How to Train your Dragon (2010)

(DISCLAIMER: All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)
My friends, let’s be frank. The last few months have been pretty darn rough on your beloved Mouse. I reviewed two stinkers that actually made me pine for the simple pleasures and artistic merit of Foodfight!, was almost destroyed by an enraged Don Bluth and discovered that my entire life was a sham orchestrated by Walt Disney. And that’s not even taking into account the vile stream of online abuse I’ve had to suffer ever since coming out. As being anti-Oxford comma. Everyone was actually really awesome about the bisexual thing. Anyway, point is, I need a fresh start, to make a clean break.  I’m ready to love again. I just…I just don’t know if I can trust him.
"Come Mouse. Don't I seem trustworthy?"

“Come Mouse. Don’t I seem trustworthy?”

Alright Katzenberg, you win. Let’s review a Dreamworks movie.
Yeah. So. Coming up on eighty animated movie reviews and I’ve yet to review even a single film by one of the largest and most successful animation houses in history. Weird right? And it’s not like I have some kind of bitter fanboyish grudge against DreamWorks. There are plenty of DreamWorks movies that I’d count as some of my all time favourites. I think the difference is, while I consider myself a Disney fan (or did, before recently swearing vengeance on the man and all his works and all his empty promises) I consider myself a Kung Fu Panda fan or a Road to El Dorado fan rather than a DreamWorks fan. The studio’s output is, let’s be honest here, all over the map. Not just in quality either (although Oh My God Yes), but also in style and theme and atmosphere and subject matter. Let’s put it this way; Snow White and Frozen both feel like they were made by the same studio despite being released three quarters of a century apart. Would you be able to guess that Shark Tale and Prince of Egypt were made by the same people? There’s far less of a unifying vision for the DreamWorks movies, and the stuff that they do have in common tends to be stuff that rubs people the wrong way (overreliance on A-list Hollywood talent over seasoned voice actors, pop culture references, dance party endings and that damned smirk). Because they’re, in a sense, less tonally monolithic than the Disney canon they have a harder time winning the same kind of devoted fanbase that Disney has (flipside, they’ll never have the hatedom either). What I’m trying to say is, there’s one Disney, but many DreamWorkseses, ranging from absolute dreck to “Pixar good”. How to Train Your Dragon is on the top of that curve, the most critically acclaimed movie the studio has ever done and a real game-changer for the animation industry. Jack Black once made a joke when he was presenting that Oscar for best animated feature that every year he gets a check from DreamWorks and bets the money on Pixar to win. After HTTYD came out that was no longer as safe a bet as it once was.
But is the movie really as good as everyone says? Let’s take a look.

So the movie begins with the Viking Island of Berk coming under attack from a swarm of dragons. Our hero, Hiccup, (Jay Barachel) explains that Berk is “twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It’s located solidly on the Meridian of Misery.”

If there's a bright centre of the universe you're on the island that it's furthest from.

If there’s a bright centre of the universe you’re on the island that it’s furthest from.

Hiccup explains the basic facts of life on Berk: The Vikings build their homes and raise their sheep. The dragons come, burn down their homes and steal their sheep. The Vikings rebuild their homes and get more sheep. The dragons come and yada yada the great circle of life. The movie takes its dragon-lore pretty seriously. Each species has a distinct look, strength and weakness, and these are referenced in the movie over and over to the point where you start to wonder if there’s going to be a test at the end. For those keeping track at home, the dragons attacking Berk this go round are Nadders, Zipplebacks, Monstrous Nightmares and the Hideous Gronckle.

Not to be confused with the hideous Grunkle.

Not to be confused with the hideous Grunkle.

Hiccup wants to help fight off the dragons but because he’s got the muscle tone of an earthworm on the Atkins diet he’s ordered to stay indoors and help Gobber the Blacksmith (Craig Ferguson) provide weapons for the battle.  Hiccup is kind of like the Viking Rodney Dangerfield, he gets no respect, no respect at all so he abandons his post and runs off with his homemade bolas-launcher to bring down a dragon. He manages to hit a Night Fury, a jet black dragon so fast that no one has ever even seen one. The Night Fury crashes far off in the forest but before Hiccup can even celebrate he’s chased by a Monstrous Nightmare and has to be rescued by his father, Stoick the Vast. Stoick is voiced by Gerard Butler, playing against type as a beardy shouty king of a nation of bloodthirsty warriors. Because Stoick had to rescue Hiccup, the dragons were able to get away with most of the island’s sheep and half the village is in flames.

Damn. I havent seen Vikings get their asses beaten so badly since the BATTLE OF CLONTARF! BOOM!

Damn. I haven’t seen Vikings get their asses beaten so badly since the BATTLE OF CLONTARF! BOOM!

Stoick is furious with Hiccup, saying that he has an entire village to feed and winter is coming and alright, you know what Stoick? Ned Stark played that card four years ago and we’re still waiting so you’ll excuse me if I put on my skepticals.
Yes, I finally checked out Gravity Falls. It now owns me body and soul.

Yes, I finally checked out Gravity Falls. It now owns me body and soul.

The Vikings have a moot to decide what to do about the dragons and Stoick orders them to assemble a fleet to find the dragon’s nest before winter comes. After everyone’s gone, Stoick and Gobber sit down and try to suss out why Hiccup such an awful excuse for a Viking.

"I mean, hes not even TRYING with the Scottish accent!"

“I mean, he’s not even TRYING with the Scottish accent!”

Stoick laments that Hiccup’s always been different and unable to focus, and how one time when he took him fishing he went looking for trolls.

What Hiccup didnt tell him was that he found them and then they tried to marry him to Kristof.

What Hiccup didn’t tell him was that he found them and then they tried to marry him to Kristof.

Gobber suggests that Stoick put Hiccup through dragon fighting school, which is kind of like Hogwarts but with much less criminal negligence. Stoick says that Hiccup would be killed instantly but Gobber tells him that he doesn’t know that and, hey, if he’s going to get killed it might as well be somewhere where everyone can keep an eye on him.

 Meanwhile, Hiccup is out in the woods looking for the downed Night Fury and finds it in a clearing, still tied up with the bolas. Since, in Viking society killing a Night Fury will get him into any university he wants Hiccup steels his nerve and tries to kill the dragon but can’t because he’s a total pussy  because he feels empathy towards another living being. Hiccup then does a complete 180 and decides to set the dragon free. As soon as he does the dragon pounces on him (well, duh) but then flies off, leaving Hiccup unharmed.  When he gets home, Stoick tells him that he’s getting his wish to train as a dragon fighter but Hiccup has now gotten that all out of his system and never wants to see a dragon again. Ever. No more dragons.  Hell, chickens are borderline right now. Stoick gives him an axe and heads out to join the fleet, saying “I’ll be back. Probably.” to which Hiccup replies “I’ll be here. Maybe.”
The next day is the first day of dragon school where we meet Hiccup’s classmates. There’s the twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut (Kirsten Wiig and TJ Miller), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plaase) and Snotlout (Jonah Hill). There’s also Astrid who’s voiced by America Ferrara.
"Hey guys! Look at this strong female character weve created! Shes tough and badass and doesnt take any crap!"

