Monday, March 31, 2014

Another post about, well... Toothless's drool.

My readers: "Is he seriously going to post about Toothless's saliva/tongue again?

Me: "You betcha! We've got new info!"

Funny enough, this post will mostly be based off of a conversation I had with a fellow dragon fan concerning Hiccup's use of Toothless's drool in the thirty second clip. It is kind of an expansion on my last post about his saliva. That one was mostly about the healing properties, this one will deal more with it's consistency.

In the clip, we see Hiccup get Toothless to lick a small piece of parchment that Hiccup then attaches to his ever growing map. The fact that me and the fellow fan discussed was, is Toothless's saliva actually sticky? Why does it work as an adhesive to hold a map together. I tried to put a little thought into it, and I came up with some interesting conclusions concerning the drool of that darling dragon.

First off, I don't think Toothless's drool is sticky. If you stuck your hand in his mouth or if he licked your face, I don't think it would feel anything like sap or glue or other strongly adhesive liquids. My reasons for thinking this come from the actual visuals we have gotten of the drool (from both HTTYD, GotNF and HTTYD2 clips) and simple reptile biology. In GotNF, we see a lot of it get dumped onto Hiccup's head, and it looks remotely watery. In the trailer for HTTYD2, when Toothless begins his merciless licky onslaught you can see drips of it breaking loose and shooting at the camera. All of this makes me think that the drool is not particularly sticky. More importantly, if Toothless's saliva was actually very glue like, it would be a physical disadvantage. The only reptiles with very thick, sticky saliva use that saliva to hunt with (like chameleons and other lizards that predate with their tongues). It is clear that Toothless does not do that. As far as we have seen, Toothless is happy eating fish. He doesn't chew them (though he may slice them up), so he is forced to swallow his food whole. Reptiles that do that have slick saliva. They have to! You need the prey item to go down your throat without much drag and certainly without getting stuck. So, as a predator who mostly eats fish and certainly does not use his tongue to hunt, I imagine that Toothless would have drool that is very slick and lubricant. If Toothless had sticky saliva, it would be annoying to have say scales or hair sticking to his tongue, or if he bit at something and missed, he could get leaves, twigs, and other unpleasant things kinda stuck in his mouth. In the end, I really don't think Toothless's saliva is sticky.

But then the question comes, how does a slick liquid work so well as an adhesive? It's a great question! I had to think a while on it, but in the end I think it makes sense. Though Toothless's drool is slick and not sticky, I would say it has a certain amount of clinginess to it. It likes to cling to objects, especially dry ones, that it comes in contact with. This is again useful for a predator who doesn't chew. It would allow him to sort of easily slather his food as he bites onto it, and because it would cling to the prey item, it would make it easier for him to swallow. So, the stuff clings, but it doesn't have strong adhesive properties. Here's where I think the rub is on having paper stuck together by it: When it dries, any solids or enzymes in the saliva would harden and actually function as a natural, crystal-like adhesive. Kinda like when a soap bar hardens to the edge of your tub. Though soap isn't sticky, when it hardens, it can actually take a good tug to get loose. So, I think that property would help Toothless's saliva hold the sheets of paper together. But, that's not all. This is where I really start liking the idea of using Toothless's spit to hold paper together. Saliva has digestive properties. It is slightly acidic. Not a lot, not enough to sting or even tickle when he's licking Hiccup, but enough to slightly break down the natural fibers in the parchment. If both pieces of parchment were ever so slightly melting (and I mean ever so slightly) while pressed together, once Toothless's drool dried and the acidic reaction stopped completely, the fibers in the paper would indeed have practically intertwined and the two faces of the sheets would have melted ever so minutely into one another.

Final conclusion: Toothless's drool is normally slick and clingy, not glue-like. The acidity and drying solids allow it to work great as an adhesive once dry nonetheless. 

So, it works as glue and it's still super adorable to be licked by :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

HTTYD2... the darkest step in the trilogy?

So, Empire went to DreamWorks to take a peak at HTTYD2, and what they have to say is pretty exciting. Now, I'll just give you the high points and some personal thoughts for those of you who don't want to slog through the article... I was a bit put off by the language in some direct quotes.

Now, it's not dark in ways like decapitation or psychopathic and bizarre crimes... I would imagine taking kids to it will still be completely fine, BUT this isn't RoB anymore folks. The stakes are high, and according to the article things get tense in a lot of ways.

Quote from Dean Deblouis: "I want How To Train Your Dragon to be able to live on a shelf next to your Blu-rays of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and earn its own place. None of it is pandering to children."

