train Your Dragon for its stunning use of 3D in the environments and flight scenes. It was extremely immersive and beautiful, and one professional critic went as far as to say that it rivaled the famous Avatar. This view, though possibly stated a little too strongly, is held by most everyone, including myself. The exhilaration of soaring behind a dragon in 3D is quiet the movie experience, and the way the 3D was subtly used to pull the viewer into the gorgeous landscape of the film was marvelous. Where this Ebert’s opinion came from, I really can’t say.

So, apologies for the length of this, but it was a topic I was itching to do. I respect Roger Ebert’s reviews usually, but I must say he really missed the mark on this. How To Train Your Dragon is a very popular movie, and with the approach of the sequel, it is becoming even more so. This movie, this wonderful film, is popular for good a reasons. Roger Ebert missed those reasons.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Friends at Rest

Yaaaaaay! This digital painting took me ages, but I am ridiculously happy to finally have it done! I took a line art I made, traced over the image, and then turned it into this digital artwork:

This thing is really, really big, so if you open it in another window it will look much better. I was very happy with the positioning of the scene as soon as I came up with idea. TONS of my art has been angsty of late (click the art link in the side bar and look over my last couple of pieces. Other than the journal entries it has been sort of intense stuff!), so doing a very calm moment was fun. This is big enough to work very well as a desktop background, so if you get it, so can set it to "fill screen" and it will center an look quite nice. I really do hope you will all enjoy this. Hiccup is intentionally supposed to look a little older than the first film, but then certainly not quite as old as he is in HTTYD2. I tried very hard to get some nice details on Toothless's head and especially on his gums, eyes, and scales. Then for Hiccup, I used some tutorials that Glory posted on her blog ages ago that dealt with hair. I think he is probably my best Hiccup yet, and as far as detail, posing, lighting, and feel... I would like to say that this is my best digital painting yet! Including the time it took to create the line art, this thing took me about twelve hours to make. Maybe ten... not sure, but it was a lengthy endeavor! Getting time to do this while taking college classes has also proven challenging, but in the end, it is worth it! I really do feel like I have sort of improved in my digital paintings. They still are by no means up to par with most of the other artists online, but they are good enough for me! I am definitely going to be using this as my desktop background for a while, and again, I hope you all really like it. If you have any comments, suggestions, critiques, or compliments, feel free to comment. Thanks for viewing!

Accidental Early Release!

Ok, super important announcement to make! Episode seven of DoB will not air until Thursday of next week, BUT somehow it has gotten released early on iTunes! If you want to catch the episode a week early, I would suggest it. It was fairly good, and Mildew got a nice amount of comeuppance! It does focus on Fishlegs and Meatlug again... and I occasionally find those two to be a bit tedious. Still, it was over all pretty good, and Toothless pulls off a maneuver that is brilliantly Night Furyish! Finally we get to see his fire doing what it is supposed to do! Anyway, I'll not spoil it for anyone who doesn't plan to get it on iTunes.