“Hey guys! Look at this strong female character we’ve created! She’s tough and badass and doesn’t take any crap!”

"Aw thanks! So, can I have my own movie?"

“Aw thanks! So, can I have my own movie?”

"Oh...well, you see, the thing about that is SMOKE BOMB!"

“Oh…well, you see, the thing about that is SMOKE BOMB!”

Smoke Bomb

"*COUGH* *COUGH* SONUVA...!"

“*COUGH* *COUGH* SONUVA…!”

"Sorry sweetie. Hey, you wanna join our card game?"

“Sorry sweetie. Hey, we have a card game going if you wanna join?”

"Whos "we"?"

“Who’s “we”?”

"Okay ladies, the game is Texas hold 'em."

“Okay ladies, the game is Texas hold ’em.”

"I fold. So like, I was training to be the Special my whole life and then suddenly...oh hey Nat, you bring the nachos?"

“I fold. So like, I was training to be the Special my whole life and then suddenly…oh hey Nat, you bring the doritos?”

Accent

 Alright, so Hiccup’s first day of training goes better than anyone could have expected in that he only nearly dies. Gobber saves him from being fried by a Gronckle and reminds him that a dragon will “always, always go for the kill”, leaving Hiccup to wonder why the Night Fury let him live.
Afterwards, Gobber makes Hiccup read the Dragon handbook which lists all the dragons known to Vikingkind (a lot) and the horrible ways they use to kill Vikings and oh boo hoo. Sorry. I need to be upfront with you guys on this, I am definitely “Team Dragon” in this conflict. Screw Vikings. Bunch of monastery ransacking assholes. And don’t even give me that “oh they weren’t really so bad, those mean monks just made them seem worse than they actually were” bullshit.
Right. And the monks just built this to practice their bungee jumping.

Right. And the monks just built this to practice their bungee jumping.

Since the book’s entry on Night Furies is basically a blank page and the word “RUN”, Hiccup decides to go back to the forest and see if he can learn anything from the black dragon.
It took me a while to twig just why Toothless (for ’tis his name) seemed so familiar, honestly a lot longer than it should have.
Toothless
Ah, there's that good old timey Disney terror.
Not really surprising of course, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois directed both movies. Like Stitch, Toothless is a wonderfully designed character with very versatile facial expressions, able to switch between being incredibly cute and downright terrifying at the drop of a hat. Hiccup manages to win the dragon’s trust with a gift of some fish which Toothless accepts (Hiccup calls him “Toothless” because he has retractable teeth). Then, Toothless barfs up the fish head and gives it to Hiccup to eat as a gesture of friendship or possibly so he has a funny story to tell his dragon buddies when he gets home. Hiccup realises that Toothless can’t fly away because his tail was injured by the bolas so decides to study Toothless when he’s not in dragon training. This leads to a scene where…
Okay, confession time. I…I’m not a huge fan of this movie.
"Honestly Mouse, were more disappointed than angry."

“Honestly Mouse, we’re more disappointed than angry.”

 Oh don’t be like that. Look, I’m gonna pull the old “it’s not the movie, it’s me” card. I accept it’s a really good movie, I just can’t…warm to it the way everyone else has. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just my still lingering racial resentment against Vikings. Maybe my heart is two sizes too small. I dunno. It’s just one of those movies that seems to drive everyone else into throes of ecstasy and just leaves me kind of cold. I don’t dislike it. I admire its qualities. I just don’t love it. Except this part:
This one bit
Yeah. That part’s awesome. That part where Toothless puts his head in Hiccup’s hand and Hiccup lowers his head because he’s so happy and grateful he could cry, that’s just beautiful.
Hiccup builds a prosthetic tail fin to allow Toothless to fly again and brings it down to the lake. He distracts Toothless with some fish and then straps the prosthetic to his tail, which causes Toothless to make the universal expression for when you feel someone unexpectantly interfering with your rear parts.
What are you doing back there
Okay, so we now get a long montage where Hiccup helps Toothless to fly again, all the while learning all kinds of useful dragon training tricks like that they hate eels, like to be scratched behind the ear and get high off certain types of grass.
Well duh, everyone knows that.

Well duh, everyone knows that.

Soon Hiccup is at the top of the class the while Astrid keeps getting more and more jealous and suspicious. She keeps training harder and harder but no matter what she tries she just can’t win, because Hiccup has a secret advantage.

Hes the one on the poster.

He’s the one on the poster. Not her.

At long last Stoick’s fleet limps home to port, battered, beaten and no closer to finding the dragon’s nest. Stoick and the other vikings return to Berk utterly demoralised.

"My God. That was worse than Clontarf!"

“My God. That was worse than Clontarf!”

 Stoick is amazed to discover that since he’s been gone Hiccup has become a bona fide celebrity. He’s overjoyed that his son has finally become a real Viking and gives him a horned helmet made from his mother’s boob cup. This of course is a complete anachronism as Vikings never actually wore horned helmets (although how big a role dragon-riding actually played in Viking society is still hotly debated). At the last day of dragon training Hiccup is declared the winner which means he wins the right to kill a dragon in front of the whole village. Hiccup is understandably somewhat short of being okay with that and decides to run away with Toothless. However, Astrid tracks him down to the lake to have a discussion, and she’s brought her best discussion axe.

"But you cant kill me! Im the protagonist!"

“But you can’t kill me! I’m the protagonist!”

"You ever see a little movie called Psycho?"

“You ever see a little movie called Psycho?”

"...no?"

“…no?”

"Love. That. Film."

“Love. That. Film.”

Before she can axe him a question, though, Toothless appears and Hiccup takes Astrid flying to show her that Toothless isn’t dangerous. And the visuals here are really gorgeous.

"I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendin..." "I still have the axe." "Okay then."

“I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendind…”
“I still have the axe.”
“Okay then.”

 Suddenly though, Toothless flies them into a dense fog and they find themselves surrounded by a massive swarm of dragons carrying food. The swarm flies to a remote volcanic island where all the dragons dump the food they’ve gathered into a massive whole. As Astrid and Hiccup watch in horror, one unfortunate Gronckle doesn’tdrop enough food and is then eaten by an ABSOLUTELY HUMOUNGOUS DRAGON.

