Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking back on 2013

So, it's finally come... the very last day of 2013. Man, in some ways the year feels so, so short, but in other ways it seems incredibly long! The things I've done this year, the changes that have happened, the friends I've met and made, it's been a BIG year.

Haha, so considering this is an HTTYD blog, I'll just hit some of the high points that happened to me this year concerning all things Dragon related! I'm sure I'll not be able to cover them all, but it has been a pretty fun year. Click the "read more" to see the full story, but be warned that it might have some slightly frightening images.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Inhonoredglory!

I hope you have an amazing bday, Glory! I wanted to make you something, so I shot for what I am usually decent at: line arts. I don't usually mess those up, so that was where I decided to start. Then the next question was what to make the subject matter of the image. I immediately thought of the Doctor because I know you've been really, really enjoying him lately! Then I thought, "Yeah... but I met her and became friends because of HTTYD, and surely she would still want Hiccup in a bday gift." After that, (perfect timing!) the new HTTYD2 trailer came out! I felt that I ought to mix the Doctor and HTTYD together. I mean, that would totally work in Doctor Who! He's seen a whole lot weirder than Vikings and dragons. Anyway, I remember (I think) that Blink was the first episode you watched? It was my first, and it was so interesting to see the Doctor dealing with the Weeping Angels that I wanted to throw that terrifying foe into the picture as well. And if we're gonna have one frightening enemy, why not throw in the apex of all scary creatures? Yep, I do love to draw a Skrill, and thanks to that story you wrote, he has become the apex of all HTTYD foes in my book! Anyway, I kind of liked the back to back dynamic of Hiccup and the Doctor... so very different and yet in some ways quite a lot alike! I had never drawn the Doctor before this, so I was actually really pleased to see that he didn't look terrible in the end! I hope you like it. I mean, it's the Doctor, Hiccup, Toothless, a Skrill, and a Weeping Angel all in one image... surely that's gotta be somewhat likable! I do hope you'll have a great day!

Oh, and here is a translation key for the rhunes!

It has been great to know you and to be your friend! I am very glad I had time to make you something, and I do hope you like it. Have a wonderful birthday, Inhonoredglory!

A HUGE thank you for the Christmas gifts!

Ok guys, I'll just come out and say it, I was just SOOOO surprised to get stuff from you two this Christmas! It means a whole lot to me and the gifts are just spectacular! Seriously, I couldn't be happier, and I want to thank you both, Rima and Glory, very, very much for them! I'm just gonna post them here and mention a few thoughts on them!

So this is a poster gif made by Inhonoredglory for my little fanfiction thing, Dimension Splash, and I just LOVE it! The fact that the image makes it out to look like a film is really funny and cool because a friend of mine recently was joking around with me saying it should totally be turned into a six movie story. Anyway, yeah, it actually does a beautiful job of capturing a lot of the elements of the story. And of course, if anyone has read the Chronicles, they will know that Hiccup, Toothless, and Link are definitely the main characters. And Hiccup and Toothless are actually older now, so this poster is sooooo perfect for this next big step in the story! That little blue flurry in the middle also hints at the very mysterious and powerful forces that are swirling around in the shadows of the Dsplash plot, but these forces are really starting to come to light, and they are very, very deadly! Man, I even love the font! Thanks so much Glory! I really went nuts over this when I first got it, and I love it to pieces! Makes my thing look a lot more epic than it sometimes feels to me. I appreciate it a lot!

I was very excited to get even one gift from the fandom, so when this next one suddenly popped in, I was pretty much bouncing off the walls because it was just sooooo lovely! Rima had made it for me, and I really like the watercoloring. It makes me wish I was better in that medium. Anyway, if you open it in a new tab you should be able to clearly read the quote. It is yet again, a quote from my Dsplash stuff, but I NEVER saw my own writing as being nice enough to put into such a pretty art piece! Makes that moment feel every bit as lovely as I could have ever hoped! It is actually taken from the Chronicle Aftermath, and it is two different characters speaking, but for the sake of spoilers I will not describe the scene any more than that! Anyway, I hope that if any of you read Aftermath, you will think back on this art piece because it captures the feeling so perfectly!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Snoggletog/Merry Christmas!

