I didn't sleep well ;)
Um… let's see, where to start? Oh, as for your minor displeasure at the film not focuing much on Hicctooth (making Toothless not really do many things as his own individual and focusing more on Valka and stuff), yeah… I can see that. Particularly at the beginning and stuff, but I think it is only fair to give them wiggle room because this isn't the first movie, and because of that Hiccup and Toothless act as one now… or at least act as one until near the end! I think, just imo, that the actions Toothless took at the very end really did justify his lack of decisiveness in doing anything really significant before that. You do have a point, the plot was not quite as Hicctooth as one could have hoped, BUT I will say the CLIMAX was. To be fair, the movie was certainly Hiccup's, but that end belonged to Toothless and Toothless alone, and I loved it. I seriously would love to watch the film again and PLOW into analyzing what Toothless must have been feeling during that scene in particular. Everything in his nature must have been telling him that small dragons don't challenge Alphas, but he gets up on that ice shrieking with rage. Hiccup's not getting hurt again, even if Toothless has to stand ALONE against the most massive dragon on the planet. I was surprised that I liked that… the fact that for most of Toothless's rising to the position of Alpha he was doing it on his own, he had been used (btw, was that a Red Rage ref or am I stupid?), he's had Hiccup shove him away in disgust, he's been ridden by a man determined to destroy everything he cares about, and then he and Hiccup have nearly been killed in a blast of ice. It's almost like a "This ENDS NOW." Moment for him. Gah, just his expressions in that scene! Priceless. Really found that inspiring. Agreed, Toothless does not act as much as an individual character in this film, there certainly is less Hicctooth building… at least until the end. Then at that end Hicctooth seriously gets broken, to a level that is almost cruel, and upon it's being mended we REALLY do get to see things in them we've never seen before:
We see how utterly and amazingly forgiving and level headed and loving and empathic Hiccup really is with Toothless.
We see just what happens when you push a Night Fury past were you should! As I've been saying, it's like Toothless has finally been pushed too far, Drago bit off just one tiny bit more than he could chew, and now all heck is gonna break loose.
So, that's kinda, sorta my analysis!
Ok, but back to reactions. Ahem. The one friend I saw it with CRIED in the funeral scene! Him! I mean, I thought Stoick would die, but like others have said, I really really wasn't expecting that. So… here's how I reacted.
When Toothless started to fall under the influence, just right at the beginning, I suddenly realized what might be happening, and it made my skin crawl all over and made me feel sick. But, to be genuinely honest, I was crying long before Stoick took the hit. As soon as Toothless's eyes slitted and he started bearing down on Hiccup, I was crying. I was genuinely disturbed. Seriously. Just flat out mortified just by that scenario. You know how my head works, how it rushes to worst possible conclusions, and so as SOON as that eerie music started playing and Toothless started moving in on him I was crying. I didn't stop, not for a really, really long time. And wasn't the funeral scene AMAZING? Seriously. Remember the docks scene? The scene were Hiccup is at his lowest? I mean, when he says that he "is not the peace maker he thought he was" I just SOBBED. It's like everything he ever was or cared for had been taken from him. And then… then the praises he gave his dad. I've never related more to Hiccup than I did at that moment. He's supposed to look cool in this film, supposed to sort of be an action hero, but he breaks down, cries, and says that he can never be the man his father was (gah, starting to cry all over again!). The whole, my father was so selfless, so courageous, I could never be that kind of man speech, I feel that SO OFTEN. I look at my dad, and that is my EXACT sentiment. I swear, the fact that Hiccup actually voiced something that I feel so pointedly so often… it was shocking. That entire scene was by far the best handled funeral scene I've ever witnessed.
(At this point, the fans I was mailing said that the movie really felt like it was made for fans, like it reflected the deepest and best stories we've ever dreamed up) Yes! The film really did feel like it belonged to the fans, and that was massively satisfying. It took bold moves… like moves that are way bolder than most that I've ever seen.
Ok, but on a lighter note, Hiccup and Valka really were fun together. Oh, and THAT SONG. Stoick and Valka singing was just beautiful. Yep, that was fantastic. OH! And I was SO IMPRESSED with Dean actually chiefing Hiccup! With the whole movement today of "kids should all be able to grow up into whatever they wanna be, they should all chase their dreams and society should never dictate who they should be or what they should grow into or unfairly place responsibility on them" stuff, I was super pleased to see that maturation moment for Hiccup. It's almost like he was still kind of a child through out the film until that point, and though it is sad to see him leave that childhood, it was also a stunning, beautiful scene.