Dang, talk about vision and ambition! HTTYD is, to be fair, an animated movie that most people consider to be a children's story. I don't see it as that, but others do, and I don't blame them. Wow, this is just fabulous. LotR and Star Wars are some of my all time favorite trilogies, and to have HTTYD stuck in their... almost a bridge between them... how awesome is that! But seriously, "None of it is pandering to children."? That is one heck of a bold statement! It gives me confidence that the director will do what he must to make this a good story... even if it kinda bugs small kids. I mean, one way he's already done that is by aging the teens. I've yet to meet a young kid who liked that, but for the sake of the story I think that is marvelous. Plus, if you're not stuck trying to please the kiddies you are able to delve into deeper themes and more serious conflicts. If HTTYD2 is anything like the Lord of The Rings, I'll totally do a backflip. The fact that Dean wants to see his trilogy stand up tall amongst others is really something, and who says an animated film can't achieve that legendary status? The first one certainly laid the groundwork, so I am confident that if the second one is good, we may get a really incredible story. And, as the artcicle points out, Dean saved HTTYD when it was on a literally impossible schedule. The man has talent, and he looks like he's pouring it all out onto the sequel. 

Another quote by Dean... and a serious one concerning Hiccup and Toothless: "We really put that friendship to the test. While the first one had some bold ideas, in this film we go bolder. Their friendship takes a really interesting and dramatic turn... I'll say no more."

Now THAT is super incredibly scary and awesome. The article states that this is one of the ways that the angst and darkness of the movie really comes out... in a struggle that revolves around Hiccup and Toothless's friendship. I'm so pleased to see this. Yes, I am excited about the battles and epic scale... but I honestly worried that we would lose the heart of the first movie, and a big portion of the heart of the first film was that it revolved around Hiccup and Toothless's relationship. What will happen? Will it have to do with the fact that they are looking for other Night Furies? Will it be like the books in that Hiccup starts to have to choose between men and Dragons? What about Eret? What if Stoick is threatening to force Hiccup off of Toothless if Hiccup refuses to become chief? Seriously, I have no clue how they will challenge these two, but it's exciting. At the same time... it hurts. Even with both of them being physically broken at the end of the first film, at the soul it felt like they were healed. Everything was perfect, all their problems were behind them and now they could live in peace and continue in there incredible friendship. A happily ever after ending. However, age and circumstances both look like they will come and really break our heroes all over again. That makes for a great story... but it also sort of makes me sad. I so HOPE to see some AMAZING character/friendship/strength moments between them before the end of this!

The article also states that there are absolutely no plans for any HTTYD movies to go past the trilogy.

Am I ok with that? As much as it breaks my heart to think that someday there will be NO new HTTYD things to look forward, I'm actually happy. This way it can be an LotR... a story that ends when it was meant to and has a complete and beautiful arch. If they continued making films... they would gradually and gradually worse, and eventually it would make you almost have to dislike HTTYD. This way, you get it and get it good. Sure, it ends... and then you don't get anymore, but that is way better than a bunch of cheesy sequels taking the amazing characters of HTTYD and making cliche and stupid stories with them just for the sake of a buck. This helps insure that the story will be story oriented, not profit (though I'd love HTTYD2 to make a billion dollars. Probably not gonna happen, but we can hope!). So... sad as I am to think of an eventual end, I think that is better than a slow, horrible decay where we have to watch our characters until we grow sick from how OOC they are made.

Then, most heart-wrenching of all... the truth that we've all dreaded gets a bit more explanation by Dean. He wants the movie to end like the books: "To have Hiccup, a grown, wise Viking Chief standing on a cliff with his stalwart companions, looking at a sky that's no longer teaming with dragons, and over that, hear the first words you read in the How To Train Your Dragon book: 'There were dragons when I was a boy...' It just has this bittersweetness, but it's a satisfying conclusion to Hiccup's growth." 

Ok, that quote is enough to make me cry! It totally is doing it right now! Grrrrr... agh. Heart in rags. I totally wouldn't believe it if movie one hadn't chopped off Hiccup's foot! But Dean's gone and said it! The trilogy will explain why Dragons no longer exist. Ok, that's awful... but then there's one facet of it to be so awful as to be completely heartbreaking: Toothless. Ok, what one EARTH is gonna happen here? Will Hiccup be the first and last person to have that sort of friendship with a dragon? How horribly tragic. How will they be separated? Surely not death... but in it's own way a separation where they have to chose to leave each other is far, far worse. Imagine Hiccup forcing the GotNF tail onto Toothless and telling him goodbye forever... 


I am so pleased that HTTYD is going to be a mature trilogy, if only that people won't mock me for loving it to bits, but DANG. So much awesome news in that article, but at the same time it is chock full of heart-wrenchers. I am confident now that the second movie will be phenomenal... but will I be happy? I don't think I can cope knowing that Hiccup and Toothless's friendship, the thing I have always watched and wished was real, will eventually end. The most beautiful friendship in all of fiction... and it's not going to last? It's Frodo and Sam all over again.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

75 days...