Back on Berk, Astrid theorises that the other dragons are being controlled by the big one, and that it eats the ones that don’t bring it enough food. “They’re like bees” she says “And it’s their Queen.”

"Wow. There is so much wrong with that I dont even...wow."

“Wow. There is so much wrong with that I don’t even…wow.”

 Astrid tells Hiccup that they have to tell the other Vikings about the nest but Hiccup begs her to wait until he’s figured out what to do. The next day, Hiccup faces a Hideous Nightmare in the arena while his Dad and every berk in Berk looks on proudly. But of course Hiccup can’t bring himself to kill the scaly Satan-spawn and asks the Vikings to give peace a chance. Stoick loses his shit over this, which causes the Monstrous Nightmare to lost his shit and attack Hiccup and then Toothless loses his shit and races through the forest and attacks the Nightmare and all the Vikings lose their shit. Toothless is chained up with the other captive dragons and Stoick furiously confronts Hiccup about lying to him. Hiccup tries to convince Stoick that the dragons don’t wish them any harm, but let’s slip that Toothless took him to the dragon’s nest. Stoick tells Hiccup that “You’re not my son” and readies a fleet to set sail to the nest. Something I don’t get: Hiccup tells Stoick that only a dragon can find the island so they have Toothless bound and chained on one of the ships. Stoick even says to Toothless “Lead us home, devil.” My question is….how? How is Toothless supposed to lead them?

"Do I look like a Satnav to you, fatso?"

“You want directions? Sure. Take the next turn right up your own ass.”

Realising that his Dad is going up against Godzilla in little flammeable ships, Hiccup and Astrid round up the other dragon trainers and he teaches them to train their dragons (aaaaaaaaaah so that’s why it’s called that). They fly off in pursuit of the fleet. Meanwhile, Stoick, Gobber and the other Vikings arrive on the island and plot their assault on the nest.

"VIKINGS! TONIGHT! WE DINE! IN HEL!"

“VIKINGS! TONIGHT! WE DINE! IN HEL!”

They crack the mountain open and the whole swarm of dragons comes streaming out and flies away. The Vikings think they’ve one but then the earth cracks open and the huge dragon attacks. It’s not actually named in the movie but Dreamworks calls this dragon the Red Death.

Because of how red it is.

Because of how red it is.

Personally, because it’s more bluey and comes from Scandinavia, I prefer to call it the Norwegian Blue. The vikings are hopelessly outmatched but then Hiccup and the other trainers arrive just in the nick of time and it’s time for hot dragon on dragon action (hot because of the fire breath, obviously). While Astrid and the other trainers battle the Norwegian Blue, Hiccup tries to rescue Toothless from a burning longship but they sink beneath the water and Hiccup almost drowns. Stoick pulls him out of the water and then dives back in to save Toothless. Stoick and Hiccup reconcile, Stoick tells his son he’s proud of him, single, manly tears are shed and then Hiccup and Toothless take to the sky to finish this thing. The final aerial battle is genuinely thrilling and it’s actually one of the rare times I really regret not having seen a movie in 3D. I also like how it shows off the different strengths of each dragon type, like for example how Toothless is just so much faster than any of the others. Hiccup and Toothless goad the Norwegian Blue into taking to the air and lure him into a cloud to reduce his visibility. They then shoot his wings out and blast him right in his mouth which causes the Norwegian Blue to crash to earth and be killed instantly. Or is he?

Hes just pining. For the fjords.

He’s just pining. For the fjords.

Unfortunately Toothless’s artificial tail fin is burned by the dragon’s breath and he and Hiccup also go plummeting to the ground. Stoick and the other vikings find Toothless holding Hiccup’s seemingly lifeless body and for a second it looks like our protagonist might actually be dead.

"Oh please God please God please God..."

“Oh please God please God please God…”

But the power of the poster is strong and Hiccup is still alive, albeit now missing a leg. Fortunately the vikings had plenty of experience dealing with severed limbs after we showed their candy asses the true meaning of pain on the banks of the Tolka so Gobber is able to whip him up a prosthetic limb and the movie ends with the vikings and the dragons living in peace together on Berk and ready to meet whatever franchising opportunities life throws at them.

***

It’s good okay?! It’s a really good movie. I get that. It just doesn’t have that special magic for me. And, since it made Shrek 2 money while getting Wall-E critical plaudits, I doubt very much Dreamworks will lose any sleep over that.

 

Animation: 17/20
Top-tier modern CGI. Not life-changing, but very good.
Leads: 16/20
I can barely handle this much raw Viking.
Villain: 10/20
Look, let’s be honest. It’s not that kind of movie. The Red Death is just an obstacle for the heroes to overcome.
Supporting Characters: 16/20
It’s a good group, if you can get over the fact that they’re a bunch of filthy long-boat fondlers.
Music: 15/20
Really nice score by John Powell
FINAL SCORE: 75%
NEXT UPDATE: 28 May 2015
NEXT TIME: We’re sticking with DreamWorks and getting’ some of that old time religion.
Prince_of_egypt_ver2
Neil Sharpson aka the Unshaved Mouse is a playwright, blogger and comic book writer based in Dublin. The blog updates every second Thursday. Today’s review was made possible by the kind donation of Melissa Gola. Thanks Melissa!

147 comments

  1. I kind of get what you mean with what you said about Dreamworks not having as consistent of a style as Disney. But I’d say that’s only because it took them a while to get comfortable. Like, when they started out, Antz and Shrek were the odd ones out, since The Prince of Egypt, Road to El Dorado and the rest weren’t very different in tone. But now that Dreamworks has settled into their niche, the How to Train Your Dragon films seem like the odd ones out. The franchise is way different than anything else the company is putting out nowadays.

    Personally, I like Dreamworks (almost) just as much as I like Disney, and the How to Train Your Dragon films are both in my top 5 of their output. I can’t really decide which one I like more, but I consider them both fantastic.

  2. Love this movie! My favorite Dreamworks film of all time! But I can see why you don’t enjoy it as much as other people do.
    Can’t wait for you to tackle “The Prince of Egypt”! Haven’t seen it in a while, but I do remember enjoying it.
    Oh, miscalculation! It’s 74% not 75%.

  3. Great to see you back from hiatus, Mouse! I hope you are doing well.

    I agree with what you said about this movie. I also don’t see as a bad movie. It isn’t by any means. I just… didn’t LOVE it like so many other people did. Maybe I’ll have to watch it again to be sure, but I remember hearing the unanimous praise for it and seeing it and afterwards being like “It was good, I guess, but not a film I’d watch over and over like some other Dreamworks movies”. But with all that said, though, I actually really enjoyed the sequel. It continues the story, like a good sequel should, and I like the darker tone it takes (I know, darker doesn’t always mean better). And I actually do look forward to seeing the next one. For me, the sequel pulled me into the universe the way this one should have. I hear the TV series is good and I may check it out.

