Sunday, September 5, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

When our network sponsored a blocked screening of How To Train Your Dragon earlier this year, I opted not to watch. I knew it would get good reviews, anyway. Dreamworks knows how to make animated movies. From the little of I know of the 3D animated movie industry, I believe with the success of Shrek, they've turned the tables on Pixar, ergo the buy out of Disney.


So, today I thought I’d finally sit down and watch my copy of HTTYD. Must say, it did not disappoint. Although the tears I was expecting never manifested themselves, how the producers communicated the complicated father-son relationship in Stoick and Hiccup was beautiful, hilarious and endearing. The evolution of the disappointed to proud father, flawlessly portrayed.

But that’s pretty obvious.

I also liked the unfolding of trust, loyalty and friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. I just did a series of posts on those three values, all based on our family’s dogs. Funny how sometimes, animals are really the best examples for these principles humans claim to have. I guess the magic is in the fact with a bit of patience, care and effort, two very different species can coexist in harmony.

But that’s kind of obvious, too.

What I did appreciate most about the movie is how it communicated change, and change from the new, and change for the better but filled with struggle every step of the way. No one was listening to Hiccup at first because no one took him seriously. When he wanted to be a Viking and was creating these strange new weapons to better fight off the dragons with, they shoved him away to the corner of blacksmithing and ignored him. When his father finally agreed to let him take up dragon training, he became the village laughing stock because he was last in class. When he proposed his new method of working with the dragons instead of against them, they fought him back with the same old Viking-fighting traditions. But Hiccup remained persistent, stuck to what he knew was right and was better, and got everything in place in the end.

Sound familiar? It’s Ghandi’s.

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

Gorgeously hidden. Maybe that’s just in my creaky brain’s clockwork, but that’s how I saw it. It’s the perfect example of the new blood conquering the old. I get that traditions and practices are honored, sanctified even, in many cultures, but more often than not, when you keep doing what the old folks are doing, you get stuck in a rut.

Makes me look at the world I live in and say, I wonder what I can make them fight me for. There’s plenty. And I think it’s time for me to choose my battle.

High time we made a stand, and shook up the views of the common man.
-Sowing the Seeds of Love, Tears For Fears

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