You know, since the last post that I made counting down the days until HTTYD2, an entire FORTH of our wait has vanished. I can remember when the first year passed and I was happy because we were a forth closer (though at that time we thought the sequel would be in 2013). So, when all this started, a forth was an entire year, and now that we've come so far, a forth has passed by so incredibly quickly! Yes! Haha! Keep on counting down little timers because the day is fast approaching!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

HTTYD2/Gemwar Hiccup

After seeing the recent clip, I wanted to do one of two things... and in the end I will probably do both of them. I wanted to draw HTTYD2 Hiccup, and I wanted to draw Toothless itching his armpit XD Well, I wound up doing the Hiccup drawing. This isn't anything special by any standard, but I had fun trying to do it. Wow, people are always so hard to draw.

Now, you might catch some differences in the uniform, and if you do, good. This technically is Hiccup at HTTYD2 age, but he is in his Dsplash armor. During the upcoming Gemwar this the outfit and equipment he will carry. I guess I'll just go through and point out the few changes I made to his AMAZING HTTYD2 outfit.

Ok, the compass isn't a compass. It's actually a silverlight (extremely hard metal) casing that holds Hiccup's shrouding sphere, making him very difficult to track in any dimension.

The knife on his arm is Deathquencher, the knife which brought him back from deletion. He can use this in a choice few dimensions to heal wounds that would prove fatal, and in the Gemnodes' world he can use it to bring characters back from deletion. However, if used too many times, the blade with melt away.

Hiccup's sword is actually his remodeled Endeavor (I have a digital painting of that sword waaaaaay back in the blog somewhere). That is why the dragon head is of a Night Fury. Also, the huge ball of fire at the end is being caused by a bit of Gemshard which is giving off energy. Hiccup can use Endeavor to cleave dimensions, and Link actually used this sword in order to get to Hiccup and save him from Sardilic (technically Toothless was the one who saved him...).

Hiccup has a leaf of Lorien of his chest. This is a keepsake that he has had for a while since he and Frodo destroyed the Ring of Power.

Hiccup does not have the cool skull logo on his left shoulder. That hasn't been the life he's been given. His life has been hard, and there are not fun racing logos. He has a black strike-class symbol, and he wants that symbol to be a beacon to everyone who is willing to strike against the Purpose even if it means certain death. He wishes he could have fun logos and bright red colors... but he is in war.

Finally, he is wearing the Night Fury scale necklace still. Now currently he has lost it in the story, and currently he hasn't even finished this suit, but this is sort of a teaser I suppose as to what he will look like for the rest of the plot. Hiccup, Frodo, Link, and Astrid are the only characters with the scale necklaces. 

So... none of that is all that important or interesting, and I actually tried to change the outfit as little as possible because Hiccup does look so great in HTTYD2. Hopefully... coming up next; Itchy Armpit Toothless! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Clip... Clip... CLIP!!!

WOW! This HTTYD day just became the best one ever! Not only did I massively enjoy re-watching the first film, I get to see a thirty second clip of the second one. AND IT IS THE ONE FROM COMIC CON THAT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! Ok, I'll calm down. *calms down* 

This clip... it wasn't in HD, so the screenshots I have gotten are not exactly as stunning as they could be. Also, I think the animation may not be quite finished (like in the teaser trailer) and it is reusing older soundtrack pieces. BUT that's the negatives, and the negatives pale in comparison to the positives.

Below I have made a compilation of 43 screenshots. Feel free to take them and use them. Also, if you click the "read more" and scroll to the bottom you can get my opinions on some of what happens in the trailer.

Today's the day!!

Well, this is my forth time in a row to celebrate HTTYD day! On this day, in 2010, my favorite movie of all time hit theater screens. I've been in love with the characters (primarily Hiccup and Toothless) for four years straight, and I don't see much to make me think I'll ever stop! So... today DreamWorks is actually doing a streaming and holding a contest on twitter. Sadly, I can't do either because of my swamped schedule. Me and my brother were literally planning a month in advance for this, but apparently school and schedule got the better of me... the saddest thing is that he won't even be around when I watch it today! Boo. Yeah, that stinks. Oh well, he says he kinda wants to make it up on Saturday, so that could be fun.