    YES!!!!!!!! I’m so glad that Prince of Egypt is next! It’s one of my favorite animated movies. I think it’s underrated and should be seen more, considering I don’t hear many people talk about it anymore (at least I don’t). I’ll get into a little more about what I like about it next time, but I hope and pray that the comments section doesn’t turn into a religious debate that you see all across the Internet. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.

    Look forward to your next review! Keep up the great work!

    1. I admire your faith for not fearing a debate breaking out just from your mention of praying 😉

  4. Hey there Mouse! Great review as usual. 😀

    I often find myself in debates with various friends and acquaintances and random trolls on YouTube over the merits of How to Train Your Dragon vs. Lilo & Stitch. It is an incredibly easy comparison to make, given they were both directed and written by the same people (Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois), and they both have a similar premise (human adolescent adopts and tames a vicious beastly creature). The only truly defining differences between both movies from a production standpoint are the animation mediums (traditional cel and CGI, respectively), and the production studio, (I won’t get into details about how Chris and Dean ended up at DreamWorks, but suffice to say it had something to do with a guy named Lasseter and a movie named Bolt).

    In any case, for my money I think that Lilo & Stitch is the better film, for one reason; the relationship between Lilo and Stitch is more endearing and mutual than the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless.

    Let’s start with Lilo. She is, as a character, deep, layered, and fundamentally troubled. At the start of the movie, she lashes out at anyone who mocks her strange tendencies, and intentionally makes the life of her older sister more difficult. However, she acted in these ways because she had experienced an unimaginable trauma; the death of both of her parents had left an empty void inside of her that she tried to fill with anger and sadness. Stitch is exactly what she needed. Being a literal embodiment of Lilo’s internal struggle, he represented all the anger, rage, and chaos that was churning inside her, and her attempts to civilize him gave her a newfound purpose; she had something else that needed her, something that could fill the hole left by her parents. And Stitch does indeed need her. Without Lilo, he would’ve eventually been captured and likely sentenced to death. She showed him that there was more to existence than chaos and destruction. She showed him that he didn’t have to be a monster.

    The relationship between Hiccup and Toothless, while still well done, is far less reciprocal than this. Toothless literally needs Hiccup in order to survive; without Hiccup he can’t feed himself or fly because of his injury. Hiccup, on the other hand, doesn’t need Toothless to the same extent. Sure training Toothless represents Hiccup coming to terms with what he wants instead of what his father wants, and learning that he doesn’t have to conform to everyone’s expectations of what he should do with his life, but it doesn’t really compare to Toothless’ physical necessity.

    Lilo and Stitch are perfect cinematic foils for each other. They both need the other on a deep, psychological level, and they compliment each other’s characteristics, matching morbid curiosity with wanton chaos.

    Hiccup and Toothless? They do have a strong relationship, and it is still well made enough that it can successfully drive the tension of the movie, but they aren’t foils. One could even argue that Toothless saved Hiccup only because Hiccup provided him with food, because it is made very clear that Toothless is an animal, and he can’t even resist his own instincts, (for instance when he is drawn to the Queen like a moth to a flame, he can’t fight the urge), and because Toothless is an animal and a slave to his id, the relationship he has with Hiccup can never be anything more than that of a boy and his dog, or a man and his horse.

    Stitch is not an animal. He has thoughts and feelings and emotions. Sure he has the instinct to destroy, but Lilo shows him how to ignore those drives. He becomes more than what he was meant to be. He’s not a slave to his id.

    I love both of these movies, I really do. But I maintain that Lilo & Stitch is the better film.

    Anyway, I’m sorry that this post is so monstrously long. Peace out Mouse! Can’t wait to see your review of The Prince of Egypt. 😛

    1. Personally, I don’t think the two movies are comparable aside from having the same directors and Toothless’s design being reminiscent of Stitch. They both have that base plot of “kid makes friend with animal-ish thing,” but then again, a lot of movies do.

      But I liked reading your analysis regardless. 😉

      1. Thanks. 🙂 I just think that it’s really easy to compare the works of an artist (or artists in this case). Sometimes I think it’s okay, like it is here, and sometimes I think it’s ridiculous. For instance, everybody loves to compare District 9 to Elysium, simply because they were both written and directed by Neill Blomkamp and have sociopolitical commentary. But really, they’re two completely distinct films with completely different premises, ideas, and settings. L&S and HTTYD however are similar enough that they can be directly compared, at least in my opinion. 😛

      2. Really nice analysis, especially of Lilo&Stitch. Props. I certainly haven’t seen it that way before.

        Still, I think one of the reasons I like Toothless is because he is so animalistic. There are very few animals in fiction that really behave like animals, and it opens up quite a different set of issues.

        I won’t go into my obsession with other species’ intelligence here (don’t google Koko the gorilla unless you want to fall into a serious clickhole), but there’s a potential discussion to be had with regard to HTTYD and its representation of interspecies bonds, animal intelligence and human conceptions of ecology. I wonder how, for example, Toothless’ relationship to Hiccup might be compared to that of Alex the African Grey parrot, who could speak and use simple logic on a similar level to a toddler, and Dr Pepperberg, who studied him. For that matter, the ending scene could be compared to cases of animals saving human lives – and there are some really remarkable stories out there, although I’d need to do some more research to determine how true they were.

    2. With regards to your argument about Hiccup being an animal, I think you’re way off base. Toothless is pretty clearly shown to be intelligent and the events of the sequel definitely show that their relationship is a LOT more than just boy and his pet

      1. In all seriousness, though, I’d love to see an ecocritical analysis of HTTYD, especially if it incorporated real-world findings on other species’ intelligence.

        For example, did you know Koko the gorilla can sign 1000 words, understand 2000 spoken words, empathise with movie characters, tell stories (and lies) about her pet kittens, and she once –

        *gets dragged away by the trivia police*

      2. I’m not saying that he *is* simply an animal, I’m saying that it could be argued that he is one. And even with regards to the sequel, it could be argued that Toothless simply resisted the alpha because of the loyalty a dog might experience, and that his subsequent challenging of the alpha was just one male challenging another for dominance. I’m not saying that that’s true, but it could be argued that way. Whereas there’s no question that Stitch is a sentient, self-aware individual who can make conscious decisions. And again, this is just my opinion, and also there’s nothing wrong with the relationship between a boy and his pet. 😊

    3. Wow, great breakdown of Lilo and Stitch’s dynamic! You’ve brought up ways it works I’ve never really thought of, have you made reviews before, because you’ve got the knack for it, I think!

