Saturday, June 9, 2018

Thoughts on the new TRAILER (part 2)

Ok, I have time to continue discussing the trailer! Also, AWN recently had an interview with Dean, and he revealed more about the narrative role of the Light Fury. I plan to write a full post very soon about what appears to be the central theme of this film... and why I was extremely worried about it the night before the trailer dropped. However, in this post, I just want to continue reacting to what we were shown in the first trailer!

So, Grimmel is our new villain. He appears to have some sort of flying machine he rides in above his massive armada. Dean has described him as a big game hunter... and the trailer makes it clear that Toothless is his ultimate prize. When he said that he had hunted every Night Fury except for Hiccup's, I wasn't sure if he was completely accurate, but all the info from Dean does seem to confirm that Grimmelo the Grisly has indeed hunted and killed every. single. Night Fury. Toothless is the last. The gravity of that is sickening, and it sends the tension of the conflict and peril of this film through the roof. This not only continues to make Toothless central to the plot, it gives us a villain who is incredibly personal (even if he is commanding a huge army). Speaking of, those crests on the ships' sails match the brand that Drago gives Eret (unless my memory is completely failing me). I wonder if Grimmel and Drago every worked together... or maybe Grimmel scooped up Drago's army. Who knows?

Hiccup looks like he is about to risk losing absolutely everything for the sake of Toothless. Sure, that's nothing new... but the situation he is in now is very different. He's not just a boy and his dragon; he is the chief of Berk. He is putting the lives of many people and dragons on the line for the sake of his friend. However, his speech about disappearing is pretty interesting! Will Hiccup attempt to bring the entire Island of Berk into the Hidden World? It makes sense, but that is definitely ambitious. It's a completely foreign environment, and even though he and the Vikings now understand dragons much better than they used to... that massive maze of caverns is crawling with dragons. Some of them could be new species, some could be aggressive, and there really is no way to predict what the Berkians might come across!

That being said, you have to be wary of speeches made in trailers. We don't see Hiccup actually saying all of these things, it's a voice over. I wonder if the Vikings of Berk would genuinely be that happy to abandon the home they fought for for the last three hundred years. Whatever the case may be, it is awesome seeing how far Hiccup will go for Toothless!

The action in this film looks like it is going to be INCREDIBLE. The lighting is also really dark and gritty... giving it a feeling of consequence and desperationation. Hiccup's new armor is so BOSS. I was hoping the scales would make him fully fireproof, and we certainly saw confirmation of that! I like how his wingsuit has a wider wingspan now, it looks a lot like Batman (hey, I love Batman!). Also, Hiccup really is coming into his own. I'm not saying his no longer the convicted soul who would much rather talk than fight, but he has seen the destruction that madmen cause, and this time he looks MUCH more prepared.

Ironically, this shot might be my favorite in the whole trailer. I stayed up very late the night before the trailer, worried and unable to sleep. I've always loved the themes of HTTYD, and probably the biggest theme has been that of selfless friendship. I was honestly worried that the trailer would drop, and it would show us a new Light Fury, and the theme of the final movie would become clear: falling in love is part of growing up. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against romantic love, but I was seriously worried that this final film would convey the idea that romantic love is kind of the end goal of any story. After all, it happens all the time in real life. You make friends in school, you think you'll be together forever, but then you or your friends get married. You have kids. You build a life for yourself... and suddenly you look around, and your old friends are gone. They've made their own lives too, and you just don't need each other like you used to. I deeply worried that that would be the conveyed message of HTTYD... that romantic love is the final step in growth. After all, Hiccup has Astrid and Toothless has this new dragon. I worried that the trailer would reveal them starting to become comfortable growing apart, finding happiness in other people. That would BUG ME. I do understand that it is hard to maintain friendships as we age (especially after marriage), but I hate seeing people who were close grow distant. I've always loved the purity of the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. It was so simple and strong, and I seriously did not want to see it treated like something that was inferior to romantic love. The trailer showed plenty of Toothless flirting (which I loved) and had some super sweet moments between Hiccup and Astrid. However, in the end, the trailer clearly focused on one major aspect: the friendship between this boy and his dragon!

Now, I'm not saying that friendship will not be tested. Dean has said some pretty amazing stuff about the narrative role of the Light Fury, but I'm happy that it does not look like he will be promoting the idea of "Grow up, find a spouse, have kids. If you lose a few childhood friends along the way, you just have to learn to let go". 

This part of the trailer never fails to give me chills. It is so tense, and Hiccup looks so absolutely desperate. He looks at the dragon that is clearly not letting him ride her, and he begs her to save his best friend. He has to trust her... even if she doesn't trust him (and may very well steal Toothless away from him if given the chance!). I have no idea why Toothless is falling, but he looks unconscious! That's pretty terrifying. I wonder if it has anything to do with the flying contraption Grimmel sits in...

"It's you and me bud. Always"

And just in case we needed any more convincing that this film will be extremely focused on these two's friendship: the final line in the trailer puts the nail in the coffin!

I've written a whole big post about the physics of Toothless and the lightning storm, so I'm just gonna try and guess what is happening here instead of trying to understand the science of it. I believe Toothless is wearing an autotail. Now... he may have this GotNF style tail because Hiccup sees he is happy with the Light Fury, and he gives him the tail again in order to allow him to leave. After all, Hiccup has struggled ever since GotNF. In the back of his mind, it's been confirmed that he worries if he deserves Toothless. DANG. Hiccup is such a humble protagonist... even with all his new swag and his acceptance of the role his father left him, he still is worried that he is holding Toothless back. Even after GotNF, he still has to wonder if Toothless would have ever befriended him if he was not stranded... and would Toothless's life have been better without him. It's such a heartwrenching concept. So, my guess is that the lightning scene is at the true climax of the film. Toothless has been set free by Hiccup in order to stay with his mate.

However, this trailer makes me firmly believe that Toothless will pull a GotNF AGAIN. He is coming back. For whatever reason, Hiccup needs him. As happy as the Light Fury makes him, he is loyal to Hiccup above all else. I think he may be rushing back to Hiccup in this scene, but whatever is happening... it looks AWESOME. Who knew Bork was being literal when he called the Night Fury "The Unholy Offspring of Lightning and Death"!? To add to my theory that Toothless gets this tail but decides to return, we do see a much older Hiccup and Toothless at the end of the trailer. Maybe Hiccup has to give up the dragons... maybe he has to hide them away... but Toothless decides to stay. Perhaps Toothless is the last dragon the world sees... whatever the case may be, I'm actually really hopeful that the end will be HAPPY. I had resigned myself to a really gut-wrenching separation, but now I am relieved by the idea that that may not happen. Whatever does happen, if the clip of older Hiccup and Toothless is in the film, it would at least mean Hiccup and Toothless have many years left together. And with that happy thought, I'll finish my discussion of the trailer.

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