But, even though I can't make as big of a splash as I would like, I'm still going to celebrate it! I've got to go to my lab soon, but when I get back I'm going to get comfortable and watch this film again... approximately for the 79th time! I'm super excited about it! I haven't watched the straight through yet this year, so it's pretty exciting to get back to it and be reminded why I love it so much. Oh, and I've been doodling in anticipation for it XD

Yep, smile, it's HTTYD day! Seriously folks, this is so strange because by next year we will have TWO HTTYD films, and so I suppose I'll need to celebrate two HTTYD days. It's been tricky to mess with my schedule even enough to get two hours of free-time, but it will be worth it I am sure! I can't wait to sit back down. I've purchased myself some drinks and snacks, and I brought one of my Night Furies from home (Haha, Toothless is now exploring my dormitory) along with my Night Fury mug. I wanted to get swedish fish for my dragon to munch, but the store didn't have any! It's not a big celebration... I'm doing it alone because I can't join in with the rest of the fandom or even have my brother around, but I still think this is going to be great fun.

 Just two hours away now! Ah, I love this movie! I hope you will all enjoy HTTYD day! If you do anything fun, please let me know!

Toothless Party!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Little did Dagur know...

This is actually a quote from Dagur in the second to last episode of DoB. I actually found that quote incredibly funny because Dagur has NO IDEA how accurately he is describing things! He's trying to be mocking and condescending, but little does he grasp the beauty of what he is describing. So, I decided to take the quote and give it a sequel twist. How's Toothless been feeling? How've the last five years treated him? Hiccupy good, that's for sure! But... that may change very, very soon.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thanks... I guess. I'm so torn!

Well... I'm really not sure what to do with this post or this toy!!! Ugh. Ick. Ack. Well, a very good friend of mine (who is fully aware of my Skrillapobia and the reasons behind it) kindly bought me the Skrill action figure. Now, on the one hand this is AWESOME! These are hard, hard, HARD to find online and they are priced at up to sixty dollars. So, unless you luck out and come across one in a store, you really can't get your hands on them. On the other hand, well...

When he handed it to me, I imagine he couldn't tell, but my hand was shaking like crazy. Even I did not expect that! My stomach sank and my legs felt watery. It just felt wrong to be holding a physical manifestation of a creature who has quite personally attacked me in my dreams and pulled me to bits and then eaten those bits. As if the fact that this dragon attacked Hiccup in that one harrowing story wasn't enough, it wound up haunting me! So, now I could go and write a review of it, and I will say it is one of the best DoB toys I've seen, but I don't really feel up to investigating it. The question becomes... where on earth can I put this thing? I don't want to look at it every time I go into my room. I mean, ughhhhhhh... my hand was shaking when I was trying to take these pictures. How can a hunk of plastic invoke such ridiculously paranoid emotions?

Well... I have found a place for it: under the bed. Seems poetic. That way I can't see it, but I know it's there. I'm glad my Night Fury figures out number this Skrill by about twenty to one... but still.

Thanks to the guy who got this for me... I guess. My voice trembled when I tried to thank him in person. Shoot, I really thought I would be able to hold it together. It's just an imaginary dragon after all!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Obliged to like HTTYD2 no matter what?

Recently someone told me, "You will like the second How To Train Your Dragon, you will like it no matter what. Even if it is not good, you will like it out of principle because it is How To Train Your Dragon, and you've been waiting for years."

So, is this person right? In a way, yes, but also very much no. To be honest, if I was to do anything out of principle, if I was to be obliged to do anything concerning the second film I would actually critique it. Yes, believe it or not, as a massive fan of HTTYD as a film and a story, I would probably feel tempted to criticize the second film for every single way it didn't live up to the first one. That's what I feel often about RoB and DoB, BUT there is a deeper reason I kinda was miffed by the series at times, and it is the actual reason that I will probably like the second movie no matter what.

I will not like the second movie because it is a second HTTYD. I won't like it because I think of myself as an HTTYD fan and therefore I must enjoy it. No, I will enjoy the second HTTYD because I love, love, LOVE the characters. It is that simple. The person who pretty much said I was obliged to like it simply couldn't get that. It's not that this is a second film, it's that Hiccup and Toothless are finally back. I believe so, so much that both of them will remain completely in-character throughout the entire second movie, and that excites me so much! It will be like finally seeing two great friends again. Sure, the story may or may not be as good, the themes may or may not be done as well, the plot may or may not feel as gloriously paced, BUT it is still Hiccup and Toothless. So, unless they are out of character (Odin forbid), I will love seeing them again!! I may not enjoy it as much as the first film, that's where the variables come in, but will I like it no matter what? Almost certainly yes! That's like asking whether or not I will be happy to hang around my best friends. Some days, what they are doing might be less inspiring, less fun, less interesting, but they are still my friends. I've grown to love Hiccup and Toothless like that, grown to care about them, so in a way there is almost no way I would dislike this film. It may not be as good, but it will still be them, and I'll be hanging on to every beautiful or intense moment they have together. Don't get me wrong, I think the story looks excellent, the themes look marvelous, and so many other things that make me truly believe that this will be an incredible movie by any standard. It will be a great movie, but even if those things let me down a little, the only thing that could truly make me not like HTTYD would be Hiccup or Toothless OOC, and that just isn't going to happen. I've seen Dean, I've watched how he's crafting this, and I feel sure that when I watch that movie, the Hiccup and Toothless I love will steal my heart yet again. I will like this movie, and yes, almost no matter what!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Everything the Light Touches