  5. hmmm, how much did they get wrong in Prince of Egypt? and I’m not even talking about the little inconsistencies.

    First, Moses stuttered. Yeah, kind of hard to have a lead in a musical that stutters.

    Second, Moses always knew he was adopted by Pharaoh. His own mother was his nursemaid when he was a baby.

    Third, Where’s the golden calf when he come off the mount? Because Moses threw the original Ten Commandments into it and destroyed them both, God made Moses return to the top of the Mount and chisel the things himself this time. The first were made by God himself.

    But there were things that were done right, Pharaoh did find out he was being deceived by the sorcerers and court magicians and threw them out. Right about the same spot in the movie.

    The different wonders are portrayed right, except for one. The last, when the first born were taken. The blood of the lamb on the door posts was supposed to be that of a special lamb raised by the family for so long, so people going around and putting blood over different peoples door posts wouldn’t have happened. Or may have by the Hebrews trying to save Egyptians they liked. Who’s to say. But that part is always skipped over in movies.

    And last but not least, if you pay special attention to what God says to Moses about his brother Aaron, it changes. At first, Moses is but a prophet, and Aaron is his mouthpiece, but the last God says about it, Moses would be presented as a god unto Pharaoh, and Aaron would be his prophet.

    And Mouse, I never did post on your recent article about coming out. Let me say this. It’s your choice, and I’m not going to say different about it. It is not for me to judge, and I hope that my continued posting here helps show that I feel no animosity to you, or others who have made similar choices.

    Can’t wait for Road to El Dorado though, first time I saw that I had to rewind when Chel woke up with that guy and she was like, “what will they say” and he was like “Lucky god.” I couldn’t believe they put that in there then. That’s what DreamWorks has always been to me. Adult Disney.

    1. PoE is an adaptation and they took liberties with it. They even put a disclaimer at the beginning of the film that says essentially “while details have been changed, we feel that this accurately captures the spirit of the story of Exodus” (side note, I’m reasonably sure they used the EXACT same disclaimer at the beginning of “Noah”)

    2. “Or may have by the Hebrews trying to save Egyptians they liked.”

      If you watch after the Red Sea closes, there’s a reaction shot of two people in Egyptian clothing. So that’s a distinct possibility.

      1. There’s also a moment when two Egyptian soldiers throw down their weapons and join the Hebrews as they leave Egypt

    3. Took the words right out of my mouth. All the nitpicky parts at least. Nit’s gonna have a lot of fun with this one, methinks. I wonder if he’ll show up on plague 3 to unleash his nitpicky wrath.

  6. I will like to make the case for why this is a bad movie.
    1) I have seen a lot of movies that I read the book first, and this is the only one that all the changes actually got me mad (not even Percy Jackson). It was a complete 180 in personality with Stoic, Gobbler (they should of said he was Old Wrinkly), Fishlegs, Snotlout (very hard to see right after reading book 11), and worst of all Toothless.
    2) Very predictable story
    3) No dragonese talk that only Hiccup could understand.

    1. Whoa there, now. ‘Unfaithful adaptation’ doesn’t mean ‘bad movie’. Miyazaki films like Howl’s Moving Castle and Arietty aren’t much like the books at all, but they’re both excellent films. Hell, Mary Poppins is famously unfaithful to the source material. I could go on.

      But while I like this movie, I’m intrigued. Why would you recommend the book more highly than the film? I’ve been kinda-sorta intending to read it, as a student of young people’s literature.

      1. Books are good, I think the movies are significantly better. Hiccup is kind of pathetic in the books and Toothless is REALLY pathetic

      2. Duly noted. Would you recommend the books, or do they have any particular merits that the movies don’t?

      3. Yeah, I do still recommend the books. They are quite funny and creative. The detail given on the different species of dragons is quite wondeful

  7. Aaah I thought it was just me who was not into this movie, glad I’m not the only one. Yeah, it’s just one of those things where it’s a perfectly good movie, but idk it just doesn’t do anything for me and sort of falls in the line of another good Dreamworks movie – I could live without ever seing it again and be fine (and have lol). I kind of want to watch it again, though.

    I love Prince of Egypt! Can’t wait for that review

  8. Yes, I finally checked out Gravity Falls. It now owns me body and soul.

    Muahahahaha! It has claimed another!
    Really great to see you back, Mouse, and I hope your insides are feeling better. Now I have one less hiatus to worry about. ( thinks about Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, and Chuggaaconroy, sobs internally)

    I really like how to train your dragon, bit not as much as Kung Fu Panda. That is the one that made me have faith in DreamWorks.

    Ooooh, prince of Egypt next time? Cool, I love that one, the music is the best.

      1. Yeah, I’d put it in my top five favorite shows, right up there with Avatar the Last Airbender. The mix of humor, horror, and mystery is really addictive and unlike any other show I’ve ever seen.

      2. You are so right about the Simpsons thing. They make a ton of jokes that basically say “Yeah that’s a Homer/Lisa/Mr.Burns/Krusty/ANYONE line”

  9. Excited for the return of mainstream review lol. But when do you plan to review Big Hero 6 mouse?
    Great review. This is actually my all time favorite DreamWorks film. And in my world, if I know what my absolute fav film from a studio is, that studio needs to step up. Ghibli, Pixar, and Disney? Can’t choose. DreamWorks? Dragon 1. Not 2, but 1.

  10. I’m sensing a bit of anti Viking bias.
    Here in America, we have no such resentment, so the movie was lauded.
    Make a black Disney princess on the other hand….

  11. Welcome back, Mouse! The LotR fans (Ringers? Tolkienites?) haven’t eaten me alive. Yet.

    It looks like I’m one of the odd ones out because I love this movie to pieces. I first saw it in Imax and it was worth every penny.

    But man, never a truer word was spoken when it comes to the Awesome Female Characters Shunted to the Side. It’s a real problem in animated films, too – there’s something like five males to every female.

      1. Ah, good one!

        Yeah, since forever, I’ve been finishing a book or movie in a huff, saying, ‘Yeah, it was good – but there weren’t enough girls in it!’ Even with the series I’m writing my thesis on, which is one of my all-time favourite stories, I was kind of disgruntled when I realised there were five named women to twenty named men in the trilogy. They’re all pretty awesome, and the story is alternate-historical, and an airship in 1915 *would* have mostly men on it, so I know the author was trying.
        At the same time, though, that ratio is something I have committed never to use in my own stories.