So, I decided to do a little art piece for the holiday! I was up until one o'clock one morning scribbling away at this thing, but I am pretty happy with it. Haha, it is sort of supposed to depict Snoggletog four years after GotNF, and as you can see, some traditions have been created! I thought the idea of older Hiccup and Astrid during Snoggletog was cute, and then I started trying to thin what they might do. I then thought it would be GREAT if Toothless decided to return Hiccup's helmet to him every year, and NOW Hiccup's helmet is the cool leather one from the second movie. No need to point out that this one covers his face and can probably hold twice the amount of Toothless's drool! Astrid is still making her signature drink, and I am sure it is every bit a horrible as the first time. So, yeah, Hiccup has decided to try and hide this year, and he might could avoid Astrid, but come on. He doesn't really think that he'll be able to keep a Night Fury from finding him, does he? Yep, he's going to get two kinds of affection in the grossest ways, but even gross affection is still affection, and I am sure he will take it well. As usual, the image is bigger if you open it in a new tab or window.

I also preserved the line art, so you can see it in both its forms. I actually think the line art has a certain appeal to it, and I'm glad that I kept it. The painting style I used was really quick (mostly because I was rushed for time!) and watery, and I hope it still looks good. It is really just supposed to be cartoony and cute as opposed to what I usually shoot for which is at least a little realistic.

I also want to very warmly dedicate this painting as a gift to all my good friends in the HTTYD fandom, most notably Toothlesslove, Glory, Rima, and AddyD. Haha... as well as all the many fine editors on the wiki! I hope you will all have a really wonderful holiday.

And, on a serious note, I know it sounds cliche, but I really do want to remember the real reason for this holiday. HTTYD is great fun, but I must say that the mercy of Christ is far more beautiful, impressive, and awe inspiring than even the greatest fictions could ever aspire to be. Today is a wonderful opportunity to remember the birth, perfect life, and sacrificial death of my Lord. I really do want to grow in gratitude to Him for the rest of my life. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

One Does Not Simply Destroy a Gemnode

Alright, this is my next Dsplash Chronicle. It is VERY un-HTTYD related, but it is also sort of significant, and it shows what Hiccup's actions have unleashed. Marvel fans, this features a very famous character. Anyway, it is only five pages. More interestingly, I do have a kind of fun Snoggletog/Christmas post to make tomorrow. It has artwork, so hopefully you will all enjoy that. Just a warning, this Chronicle is a little foreboding and sad.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Call me confused.

Why on earth is Toothless licking his lips before he goes into this dive? It's very cute, but I am completely confused! Gah! This trailer has so much good stuff in it. The movie's just gonna kill me! I am having a hard time making enough posts to adequately cover what we saw in the trailer! Imagine what we'll be doing when the film actually comes out! So much to spazz over!

Also, I LOVE how older Hiccup is a little closer to Toothless's size! For some reason it makes him feel a whole lot more like an equal when he rides Toothless, almost more like they are one thing as opposed to an incredibly epic dragon and an incredibly small boy. Don't know exactly why, but I do like how Hiccup's new proportions look when he is strapped onto his dragon!

I don't usually do this...

But I am gonna make a Hiccstrid post!

Yeah, I am usually not a big fan of romantic pairings, especially teenage romantic pairings. Hiccup and Astrid were completely that in the first film, and though I didn't dislike their relationship, it was never all that interesting to me. I DID like some moments that resulted from it, especially Romantic Flight and the moment afterwards when Toothless seems to tease Hiccup over his first kiss. That was cute. Still... that's about as far as my appreciation for Astrid and Hiccup's pairing went. I thought their relationship was charming in GotNF, and I thought it was a bit annoying in RoB (come on... are we seriously gonna turn Hiccup and Astrid into stereotypical awkward teens just for the sake of awkwardness?). But now we get to see just a little glimpse of them in the trailer, and though I've never been a huge Astrid fan, I think I am about to be one!!

