Thursday, June 7, 2018

Thoughts on the new TRAILER (part 1)

So, the trailer dropped this morning, and it was NUTS. I'm gonna try and go into it in some detail below the "read more".

Ok, so I'm just gonna come out and say it: I LOVE THE WAY THIS FILM IS LOOKING. The graphics, the conflict, the story, the character design, the interactions, the nods to the books... everything about it feels like it will be the perfect way to end this epic, EPIC story. I'll try and run through the parts of the trailer and give my thoughts.

Let's start with the beginning.

"There were dragons when I was a boy. Where they went, only a few know. Our story changed the world forever."

If that didn't hit me in the feels, I don't know what else could! This is such an excellent tribute to the books. I remember ages back when Dean first said he wanted the story to end with this quote, and I thought that that would be AMAZING, but I assumed he just meant he wanted to have that general vibe. I did NOT expect to hear Hiccup voicing those words. The HTTYD story is coming full circle, respecting it's book roots, while at the same time making bold steps in its own direction. The whole first part of the trailer (along with the song) is totally geared towards hitting the nostalgia of the older fans. It grabs those of us who remember first watching Forbidden Friendship, who cheered at the release of the second movies first teaser, and who read the books even though they were so different from the films. It hit me HARD, and I was already almost completely convinced that I was gonna love the trailer even before the really showed us any footage.

Ok, bearded Hiccup? Yeah, I'm cool with it. To be fair, I don't have many protagonists that I adore who are bearded, and I'm not necessarily planning on growing one (although that might change now!). However, as a Viking cheif, it feels really fitting. It also makes him really feel like he has matured. Sure, he's the same person, but his role now seems to be that of a wise leader, not a brave and reckless explorer. I am glad that he won't have this much facial hair throughout the majority of the film, but I will say I am really pleased with it. It is also a really, really nice homage to Stoick. Hiccup even has the diamond-shaped armor and the fur cape (plus little Night Fury clasps... and does Toothless's chest look broader? My, he is a handsome dragon!). He has filled the huge boots his father left for him... in his own way, but nevertheless in a way that would make his father proud.

Berk certainly has changed in the last few years (is it two or three years since the last film...?). I love how the statue that was smashed by Drago's Bewliderbeast has been rebuilt, but it isn't a Viking anymore! Instead, it is a dragon! Now the guardians of Berk's harbor clearly represent the harmony (and chaos) that the Vikings and dragons now thrive in! Also, in this shot you can see Valka on the back of Cloudjumper... if only for a second. I was wondering if she was still going to be a major part of the film. I'd hate it if she ran off! She promised to stay!

And, yeah, Hiccup has made Utopia! That being said, in true HTTYD fashion, the island of Berk is still pretty nutty to live on! I do love the grossness factor of the HTTYD films (ha, like the fish puking)... it makes them feel kinda down to earth and real. After all, living with giant reptiles probably wouldn't be all high flying glory! 

The Light Fury is amazing. She acts very much like Toothless did before he met Hiccup! I like how her vocalizations are slightly different, a little higher and more bird-like. Seeing Toothless examining this dragon in the fog felt so right. It is yet again the perfect balance of mystery and charm. You just can't top Night Furies. I've already discussed her design, but I did NOT expect her disappearing trick. I have no idea what that is... but it is really cool. I worried that a white dragon just would not be stealthy, and thus would not be able to really fit in as a Night Fury. This changes that, and it also makes her look very intelligent. I also like how basically all the scenes between her and Toothless are in low lighting. After all, Night Furies should be nocturnal. 

Now, as for anyone who is worrying about Astrid just bluntly saying, "She's a Light Fury", I highly doubt that will be the only explanation we get. That being said, these films don't HAVE to explain everything in perfect, scientific detail. I know the series did, but honestly, do you think Vikings would grasp the concept of evolution?? I do think she has adapted to the Hidden World, and I wonder if her skin color doesn't change or become reflective or something when it is exposed to extreme heat. So, yeah, the name is a little tacky, but I really don't mind! I'm just excited to see her in action.

Poor Toothless, they scared away his potential girlfriend. Speaking of that, the girlfriend line also may seem a little jarring. Astrid just keeps stating stuff, huh? That's just normal trailer stuff. They have to make things clear because the audience doesn't get context clues... and this film is gonna be targeted to a wide audience! I bet Hiccup scared her away on purpose... that's what I try to do with my friends ;)

Aaaaaaand, the Hidden World is BIZARRE. Stormfly appears to glow in it, and it is located inside of a giant sinkhole in the ocean. It's very pretty looking, and I have a theory on why the dragons glow. Whatever is making light down there, maybe some kind of coral or algae may release light at a particular wavelength that makes dragon scales reveal these bright patterns. Think of it sort of like a black light and special paint. I'm not sure what kind of benefits would come from this... other than that the dragons could clearly see and recognize each other. Who knows... maybe dragons normally can see at this wavelength. Bees can see designs in flowers that we can't, so maybe there is a whole world of color that dragons are aware of!

Toothless is both adorable and hopelessly hilarious trying to court. I'd say the last 7 to 8 years he has spent with Hiccup have certainly made him act more human-like (just look at that first stomping dance), but it may have also sort of have stunted some of his primal development. He clearly has no idea what he is doing, but boy is he trying hard! I love how multifaceted Toothless's personality can be. Here we both see him trying to be smug (and boy can he be smug), but at the same time he unable to control his bounding energy. That, and he also almost seems self-conscious later on. Poor guy, he's just trying to figure things out, and she bats him in the face (I don't blame her!). I love how he is once again reflecting Hiccup. Both of them are total dorks, and they both wind up falling for intelligent, strong female characters. They may be totally out of their depth, but both boy and dragon try their best to impress. I just wanna see Hiccup give Toothless a side eye the first time the female appreciates him... just like what Toothless did back in the cove in movie one XD

(And that thumbs up from Hiccup! GAH. He is SUCH a bad love coach. It's so perfect. Even amidst all this romance, the friendship at the crux of this franchise is still shining out.)

Aaaaaaand, I'm sorta out of time! I'll only cover the first half of the trailer tonight. What did you guys think of these parts? Did you enjoy the trailer, or are some parts of what you're seeing still bugging ya? I'd love to here your thoughts in the comments :)

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