    1. Thank god for Miyazaki with his boatload of awesome female leads. And thank god for Pixar starting to do it (really looking forward to Inside Out)

      1. As much as I love Pixar, they are really serious offenders when it comes to the population of ladyfolk in their movies so I’m pretty excited about Inside Out as well.

      2. When they do give us female characters though, they tend to be excellent. Jesse is one of my all time favorite characters, Merida was pretty great, Dory is awesome, Collette is great, Eve is great, Princess Atta is good, and Elastigirl is AWESOME (god I love Holly Hunter).

      3. True, true. I just want more of them. Even Brave had something like four named females to eleven named males (and a truckload of male extras). It’s the assumption that male is ‘default’ or ‘normal’ that gets my goat.

  12. Yeah, this is probably my favorite movie of all time. I don’t know why. I wasn’t expecting it to be, and yet I have never felt the same way while watching a movie in the theatre. And you did miss out on not seeing it in 3D–Nostalgia Critic claims that it has the best use of 3D in a movie, and I have to agree with him.
    But maybe I’m biased since I am Norwegian.

      1. Maybe it’s flown. Good thing you’ve got some wood, you can light a fire now.

  13. I have to admit I did giggle when they brought the whole, “a way to a dragon’s heart is through it’s stomache” thing into the equation 🙂 I guess it is the dragon equivalent of smoking a peace pipe.

  14. Oh, thank goodness, it’s not just me who didn’t fall in love with this movie.

    I finally saw HTTYD earlier this year, and was left… pretty Much as I was before I saw it. I thought it was okay. Certainly nOt as bad as Shark Tale, but not as good as…

    Huh. I gUess I’m not really into Dreamworks movies. CG oneS, at lEast.I still love The Road to El Dorado to this day. And I can’t wait to see you tackle Prince of Egypt.

    Welcome to Gravity Falls, by the way.

    Fvy Gbrclv Gaags wtofd izxiq e fvimwmbx-qimf lwmsb.

  15. Gravity falls! (fangirly squee)

    I really like this movie for its animation and characters but I get what you mean about not being into it. Its like I how felt about Guardians of the Galaxy, its a good movie but just not for me.

    Also, can’t wait to read your Prince of Egypt review, that was one of my childhood movies (I’m Irish, they had to get us into religion somehow). Hope you’re feeling well after your operation!

  16. I remember watching a bit of Gravity Falls. It was good! Anyway, great review. I didn’t see it at the time, nor did I see the sequel (last year I went through a bit of a ‘no-animation’ phase. Don’t worry, it’s over!). It seems pretty good, but my sis is way more into it then I am (she watched both movies, and is an avid follower of the TV show.)

  17. Okay, I’m sorry, but how can you not like the oxford comma! It’s the difference between saying “I study bones, fossils, and ancient life”, and “I study bones, fossils and ancient life”. One way you are informing people about the three things that you study, and the other you’re calling them fossils and ancient life!

      1. By that logic, the first example is calling the listeners ‘fossils’ anyway – which on its own is a much more common insult to begin with.

  18. Awesome Review, Mouse! I have your same opinion about this movie, I don’t dislike it but I don’t love it. And I’m glad you are enjoying Gravity Falls. 😀

  19. Anybody else go on a brief TV Tropes tangent? 🙂

    I came to this film through hearing the music. The Downed Dragon music in particular I thought was fantastic. I really liked the film when I saw it.

    That article about the Vikings is very odd. It says the Vikings were misrepresented but, provides no evidence and instead says “Hey, Charlemagne wasn’t great either.”
    The Secret of Kells has scary Vikings though.

    The Vikings were also early graffitists. They went to what was then Constantinople and graffitied in Agia Sophia. And also carved runes all over two stone lions that you can now see outside the Arsenale in Venice (originally from Constantinople too until the Venetians nicked them in the 4th Crusade).

  20. I’m the only person who didn’t like the flying scenes. Mainly because my eyes couldn’t see the sky. So I don’t understand why everyone says it’s a beautiful picture, all I see Toothless and Hiccup. Other than that I like the movie. I don’t love it but I can see it’s a good movie. Plus, I’m really interested in reading the series.

    1. Are you colorblind or something?

      Also, the books are drastically different from the films. I read the books first and thought I was going to hate the movie. Oh how wrong I was

      1. Yes. As Lobo guess, I’m colorblind. So colors are often blended into one shade of something. The flying scene with Toothless, Hiccup, the first time the sky is pretty blurry but I can still sort of see the clouds. The second time when they included Astrid that was pretty weird, and still is for my brain to process. I can see Toothless pretty clearly and the two kids but nothing behind them. I had to guess that Astrid was touching clouds or something, but it’s still so weird. I rented the movie to watch again a few days ago and oh my gosh, I totally forgot about how bad the nightime scenes were. When the three are sneaking back into the village, I had no idea that they were saying anything (I’m also hard of hearing) until the closed captions informed me otherwise. So I’m just reading the dialogue as I see nothing in front of me. Ah, fun times.

        Still, I enjoy watching movies and I like how to train your dragon. I agree that it’s an okay movie and not fabulous but maybe that’s just because I can’t see it in all it’s glory. Haha!

  21. OH MY GOD PRINCE OF EGYPT YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. I don’t think I’ve been this excited for one of your reviews since Princess Mononoke.

    Love this film to death. Love the sequel to death. I think they’re just brilliant. Toothless is an absolute triumph of character design and animation and the flying scenes are just absolutely incredible. God I love it so much.

    Nice Hitchhiker’s Guide reference by the way

  22. *quietly aneurysms at the thought of a TPoE review* *gif of “heavy breathing” cat*

    You know, even as you were saying you don’t strongly love this film, I knew you were about to say that you liked the “first petting” scene. The moments leading up to the contact–when Hiccup weaves his way around the dirt drawing that Toothless made–is my favorite part of the movie. It reminds me of the beautiful quiet moments we get in Tarzan. (This film is kind of like Tarzan, thinking about it.)

    As for me, this movie is something I have to watch whenever I think about it. Jurassic Park is like that for me, too…if I’m channel surfing and JP or HTTYD is on, I literally have to watch it.

  23. Why am I always the last to the party?
    If Gravity Falls owns your heart and soul, what happens when you watch Steven Universe? Does it beat up GF and take those back, or does it take whatever is left?

    I can understand not liking a movie that is universally praised. I have the same problem with -please don’t troll me- Pixar movies.

    1. I can get why Pixar might leave you cold. I haven’t seen Steven Universe. Spouse of Mouse tried it after I got her hooked on Gravity Falls but she seemed pretty “meh” on it.