Sorry, it's been quite a while since I last posted a Chronicle! This one isn't too long, but for those of you who haven't gotten the chance to ask around and figure out some of the history of Dsplash, this Chronicle will give you that. It serves two purposes. First, it gives you an idea of what has and is happening back in the Gemnode dimension. Second, it introduces you to a character who has been helping the "good guys" for some time, but I've not gotten the chance to talk about him properly in any Chronicle. This story is stuffed with cameos, and each cameo does have a back story, so if it triggers your curiosity, I would be happy to answer any questions left in the comments.

Click the read more to see the story.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

College Doodles

So, when I am waiting for classes to start (which is just about every day), sometimes I pull out my pencil and doodle in my school notebooks. This is the result of all that. I will just post a bunch of these images, and I know they are not great art, but they are a little fun. Most of them are HTTYD, with a tiny bit of Dsplash tossed in.

This is a concept sketch of Venevonix Diamond (a Gemnode) after shapeshifting into one of his more human forms. To see about twenty five more doodles, click the read more. I hope you like them.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hiccup's new dilemma

This bit of HTTYD2 is one of the most interesting for me. At Comic Con, Dean said that most of Hiccup's problems were completely fixed at the end of the first film, so he tried hard to find a realistic way for Hiccup to be challenged by new things in the second film. Aging him made that easy. Hiccup's new challenge is one that isn't easy to face: maturing.

The new HTTYD2 site gave us a wonderful insight into all this. For a while we've known that Stoick wants Hiccup to take up the mantle of chief and settle down, but Hiccup's attitude towards this had only been hinted at. We now know that he really isn't all that keen on it, and because of that he keeps avoiding his father by flying off with Toothless and mapping new lands. While Stoick sings Hiccup's praises back on Berk, the to-be-chief is always obviously absent. I get the feeling that Stoick will eventually vent frustration with Hiccup over this... lots of frustration. I wouldn't be surprised if Toothless was even blamed. Even Astrid teasingly accuses Hiccup of spending his days "goofing off". 

So... what will wind up happening with this? Hiccup is running because he does not want to become his father, and he is trying to figure out who he should grow into. That's complicated significantly by Stoick and the villages expectations. Shouldn't the home-town-hero be just itching to take up a position of authority? Well... he isn't, and we even got a lovely hint at that in the finale of DoB. Hiccup doesn't want to be squeezed yet again into his culture's view of what he should and must be. "You walk like us, you talk like us, you think like us. No more of...this." comes back to mind. 

I actually feel sympathetic towards Hiccup's plight. My father is a truly amazing man, and although he has never given me pressure to be just like him, I do catch hints and whispers of people, even people I deeply admire, saying I should grow up and follow in his footsteps. I don't feel called to do that. I don't in anyway think that what my father is doing is not truly amazing, but it's just not what I feel led to do... or be. So, it's a normal-ish thing I suppose... what with maturing, to feel torn over what one is really going to mature into. At one end, you want to take advice from people who care about you, but on the other it is tricky to know what you actually should be... because compared to most other people you do know your own personality much better than they do.

Now, the main question I have is this: what will Hiccup eventually do? I sympathize and even empathize with him for running away, for just avoiding the conflict, but I wonder what he will eventually do. I can see two possibilities. One, he does run, and through his running and the conflicts he meet he discovers much more of who he is, who he needs to be, and he grows into that man even if his culture isn't all hunky-dory with it. The second, more book-like option, is that Hiccup starts by running, but eventually the conflict forces him to take up a throne that he himself is reluctant to sit upon. That is very much what has happened in the books, what with him pretty much being forced by destiny to be the King of the Wilderwest. I'd be happy with either... the first because I do like the idea of discovering oneself and finding out what would be best for one to grow into. Just because the culture has an idea of what a man should be, doesn't mean it is correct. I'm not saying rebel for the sake of rebelling, not at all! But if the culture is not right, then conforming to it is wrong, and perhaps Hiccup is not supposed to grow into a chief, perhaps that isn't right for him, and then if that is true it may not be what is right for Berk. Of course... the second option is also quite good as it would emphasize maturing into responsibility. Still... I'm not sure which way the plot will go! In the end... both would require a lot of courage from Hiccup, and I bet it will be a bumpy ride! This issue alone is enough to make the movie incredibly interesting, so toss in Valka, a Dragon extinction, and a war to end all wars, and we're gonna hopefully be getting a very multi-faceted and interesting plot!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Awwwwwww' Sweetest HTTYD2 image yet!