That little moment in the trailer (as well as the short scene we got to see from when the President went to DreamWorks) have really displayed that Hiccup and Astrid have matured a LOT in their relationship, and it is GREAT! I'm not really interested in a continued teen drama, I would like to see progress get made if progress is reasonable. And these images... just, WOW! Astrid looks so much more feminine than I am used to! In the first film, she is pretty much more alpha male than all the guys (so saith Jay Burachel), and I feel sure that she is still her very tough, vikingly self (I mean, she's got a battle axe on the back of her saddle and she's jumping over the twins and stealing sheep in dragon races), but it is nice to see her grow into a young woman. She is HOLDING on of Hiccup's braids! Just... ok, I admit, that's super charming! I really hope that she and Hiccup will continue to grow in a mature relationship. They are both so much older, so the potential to see them actually get married is clearly there. It's so sweet to see how close she and he have grown over the last five years! You would NEVER expect to see first movie Astrid acting like this with Hiccup, but seeing it now feels kind of natural and beautiful. I like that a lot. I think she has been aged very well, I think Hiccup looks very manly, I think Astrid looks beautifully feminine, and because of that I actually have gone and written a Hiccstrid post! Man, the second movie has so many potential ways to grow so many different characters. The director's decision to age the teens kind of scared me at first, but I couldn't be more pleased with it after seeing where he's going! Man, June can't come soon enough!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Valka Observation

Going off of some interview info and the amazing footage of this trailer, I've got this weird opinion of Valka that (though still very positive) doesn't paint her as being quite the perfect character. I am just intrigued to see how she and Hiccup will differ. As dragon trainers (and very good ones at that), it is interesting to see their different techniques and the different kinds of relationships that result. This also slightly covers Toothless's slight increase in anthropomorphism.

Ok. so here's my theory on Valka. It is coming from the one interview we got about her and what I see in the trailer. It will also sort of cover Toothless's increased anthropomorphism. I think that Hiccup and Toothless actually have a strangely different, strangely stronger relationship than Valka and Cloudjumper (or any of her other dragons). Call it favoritism, but I've got a theory. Valka is an AMAZING character! Utterly unique, really incredible! It is fascinating to see her interact with the dragons and Dean has even said that Hiccup will be "wowed" by her relationship with Cloudjumper. Now, I know it isn't a competition on who's closer to their dragon, but seeing Valka, and seeing how even Toothless was really easily "trained" by her, was very interesting. It makes me think... there is a defining difference between Hiccup and Valka, and it is a difference that Hiccup sees himself (according to Dean). Hiccup sees Valka as what he could become if pushed to the extreme, and as far as I can tell, it kind of worries him. We don't see it in the trailer, but it has been stated several times that she doesn't trust humans, and she clearly lives alone with the dragons her entire life. What happened in the past with this? Why is she no longer with Stoick? She has become very animilian, and she is described as almost being a little off-her-rocker (again, all of this from interviews). SO, where am I going with this? Here it is, I think Valka, in her own way, clearly understands dragons more than Hiccup, and that is very weird. In her own way, she would be closer to her hoard of dragons than Hiccup is to the dragons of Berk, but what it the difference? Why can she just suddenly calm Toothless? She has conformed, she has conformed 100% to the ways of the dragons. They hardly have to step out of their comfort zones at all to interact with her! She is practically one of them! So, what about Hiccup and Toothless? In their own way, I am still MORE impressed with them because Toothless actually steps out of his comfort zone and so does Hiccup. They both conform. Hiccup is becoming more dragonish (just look at his armor), and Toothless is also clearly picking up on human mannerisms. We don't see any of Valka's dragons acting human (nor do I think we will), and there is a reason. According to the interview Valka does not really think human and dragons can ever coexist. Hiccup does. Hiccup thinks they can both conform, both become a little more like each other, both step out of their comfort zones and live together in peace, and I admire him for that! I LOVE that Hiccup is becoming more familiar with Hiccup, and I actually think it is realistic that Toothless is picking up on Hiccup's mannerisms and becoming even more familiar with him. While Valka sacrificed her humanness for the sake of living with and understanding dragons, Hiccup and Toothless both make sacrifices so as to live together, and, in the end, I still think that that is something very special, and I hope Hiccup will see it as that. Anyway, that's a total guess, and don't think I dislike Valka! I am just interested in the differences, and like Hiccup, I really am wowed by both her and her dragon!

