Friday, August 25, 2017

RttE: Dawn of Destruction

Hi all! We have a new season of RttE, and I've been working my way through it. Sorry for the lack of recent posts. I'm in grad school working in a PhD program. I'm also working on an original story, and I'd really like to see that get published in one medium or another once I've finished it. Between those two things, I'll probably be a little more absent. Sorry about that. However, I will certainly write a lot about the third movie when it comes out, and I'll try and keep up with the series as well. 

Speaking of that, I've watched up to the episode Dawn of Destruction, and I'm gonna give you my random stream of thoughts that I wrote down while watching the episode. They aren't organized into pros and cons, just random things I thought while seeing the episode for the first time. Feel free to let me know what you thought of this episode! 

Dawn of Destruction

Hiccstrid: what the heck. Quit using that term. There is a difference between fan service and just being stupid. I use that term all the time myself, but this kind of breaking the fourth wall doesn't fit into HTTYD.

Hiccup getting better at fighting… I’m ok with that, but being close to Astrid’s level? That was awfully quick. I always liked Hiccup as a non-combat oriented character. Heck, his sword is more of a flaming baton in the movie, not a deadly weapon. All in all, felt off.

Since when have Hiccup and Astrid not been together and more focused on one another than they are on the other teens? Seriously. End of first movie. After that point, they are basically a couple. Fast forward to movie 2, and Astrid is the one able to track Hiccup down on his world-mapping exploits, and she even helps him with his cartography. I don’t think the whole “teens are jealous” really fits. In reality, the films never give off vibes that Hiccup is super, super close to the other teens. He spends almost all his time with Toothless and Astrid, and that’s fine. Is it wrong to have only a few really close friends? Not everyone is a social butterfly.

Ok, that little dance maneuver, though sort of out of line with the timeline, is super precious. I think we all want to see Hiccup and Astrid perform “For the Dancing and the Dreaming” sometime after the events of the second film. 

Evil dragon riders. Great idea. It’s scary, their design looks good, and it is one of the most legitimate ways to attack Hiccup and what he stands for. However, this feels chronologically out of place. Hiccup is shocked to hear about another dragon rider in the second film. Drago, a man who masters dragons, never puts his men on their backs. It’s like this is a “technological leap”, something more advanced than any of the villains have done before, but it is all happening before the events of the second movie. It’s kinda like the Star Wars prequel trilogy… where everything looked more advanced even though it was supposed to be older. You just don’t get any sort of vibe in the second film that Hiccup has had to deal with wicked dragon riders before. What Drago does is scary enough, don’t go trying to trump it in the tv series. It just doesn’t really feel canon. 

Ooooooh. “It’s getting dark, and Toothless owns the night.” This is a strong aspect in the first film, but it seems to have been mostly forgotten… even in the second movie. I always loved how Toothless was a stealth bomber, so seeing that be referenced actually earns this episode quite a lot of brownie points from me!

Though the premise of the teens feeling left out seems kinda dumb, the moment Hiccup becomes determined and gives his mini-speech about saving Fishlegs was actually pretty darn good. Nice to see Snotlout being happy to have Hiccup lead, and even the twins fall in line. Although the premise is faulty, that was touching. If handled more carefully, that could have been really powerful. Kudos, RttE!

Losing the edge was surprisingly dramatic, and unlike most defeats in the series, it felt pretty realistic. There was a victory in saving Fishlegs, but in the end they lost their home. Hiccup going out of his way to destroy the hall was pretty epic, sacrificing his emotions in order to prevent his enemies from getting any more of an advantage. Overall, that ending was genuinely well done. The new baddie is intimidating, and although I didn’t initially think much of the Singetail’s design, it has begun to grown on me. I still think having bad riders is out of place, but if you swallow that pill, the end of this episode really makes sense, it’s impactful, and I actually was moved by it. As much as I hate on aspects of the show, it does often surprise me. 

So, there are my thoughts, but what did you guys think? I haven't finished this season yet, but so far I think this has been the only episode that I've actually really enjoyed. The rest have felt kinda meh. Haha, but there is still plenty in store in season five, so I have my fingers crossed.

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