So the HTTYD website has updated and flooded us with TONS of things to spazz over! Everything from revealing very clearly Hiccup's mindset towards the idea of chiefing in the second film (which was nicely hinted at at the very end of DoB) to the revelation of Hiccup's exact age, Cloudjumper's gender, and many other things! Although... I will point out that I wouldn't trust all these stats. For example Stormfly is considered a tracker class, and BarfBelch are placed into mystery. It is probably just an accident. The other thing is that some of the dragons' lengths are not correctly represented. We know for a fact that Zipplebacks, according to the actual cgi rig dimensions, are about 89' long. These stats show Barf and Belch being much shorter. ALL that aside, the info is super fun to look into, even if it occasionally inconsistent (at one point it shows Snotlout as 5'3" and then lower on the page he is 5'6"). The character descriptions are to die for! Hiccup, Astrid, and Toothless especially. Toothless's worried me at first, but then when I got bellow the large heading and read the body paragraph, I was really pleased with things they brought up (his being more of Hiccup's best friend than his pet, AND his demanding respect from both men and dragons). So, cool stuff! Astrid was described in such an interesting, honest, no nonsense way, it made me think that she really will be a great character. Soooooo... head on over to the HTTYD website, ignore the inconsistencies, and you should find some fun new stuff! (*cough* including the fact that Hiccup and I will turn twenty on the same year *cough* and the fact that he and I are the same weight *cough*)

As for the above image, I just love it to bits. It captures so much of the essence of that happy bond they have between each other. It is really charming, cute, and calm... the kind of moments that makes one almost envious of Hiccup XD I wish I could find it in a larger format. It is pretty big atm, but not quite 1080p. Out of all the HTTYD posters and promotional images, this one, so far, is my absolute favorite. I would love to get a really high quality printing of it and hang it in my room. 

Yay for the continuous approach of HTTYD2!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Actually, a really decent toy!

Ok, I collect a lot of Toothlesses just because they are kinda neat to scatter around the my room. Sadly, aside from the chibi ones that came out with DoB (which are neat just because of the art style) most of them are not as accurate as I would like. I mean, I wouldn't let go of them for anything, but I just am usually not blown away. This Toothless figure, however, actually shocked me with it's play value!

It is nicely detailed, fairly well painted, and adequately cute. The size is convenient too! His wing finger count is off, but the head spike count and tail finger count is correct. His head can cock to the side, and that is always nice. But the best thing was actually the action/play feature! This is the Spinning Tail Toothless toy! Spinning tail? Yep. You wind the thing up, and the the front side of the body spins really, really smoothly! It looks very much like the dragon is pulling off aa Night Fury-esque cork-screw. I was really pleased. Of course... his tail doesn't spin (which is not exactly anatomically correct) but that bit of him is hidden well within my hand when I play around with it. It's surprisingly fun! I usually just collect the Toothless toys to be show pieces, just little figurines, but this one is really fun to mess around with. I would HIGHLY recomend it for younger dragon fans. Seriously, if you know a little boy or girl who is into the film or series or second film (smart kid) who has a bday coming up, I would like to suggest this as as a gift! It's fun, and a real treat if you happen to be fond of Toothless.

Hope you find this review at least remotely interesting. Not my deepest post. Maybe I'm just in a good mood, but this toy struck me as being a quality piece of HTTYD merchandise.

*General Grievous Voice* Another Toothless to my collection (ick, yes, I just did a parity quote of the prequel trilogy. *washes out mouth*). *Hiccup voice* Oh, well, there's that warm, fuzzy feeling I was looking for. Sorry, I've got less than wonderful feelings towards the prequel trilogy!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Just a note!

So... where I am until wednesday has HORRIBLE wifi, so though I can sorta get emails, I can't access disqus, so I can't find a way to reply to lots of your comments until later this week. Thanks for leaving them, but I won't answer until I get home this wednesday.

Also, the new HTTYD stuff for sale on the HTTYD store on the HTTYD2 website is really, really cool! But it is PRICY! Darn... I kinda wonder whether I'll buy any of it because of the cost. Sigh... I really want to! This second movie is gonna break my bank account.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

How the Skrill was Done

This is my second attempt at making an HTTYD based music video, and it is still very tricky! However, I do think this one is a little better. I think I broke some kind of nerdy crossover record by the song I chose. It is How it Was Done from the third season of the Sherlock series (which is a good show, but I would NOT recommend watching it without editing). Haha, then mix the Skrill in there and I came out with this! I actually got the idea while walking back to my dorm late at night. It was a lengthy-ish walk, and I had my iPod headphones in. This song started playing, and I looked around and felt just a bit spooked (I have seriously bad Skrillaphobia!), so I pelted off running. After that I thought the Skrill could kinda fit the music in a funny sort of way, so I made this video. Hope you can catch some areas where I tried to make the music match the movement of the pictures (for instance, the film music goes slow when the Skrill is in captivity and then picks back up when he is free). Hope you like it!