  24. New review’s up already? Now isn’t *this* a pleasant surprise. Also, who gives a care about an Oxford comma? I’ve seen those English dramas too. They’re cruel. As it turns out, the professor who teaches my literary class actually doesn’t use them, so even professionals aren’t all sold on those silly bits of punctuation, HA!

    Yeah, I guess Dreamworks isn’t as consistent as Disney when it comes to their image. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that Dreamworks peaked around the time Disney was in its Lost era. Perhaps that was just a time of confusion for animation in general and Dreamworks was floundering to find its footing throughout its whole, much later-started life. Though Pixar never seemed to go through that, so what do I know? Then again, Pixar might have had the edge of its association with Disney that it could ride on while Dreamworks had no such leverage. Who knows.

    Ahh man. Another obscure (to us clueless outsiders at least) reference to Irish history with the taunting attitude of a sports fan on the winning team. Don’t ever change, Mouse. Loved the marooned female badasses’ card game as well. Especially Black Widow’s dramatically bringing in the nachos. Poor Astrid. Always cursed to live in the shadow of the poster-dwellers.

    1. There you are, Senor!
      I’ve been meaning to tell you that your comment about me being French was hilarious. Only on the internet could I be mistaken for a fashionable and mysterious Frenchwoman. In fact, I am so un-French that I can’t pronounce the names of wines. And I live in a wine region!
      I am actually Australian. ‘Bleventeen’ is from Gravity Falls.

      1. I wonder if that Gravity Falls writer’s been to France. They count really weird over there.

  25. Yeah, I’ve heard the Toothless/Stitch comparisons before. A nifty theory I’ve heard suggested is that Jumba actually managed to acquire some Night Fury DNA at some point and incorporated it into Stitch’s genetic makeup, which is why they’re similar. Though now I’ve got to wonder, if Toothless is like Stitch, would that mean he’s got a bit of Gurgi in him somewhere? Maybe that explains that dire warning in the dragon book.

    I’m probably in your boat with only thinking this movie is kind of ok, but not the first I’d vote for on film night. It might be because I’m a tasteless rube (I think my favourite Dreamworks movie is actually Madagascar), but then again, it might just be that this one failed on the get ’em young front. I was pretty old when this came out, and I only saw it in theatres. Maybe if I watched it enough times to memorize every line and choreographic motion, I’d get into it, but that isn’t the case. That most of my favourite Pixar movies are the earlier ones supports this.

      1. Well, at least that movie led to a somewhat decent spin-off in the “Penguins of Madagascar” TV series.

    1. Whatever you do do NOT look up Lilo & Stitch/How to Train Your Dragon crossover fanfiction. There are special places in Hell reserved for the authors of such things… *shudder*

  26. Ok, did you seriously make that axe pun there? C’mon, that one’s so bad it makes my uncle groan. Though of course it made me laugh, because I’m juvenile. And I totally saw that Whole New World quote coming. Though not the axe though. It’s a good thing most Disney love interests don’t carry those. I’m not sure Astrid is that off-base though. Come on, the dragons were endangered by pest-destroying folks trying to protect their agriculture, leaving it up to only a few liberals to convince them to stop doing so for the good of nature. Sound familiar? Also, the dragons fly, the bees fly, they’re practically twins! As for Red Death, come on, what’s so weird about calling the magnificent ruler of the dragons who are ever bound to their duty towards the Great Mother Country?

    Hmm. Was Brian Boru’s speech to rouse his troops to action any similar to John Darling’s to the Lost Boys? By the sounds of it, Stoick must have been clever-but-not-very-intelligent lessons from Tiger Lily’s dad. Also… Hel was a place, not just a mythological figure, right? I first read that as the goddess, and got very weird mental images. Maybe Astrid ought to have prayed to her to keep Hiccup’s soul for good instead of the middle eastern guy. I bet he was busy handling the aftermath of all that plaguing in that earlier movie you’re about to review. Can’t wait for the Prince of Egypt review! First majorly religion-themed movie review! I wonder if any of the THD angels gallery will get any cameos. I’d love to see Joriel pop up to make a brief badass one-liner.

      1. Interesting thing about Hades the place – in the myths, it’s never called Hades. It’s called ‘The House of Hades’ – ie, where he lives. The place itself is called Erebos.

  27. I think the reason why I like this film so much is mostly the score. I can listen to this films score all the time and bloody love it.

    Also as for Stitch vs Toothless…. I can’t compare them… I constantly quote stitch (ALOHA. CUTE AND FLUFFY) But I also really want a toothless. He’s a giant cat with wings. 😀

    Also this picture (Tis my phones lock screen and is the cutest thing ever :D)

  28. Yeah, I don’t get what the big deal about this movie is either. Yeah, it is good and I agree that the scene you specifically pointed out was really touching, but that’s just one scene. Is this a case of Dreamworks being subconsciously evaluated on a lower scale than Disney, Pixar and Ghibli, where a film that would be counted as merely strong and above average for any of those studios is considered to be Omgexcellent!! for Dreamworks?

    1. No, that’s not the case. I judge all animated films by the same standards, I don’t just compare Disney films to other Disney films or Ghibli films to other Ghibli films. HTTYD is legitimately Pixar quality great.

  29. And not to be an even bigger Negative Nancy, but this movie didn’t even do half of Shrek 2 $$$! And the sequel disappointed financially on a bigger scale. So it’s apparent that a lot of people share the opinion that this wasn’t the best thing since sliced bread.

    1. I can’t believe we live in a world where a movie that made 145 million in America and 620 million worldwide can be said to have been a financial disappointment

  30. Thank you very much for reviewing this Mouse. I hope you review the sequel. It was so amazing, awesome is too weak a word to describe it.

    My entire family LOVES this movie :D. It’s got 2 things we love: dragons, and vikings.

    There are a lot of things I like about this movie besides the 2 things mentioned above. The humor is delivered spot-on, and the characters are very well-developed. The dragons actually remind me a little bit of dogs, in respect that there are many different breeds, but they all have certain things in common. I’m guessing the grass that makes them act silly is some kind of herb, like catnip to kitties. It could even be something as simple as Sweetgrass.
    I liked that Toothless could be cute and dangerous at the same time. I especially liked his eyes, or the fact that he used his ears for expression. However, he appears much smarter than a dog, and yet still behaves similarly to one (though this “doggy” could eat you and fly away). It never really occurred to me that he was similar to Stitch, nor that Chris Sanders had a hand in making HTTYD.
    In some respects, Hiccup’s kinda like the nerd of the island (without the glasses). He’s not a brutish, beefy grunt, so he’s gotta use his brains to fight instead, and he does, with gusto. You gotta admire a guy who figured out the secrets to dragons, which ultimately led Burk to a new era of human-dragon cooperation.
    I’ve actually seen the actor that did the voice for Hiccup. Truth be told, he does better in voice-acting, because the film I saw him in was painful to watch. He starred in that cliched mess called “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” (When are people gonna learn that letting major actors do pet projects always ends up turning up a stinker of a movie?)
    I actually didn’t find Astrid all that fun a female protagonist. In fact, she seemed more a bully than a love interest for Hiccup, and was barely tolerable as a character. Plus, she was probably the only moderately attractive girl Hiccup’s age on the whole island. (Roughnut probably would make most men on Burk run screaming into the night if they weren’t so desperate for a wife).
    Based on the observations made about the Epic Dragon (that’s what I call ginormous dragons of ridiculous proportions), it seemed more like slavery than a hive mind going on. Astrid was just using her limited knowledge of animals to try and make a comparison.