Adorable Gifset!

Not my gifs. Thanks very much to whoever made then, and thank you Rima (justoffravenpoint) for showing them to me! Isn't this scene fantastic!?


Ok, so I'm just gonna try and hit some of the stuff I like in the trailer!

The opening scene is incredibly cute, and very charmingly in character! It is great to see how Hiccup and Toothless can tease at each other, really actually shows a very strong understanding of one another's personalities. It was a super nice opening for the trailer because it did focus completely on Hiccup and Toothless and how their relationship has both remained intact AND grown over the last five years. We want a Hiccup/Toothless centered movie, so why not start our trailer with a Hiccup/Toothless centered scene? Also, the new animation technology they are using is REALLY paying off, especially with Toothless. DreamWorks is using some new software to handle flesh and muscle movements, and you can really tell! Toothless looks so muscular and real! His expressions are so fluid and lithe, it makes RoB feel like complete plastic, and it even outdoes the first film. Just keep an eye on all his movements (especially his face), and you'll be in for a visual treat.

Then we move from in-character charm to cloud nine triumph! It takes us back to Berk with a glorious "This is Berk" from Hiccup, and we get to have a small glimpse at how amazing the village has become! Dragons are racing, the teens are all older and thoroughly enjoying themselves, and sheep are still running in terror. We are only given a glimpse of the teens, but what I found most striking is that, even though all of them look much different (especially Hiccup), I still felt like I know them. I was worried that I would almost have to reintroduce myself to everyone, make myself learn to love this new Hiccup, but he is so marvelously still himself that, even though he looks different, I still know him, and I still love him! Seems like life couldn't be any better, and Hiccup's smile in the trailer really says that. But this is the village of Hiccup's childhood, his and Toothless's, and maturing may not be easy...

We then get a very dramatic shot of landscapes away from Berk (I assume) that look absolutely desolated. It really is a nice shift in mood, and it has given me chills every time I've watched it (currently nine, but that will rapidly increase!). The dead forest and massive ice spikes (which I believe have a shattered ship in the center... something wooden at least. I also believe that the ice has been caused by the Bewilderbeast.) are very striking landscapes, and the mood is beautifully ominous as Astrid and Hiccup observe the scene. "What could have done this?"

We seem to get an answer when a masked rider surges out of the clouds to presumably attack or capture Hiccup. THAT was well done! The visual was striking and actually quite intense! I love that character buildup. This masked rider is clearly given a lot of presence, and it and its dragon are a terrifying sight to behold. Then, oh yes, then we get to hear Cate Blanchett voicing her, and the line is so, so awesome! The amount of atmosphere she creates with that one little line, "I bet you think you know a lot about dragons..." For someone to say that to HICCUP of all people, that is sort of frightening!

Then we get the big reveal (which most of us probably already knew, but it is SOOO nice to see it fully displayed!). The masked rider is a woman, she is an absolutely terrifyingly good dragon handler (manages to calm Toothless with a simple hand gesture and stroke), and she is Hiccup's long lost mother! (Please refrain from "breast hat" questions). The amount of different directions they could take this plot is phenomenal! I have already read what the directors described Valka as, and they also described Hiccup's view of her, and I get the feeling that this is going to be an amazing, deep, and even very conflicted relationship!

