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A Deep Dive into the Animation Realm – How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon (2010): A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Cinema and storytelling reached a new zenith when animation started painting engrossing tales that appealed not only to the younger audience but also to the adults. One such contemporary classic that the arena of animation has given us is “How to Train Your Dragon,” which was a unique conception amalgamating fantasy, adventure, and emotions in a harmonious continuum. 

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The Birth of a Classic – A Synopsis

“How to Train Your Dragon” debuted on March 26th, 2010 under the banner of DreamWorks Animation and Paramount pictures. The film was helmed by the talented directors, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, with a screenplay derived from Cressida Cowell‘s 2003 book “How to Train Your Dragon.”

The movie unfolds in a world of Vikings and dragons, where the protagonist, Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, stands as an underdog amidst burly dragon fighters. The narrative takes an engrossing twist when Hiccup befriends an injured dragon, Toothless, delving the audience into an awe-inspiring world of friendship and adventure. The movie is known for its visualization of humanity’s age-old fascination with dragons through the vibrant CGI realm.

Delving into the Plot of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

Continuing the journey of understanding ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ let’s delve into the plot of this iconic film. The story combines the thrill of adventure with the warmth of friendship, making it an experience that appeals to audiences of all ages. 

The Plot

How to Train Your Dragon‘ is inherently the story of young Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, a tenacious and idealistic Viking teenager living on the island of Berk. Unlike his tribe’s people, who are tough, burly dragon-slayers, Hiccup is a refined young man more prone to inventing quirky contraptions than charging fearlessly into battle. 

When we watch How to Train Your Dragon, we see that Hiccup’s life takes a sharp turn when he manages to shoot down Toothless, a rarely seen Night Fury dragon, during a dragon raid. Instead of finishing off the dragon, Hiccup, out of empathy and curiosity, gradually forms an unlikely bond with Toothless, learning that dragons are not the ferocious, destructive beasts as his tribe believes them to be.

This discovery sets Hiccup on a path of utmost courage and conviction. While secretly befriending Toothless, Hiccup starts viewing the world differently. He begins applying his newfound knowledge in a dragon-slaying training session, surprising everyone with his new skills.

However, his secret is eventually revealed, leading to a climactic chain of events. Adding to the enthrallment as we watch How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup, Toothless, and his friends then embark on an epic adventure to save their village from a colossal dragon, thereby altering the perceptions of the townsfolk and proving that understanding is key to coexistence.

Impact of the Plot

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ remains a vivid example of how to skillfully integrate growth, adventure, and empathy into a storyline, making it an everlasting cinematic experience. As we watch How to Train Your Dragon, the riveting plot calls us not just to observe, but also to introspect, learn, and grow while we navigate through the magnificent world of Berk and beyond.

Exploring Themes and Subtext in ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

As an audience, when we watch How to Train Your Dragon, we are seamlessly transported to a spectacular fantasy world where dragons and humans coexist. However, beneath the layer of riveting narrative and breathtaking graphics, the movie is an allegory running on several profound themes. These thematic elements add depth to the film, making it a relatable and compelling watch across age groups.

Courage

The foremost theme that we encounter while watching ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ is the theme of courage. Throughout the movie, we see Hiccup stepping out of his comfort zone, tackling his fears, and ultimately training a fierce dragon. Courage is not just depicted in terms of physical bravery but also in terms of moral courage. Hiccup’s act of resisting the stereotypes surrounding dragons and choosing to understand them represents a courage often harder to muster.

Friendship and Trust

One of the heartmolten themes of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ is the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. Their bond underscores the movie, growing from tentative trust to an unshakeable bond. This theme is beautifully depicted through their relationship; it’s about understanding, accepting, and caring for one another, despite significant differences and initial fears.

Discovery and Self-Growth

In ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ a consistent theme that meets the eye is self-discovery. As the characters overcome their challenges and learn from their experiences, they evolve, demonstrating that growth often sprouts from discomfort zones. By devising a way to ride dragons, Hiccup discovers his inherent talent and strength, which was previously unnoticed in the rough-and-tough Viking setting. 

Acceptance

At a more profound level, when you watch How to Train Your Dragon, you are privy to the theme of acceptance. The movie gently nudges the audience to accept diversities, whether it’s about accepting dragons in a human world or Hiccup’s distinctive ideas in a traditional Viking tribe.

Relevance

The themes featured in ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ are universal and timeless. From courage to friendship, self-discovery to acceptance, these themes reflect real-life virtues that each one of us can relate to and learn from. It is these overarching themes that elevate the cinematic experience when we watch How to Train Your Dragon, making it a masterpiece worth revisiting.

Eminent Cast in the Dragon’s Lair

The movie’s distinguished voice cast involves eminent artists, each breathing life into their characters, making them memorable in the minds of viewers. 

1. Hiccup, the protagonist, is voiced by Jay Baruchel, whose voice brilliantly captured Hiccup’s transformation from an introverted underdog to a heroic dragon-champion.

2. Gerard Butler played Stoick the Vast, Hiccup’s father and chieftain of the Viking village.

3. America Ferrara provided the voice for Astrid, the robust and headstrong female Viking who captured Hiccup’s heart. 

4. Other notable voices included Craig Ferguson as Gobber, Jonah Hill as Snotlout, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs.

Laudable Success – Box Office and Critical Acclaim

Debuting at number one, “How to Train Your Dragon” garnered a houseful response grossing nearly $500 million worldwide, thus placing itself firmly in the hearts of viewers and critics. The intriguing storyline, fantastic character development, and the grandeur of 3D animation drew in raving reviews from critics. The Academy Awards did not remain impervious to the movie’s charm as it garnered two nominations in 2011 for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score.

Unraveling Trivia – Little-known Facts about How to Train Your Dragon

Several interesting bits of trivia are associated with the making of the movie. The character Toothless, portrayed as a fearsome Night Fury, was inspired by one of the most friendly creatures in real life – a black cat. Visual Effects Supervisor Pablo Valle even adopted a white cat during production for inspiration, and owning a cat became a team trend.

Another compelling trivia hides within the film’s narrative. Audiences are often led to think dragons are creatures to be feared due to their monstrous appearance and fiery breath. However, the film switches this popular notion on its head as Toothless, the dragon turns from a feared predator into a loved best friend, thereby kindling warmth and acceptance in the minds of its viewers. 

A Glimpse into the Dragon Realm – The Trailer of ‘How to Train Your Dragon

Conclusion

As the title “How to Train Your Dragon” suggests, it’s all about bridging gaps between differences, understanding, accepting, and nurturing. The movie is a classic undoubtedly, blending a compelling storyline with stellar voice performances and top-notch animation.

Thus, How To Train Your Dragon doesn’t merely entertain but encourages us to empathize with and accept what we consider different. A decade later, this dreamy world of Vikings and dragons continues to weave a spellbinding impact, capturing hearts across the globe.

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