Also, this video is 1080p, so I suppose you could open it full screen if you want to get a better look at it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

100 days away...

Ok, I've wanted to do this for a while, but I have been waiting for an appropriate date. Considering that we are now exactly 100 days away from watching HTTYD2 in theaters, I figured that today was as appropriate as they could come.

The point of this post is this: Really and truly, what is my opinion of what the sequel will be like? Am I really all that excited? Am I not worried about anything? Am I going to be disappointed when I see it in theaters after waiting four years for it to come out? Do I think it will live up to what we have all been hoping for? In general, I'm going to just discuss the mindset I am carrying as I go into this movie.

First off, yes, I am really excited. I mean, it's only 100 days away. I can remember when I was excited because it was only a year away, I can remember being excited two summers ago because we were halfway there! It's been a long, long wait, and honestly it has made me put HTTYD2 into a category of "things that are super far away but will be nice when they get here". Now that it is no longer far away, now that it is closer than other movies that I am seeing advertised, and I honestly don't know how on earth to handle it! I mean, come on people we are getting HTTYD2 adds on our macaroni! It's exciting! It takes me back four years when HTTYD was actually still pretty popular for everyone, not just fans. I watch the adds and look at the images, and I honestly don't know how to handle my emotional response. This is a full blown second movie. This isn't DoB or RoB where we are super limited on how much the characters can be developed or on how big the plots can go. There really are just about no holds barred in a sequel like this. Stoick could die, Hiccup could lose another limb, Toothless could be injured, Berk could be overrun, Hiccup's mom could (and apparently will) return, and Hiccup and Astrid could even get married! So much can happen, and they have and hour and forty five minutes to do it. That is just so exciting, to think that we will be getting just as much gloriously well animated material as we got in the first film. After RoB/DoB, this film is 1. Going to feel SO LONG. and 2. Going to feel so brilliantly animated. Long story short, I am excited, just by the concept that we are getting a second film.

Second, am I worried about anything? Yes and No. Honestly, I've spent a good amount of time worrying about just about EVERY fact that gets revealed about this movie. I can remember when it bugged me so much that Hiccup was older. I felt like a lot of the emotional and even physical vulnerability that Hiccup had in the first film (which I related to) would be stripped away and he would become too heroic for me to really enjoy. I worried that changing his look would make me feel suddenly like I had to meet the character over again, have to like him all over again, and I LOVED the way HTTYD1 Hiccup looked. I didn't want the change. I didn't want it at all. But now that I see what they have done with it, see what the potential is, I'm really pleased. I'm not going to say that it was an amazing decision until I see how the entire movie handles it, but let's just say I think it really has the potential to be (plus Hiccup and I are the same age again XD). But that's not the only thing I've worried about. I've worried about too much getting crammed into one plot, I've worried about Hotccup (sigh), I've worried about Toothless only being cute (because that is his more merchandisable side), I've worried about Eret and Ruffnut's subplot, I've worried about the film having one purely evil antagonist, I've worried about there being another massive dragon (two of them apparently), I've worried about Valka's return being cliche, I've worried about Hiccup losing his dorkiness (and become a RoB extrovert), I've worried about Toothless simply becoming a secondary character (or worse a superweapon in the dragon war), and I've worried a lot that this massive war and scale would steal away the heart of the first film. Am I still worried about these things? Yes, and more than just these. I could give my responses to each of them to try and prove to you and myself that I don't need to worry, but that would take too long, and I've honestly got a single thing that I am keeping in mind that helps me not to be as apprehensive.