Oh, and Toothless was ADORABLE through out the majority of the film! I Looooooooooooooved Valka first investigating him! That was hilarious, and just uber cute! I wanna do that XD
Yeeeeewwwwwwwww, but when Cloudjumper spits fish up for him! THAT WAS SOOO GROSS! Best thing evah! Hahaha! That was just totally HTTYD. Let's make gross cute!
Oh, and I did love Hiccup with Eret! When he just hands himself over and it's just making Eret mad because it looks like such a stupid plan! Typical Hiccup! He's never really been one for tried and true methods. Oh, and I loved when Astrid first met Drago and smack talked him! Oh, and Stormfly and Eret… that was neat! Felt that that was handled very well. Got just enough screen time to make you care and then didn't waste time dwelling on it.
Gobber was very funny, and at least in this film, I do feel that I still really like him as a character. "Grump! You let the forge die again." KA-BOOM "That's it Grump! You're goin' up for adoption!" Lots of really fun moments like that, but in the end… it really was a dark film! Very intense! Even with all that charm and all those Toothless antics, I walked away feeling very satisfied in the fact that this plot was NOT fluffy. Do you realize that Hiccup forbidden friendshipped Toothless right out of Drago's captivity!? I mean, I did not expect another touch scene, but that was great! I'm not usually a fan of things like that, were emotion gauges ability, but just like the first one (when Toothless was able to get out of the cove in order to save Hiccup) I felt that the way it was handled really gave more respect to the idea of love and friendship, as opposed to making it silly. So, kudos to that!
Anyway… to be totally honest I'm still hurting. Just hurting. Haha, writing most of the above stuff cheered me up because it helped me delve into some of thematic deepness of this film. But, I mean, my poor, poor heart. I still just can't quite believe it happened. Suddenly it almost feels like Toothless is no longer safe, almost no longer trust worthy, and that is hard for me. Really hard. He's kinda my go-to for comfort, and so seeing him be forced to do something so powerfully awful was pretty heart shattering. I still appreciate it, but man oh man oh man! I really do think my Skrill phobia is wearing off. It just seems so much less dreadful than what happened there. Toothless forced upon Hiccup, practically completely incapable of knowing what he was doing, and the scene was just so sick. I mean, that was messed up. You don't have Toothless slit eyed and bearing down on Hiccup like that. It sent me into a tizzy. I mean, I relate so much to Hiccup, continued to do so in the film (which was massively satisfying! I do kind of like the fact that he is more confident, but then the fact that what he kinda enjoys doing most in his life is running off and being alone with Toothless, I think you can tell Dean cares a lot about keeping him IC). And by the red rage scene, I was seriously feeling betrayed in a sick and monstrous kind of way when Toothless was stalking towards "me" under the influence of that horrible creature. It's just terrifying, it really is. And then the music at that bit! Blood freezing. Seriously, last night I couldn't sleep for hours, I just laid shivering, getting chills over and over and over again remembering that scene. And then when Stoick takes the hit… it was like my best and most trusted friend had just been forced to shoot my dad… or at the very least that I had to watch my dearest and closest friend watch his own father die. It was so inglorious. No last words… Man, that scene took the cake. That one and the when Toothless decides that enough is enough and that the Alpha is going down. Those two were fantastically dramatic and I felt rather deep. I know using the Red Rage type thing to control Toothless was mildly gimmicky, but I really think that it was so well done that it really did feel right, felt like it could happen, and it was a really good reminder that he's still an animal, still a dragon with strange, primal thinking that can be tapped into and really manipulated. The fact that Jay said this was the darkest chapter in the trilogy, heh, boy was he not lying!
Great film. I really, really liked it. I mean, the negatives I could have pointed out would be incredibly minuscule! The over all effect was so incredibly emotional. So deep, and then just the fact that a spear was indeed put in between Hiccup and Toothless, the fact that Hiccup matured, the fact that Toothless and Hiccup in the end really were closer after such a harrowing experience as opposed to farther, it was amazing. Well played, Dean, well played.