Then we get a generally colorful and cute scene of the place where Valka is keeping the dragons that she has saved. I can't even begin to guess some of these species, but SOME look strikingly like the Red Death, and that is very interesting! Anyway, Toothless and Cloudjumper are ridiculously cute together, but this cheerful dragon haven scene won't last long. We are given beauty and charm, and then foreboding, beauty and charm, and again foreboding.

Ok, so there are badguys, and these badguys have an ARMY (a well organized one too), and Valka warns Hiccup about what is apparently a MONSTROUS dragon (pretty sure it is the Bewilderbeast). This villain claims the dragons are his, and considering Valka has been saving them from traps, I feel pretty sure this guy is to blame! If he's trapping dragons to build an army, I get a sick twist in my stomach thinking what a prize Toothless would be for him.

And then Stoick wanting Hiccup to be chief! Looking forward to see how this little thing plays out, and I doubt it will be a smooth ride.

And then after some flying and jumping and Hiccup looking freakishly awesome using his flight suit, we end with a continuation of the adorable playfight scene! Man, the landscaping here is so brilliant! Haha! Toothless totally won the fight! Great happy feels to end the trailer on! And that quote! That amazing quote by Hiccup! "Dragons and Vikings! Enemies again!" Before Toothless "defeats"him by simply laying down! Priceless! That dragon is so snarky, but at the same time he's very loving. Its a beautiful mix.

Ok, so one overall thing that strikes me is that this was NOT as dark as I was anticipating. Some of the leaks we have gotten made this second movie sound absolutely depressing. I was worried that we would lose the fun and charm (especially of Hiccup and Toothless's relationship) in the middle of all the growing up angst and armies of evil villains stuff. With battles and action scenes and flaming swords and leather armor, I worried that Hiccup would become an action hero and Toothless would go from being Hiccup's best friend to Hiccup's superweapon. I want dark, I really do, but I DO want it to stick with the original beauty of the first film. The first movie had dark moments, intense moments, even some sad moments, but it was still a heartwarming JOY to watch. It looks like the second one will be that way as well. I know (from leaks) that it will not be a completely happy plot, and again that is good, but the overall fun feel of this trailer made me a lot happier and a lot less stressed than I would have been if they had revealed the angstier elements. They showed us the peril, showed us the villain, showed us the new characters and the new dragons, and then REALLY showed us that Hiccup and Toothless are going to shine in this next film! It was so colorful and vibrant! It will still live and breathe like an action film, but it will not become shallow (or filthy) like one! That is the beauty of animated films. So, that's my thoughts in short about the trailer. Think I covered most of them... Excuse me now, I'm gonna go and wish that Toothless was licking me!

Coming soon: Trailer Analysis.

Ok, so I'm gonna try and do a BROAD sweep of the trailer today. Not sure when I'll finish the post, but I've started it! Hopefully it will be worth reading! Unfortunately... heheh... it might be more spazzing than analysis, but we'll see if I can do anything worth looking over XD


HTTYD2 is gonna have a playfight between Hiccup and Toothless, and it looks ADORABLE! Just beautiful to see them teasing each other, though I think Hiccup gets the worse end of it (though I would totally take a licking from Toothless willingly if he ever offered!). I just got some screenshots from it. Some have motion blur, but you get the idea! (Yes, this is a lot of images. Big photo set. Hope you like it as much as I do XD) This scene is just priceless, extremely cute on so many levels, and it is also obviously cut for the trailer, so little bits are missing! I can't imagine how great this is going to be when complete! The way these two interact is so funny! Toothless's snark shows a lot here, and I especially like looking at his expressions as he gets ideas on what he's going to do to Hiccup! Then of course there is licking, and we all know how much I love tongue moments! I love how at that first lick Hiccup's eyes widen like he sorta knows what's coming after he feels the tongue touch his chin! Lovely scene, lovely trailer, and I am sure it will be even better in the movie! Anyone who has gifs of any of this, if you'd like to post them in the comments, I would really appreciate it!