I have this mindset, and it is hopefully a mindset that will make me enjoy this movie even after waiting four years for it. I came into HTTYD1 not expecting much, I'm coming into HTTYD2 expecting what I believe will be delivered: a great sequel. And the reason I am most confident about that is the director. Seriously, I am so, so pleased with what Dean has said he is doing in the sequel. RoB honestly scared me in that it showed how sort of off-balanced HTTYD stuff could be taken, but it wasn't run by Dean. Every smidgin of plot that I have seen so far, every Hiccup or Toothless mannerism, it seems to live and breath like the first movie, and that makes me excited. You could even plow back and find my Valka post to see that I think that there will even be worldview conflicts in this tale, and that is so exciting because that was a major issue in the first film: People trying to do what was right, but actually doing the opposite things because they differed on one crucial aspect: the dragons. I honestly think and hope that the sequel will continue that, and it's very exciting. Aging Hiccup has opened up tons of doors for deeper character development, and if that is in their, then the epic scale of the plots that we have been shown will weave themselves together into a deep story of a man maturing as opposed to a cheap action flick that kids can watch. I think Dean knows what he is doing, so I don't freak out when I hear things that make me nervous. I just trust that he will make it all work, and that is how I keep calm. He is a good director, and it will be a good film. It will NOT be the first film, and that is something that I have to constantly remind myself of. It will be different, and in many ways that is good, and then in the ways that it is the same I will also be pleased. I want to see a movie that develops Hiccup and Toothless differently than the first one did. What if that means it isn't as incredible as the first film (Forbidden Friendship really can't ever be repeated!)? Then I am fine, but I want to see the characters and stories grow. In some ways, it will have to have a slightly different heart because Hiccup and Toothless will be dealing with different times, but I want it to be a natural progression of their characters, and I really do think it will be. It won't be the first film, and some things we love about the first film really only can work in the first one, but I do really think it will be a great second step in Hiccup's story, it will be a continuation in the lives of our heroes, and that is exciting to see them growing even through struggles that they have never faced before.

Now, do I think it will live up to what we have been hoping for? Haha, honestly, NOPE. I really don't. I've written out or dreamed out little bits of what I wanted to see in a sequel, Glory has too (read the webnovel people!), and so have many others of us. We all have hopes, we all have favorite aspects of HTTYD, so we start envisioning the sequel the way we would like it. For some people, that's lots of Hiccstrid, for me it would be a whole, whole lotta Hiccup and Toothless developing, responsibility issues with Stoick, and probably a Skrill as the antagonist! But that's not what we are getting. Others may want really epic dragon fights, others may want it to be a lot darker than the first one, others might want to see the rest of the teens develop into more well rounded characters... it just depends on your tastes and what appealed to you in the first film. HTTYD was very multifaceted in its appeal (a 98 from Rotten Tomatoes gives us a hint at that!), and so many people come away really liking slightly different things about it. I know full well that not all the things I like about it will be celebrated as much as I want  in the second film, but I'm ok with that. I'm confident that it will be different from what I am expecting, but it will probably be better. Again, the director is very talented. HTTYD was my ideal story, but I would never have dreamed it up myself, so if I couldn't come up with the first one, why should I think that my ideas of what the second one should be like are good? I am very happy to say that I believe I will be pleasantly surprised at some elements, and I actually already have been! It won't be what I've dreamed, but if I'm lucky, and if I come at it expecting to see a really wonderful film, I think it will be better than what I imagined (haha! The playfight in the trailer was already enough of a dream come true! I'd pay ten bucks just to see that full clip in theaters!).

So, that's my mindset about the second film. It will be good because the man behind it is actually devoted to doing a good job, and it will not be what I expect, but it may very well be better. 100 days from now... who knows? I could be disappointed, but I'm hopeful that I won't be.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Nothing Touches My Boy

So, it has been a little while since I drew a Toothless image which emphasized his fierce, as opposed to his charming, side. I really love the mysterious, beautiful, terrifying, powerful aspects of him as a character. Anyway, the context of the image is that Toothless and Hiccup are sleeping somewhere out in the wilderness, and while Hiccup sleeps soundly, Toothless keeps a careful eye out. In a land like Berk, who knows what kind of dangers could slink in the shadows (Skrill...), but any hungry creature or opportunistic thief would be highly unwise to try and touch Toothless's dearest treasure. Anything that is brave or foolish enough to disturb Hiccup's sleep will face a the full rage and power of the most feared and legendary of all dragons.

So, this was also me wanting to make another painting that was actually a full scene. That's tricky for me... because I usually get really impatient once I finish my characters, and I let the background slip and just do something quick. After I finished this earlier painting, I really started to want to make more pictures that were a complete scene. The problem is that it takes much more time, and even this image shows that I struggle to get lighting, detail, and perspective when it comes to drawing landscapes. Still, the moonlight on Toothless and the overall lighting is kinda nice... I'm at least pleased enough with it to have it as my iPhone background image.

Haha, now that I've gotten my snarly Toothless fix, I'm feeling much better! I love when he is cute, but the fact that he is also so mysterious and dangerous is really what makes the cuteness stand out amidst millions of cutsie animals. The fact that Toothless has such dynamic and dual personality is one of my favorite things about him. I hope you enjoy the image. As usual it will be bigger if you open it in a new window. As usual I welcome constructive criticism, advice, or opinions in the comments section.