    It’s interesting the contrast you see between the adult vikings and the teenage ones. The adults are all big, beefy, and massive (even the women), whereas most of the kids look like toothpicks by comparison. But then again, it’s a cartoon, so they always exaggerate proportions on everybody.

    I found it a little silly that the vikings all had Scottish accents, but hey, I guess the movie-makers wanted them to sound more authentic. Quite a number of modern-day Scots resemble Vikings in being really tall, with red/blond hair, fair skin, and light eyes.

    You’re right about 2 things, Mouse.

    1.) Vikings never had horned helmets. In fact, sometimes they didn’t even wear helmets at all. Either that, maybe 1 or 2 major warriors decided to look scarier by attaching ram’s horns to their helmets. I think the stereotype started with Nordic-themed operas in centuries past, particularly in the 1800s. Those Victorians loved exaggerating stuff to a fault. The people of Burk get away with this because it’s a fantasy setting.

    2.) Vikings could truly be assholes, though I never let that stop me from admiring them. My family’s descended from them. Our last name even means “Stone of Thor,” meaning the hammer he used to fight the giants.

    You gotta admit that they beat all odds of survival in the harsh environment they were in, though that’s not really an excuse to rape, murder, and plunder others. On the other hand, in those days people were a law unto themselves, and the world was a very primitive place. It was kill or be killed.

    You will also note, that it was because of all the inter-breeding with various peoples of Northern Europe that we have so many fair-skinned, tall, blue-eyed blonds and redheads in that area of the world. It was also because of that, that people of the UK have fire and gumption in their blood. So…um…what was that about hating the monastery-ransacking assholes? You’re knocking your own ancestors, Mouse.

      1. To be fair, us Filipinos haven’t suffered that much compared to other nations in the past century, though our history is one full of irony.

        A BASIC SUMMARY OF FILIPINO HISTORY

        Written by Clair

        —500 years ago—

        Original Filipinos:This peninsula is ours! We have a rich history of cultural and religious diversity, we tolerate queer people and we have both women and men for priests!
        Ferdinand Magellan:Hold up, motherfuckers. *lands on island, talks with tribal chiefs* You and me make a contract, yes, yes?
        Tribal Chiefs:O…kay? *sign contracts with blood*
        Spaniards:MUAHAHAHAHA *takes control of region for exactly 333 years*

        —100 years ago—

        Filipinos:Free! We’re free! And now we have a flag, a government, and an official national anthem! Plus, we blended Spanish culture with ours and now we have a lot of festivals and traditions!
        Americans:Not so fast, motherfuckers. We’re taking control of you.
        Filipinos:Whyyyy?
        Americans:Don’t worry, it’ll be fun! We’ll be giving you stuff like…white supremacy. And colonial mentality. And…Mickey Mouse!
        Filipinos:*shrugs* Fair’s fair.

        —70 years ago—

        Filipinos:Free! We’re actually free! And we’ve improved our writing and painting and artsy skills too! Truly, we’ll be known as the most creative nation in the world!
        Japan:Not so fast, motherfuckers.
        Filipinos:…are you giving us anime?
        Japan:No, anime isn’t even that popular yet. What we’re giving you is…this. *World War II tank sounds*
        Filipinos:…oh, shit.

        —40 years ago—

        Filipinos:We’ve been free for nearly thirty years! From that little experience we gained…uh, sarcastic political commentary. But now, we’re free!
        President Marcos:Not so fast, bitches! *censors mass media* And you…*points to the Beatles* pretty acid tripper boy, cute guy with an Indian fetish, sarcastic loudmouth, that other guy. Get out of here. Like, now.
        John Lennon:*mumbling as they walk away* Imagine there’s no Marcos. It’s easy if you try.
        Filipinos:B-but Marcos! You’re a smart guy! You can rule the country popularly and leave behind a good legacy! Please?
        President Marcos:That being said, there shall be no shows with democratic values on air. *cuts Doctor Who off cable*
        Filipinos:NOOOOO
        Marcos:*sips lemonade*

        —The Present Day—

        Clair:President Aquino.
        Aquino:…yes?
        Clair:*whispering* What the hell have you done? I’m thirteen years old and me and my classmates are heading off to college in two years because of your stupid education program. You still haven’t made peace with the Filipino Muslims and corruption has run amock in these past three years. Also, your trademark symbol is a yellow ribbon and I hate the colour yellow. I mean, sure, the papal visit went well but what else have you done?
        Aquino:…I-I’m sorry! *tears up and falls face down to the floor* I’ll make it up to you! I promise! Give me another chance!
        Clair:I seriously doubt that, but…out of the mercy of my heart, I’ll let you go. On one condition,
        Aquino:W-what?
        Clair:Do you know the pretty ladies that march every Saint Helena’s day?
        Aquino:Kinda?
        Clair:…let them all pass by my house.
        Aquino:Y-yes, ma’am.
        Clair:*satisfied* Go.
        Clair:*wakes up*
        Clair:…*stares at bedroom and groans* Just a dream…

        —THE END—

      2. This was awesome. I’d give you the history of my people but according to tradition I’d have to be drunk and singing in the style of a distressed camel.

      3. I’d tell you the history of China too (I live in Manila but my family’s 99% Chinese), but it would be too long, not to mention that it would basically be ‘Nice guy becomes emperor. China is at peace. Good shit invented. Good shit traded. …descendants of original emperor slowly become worse. Eventually somewhere down the line one forces concubines to have sex with wild animal. China panics, revolts. State war. Dynasty is brought down. People pick nice guy to be emperor. Repeat process’ until Chairman Mao comes in to the picture.

        And, eh, I’d rather not go there, except for the fact that I’m still pissed off that Sun Yat Sen had the politeness to die before he established China into a democracy, or at least something better than what it was until a couple of decades ago.

  31. Hey guys I know you have lives and stuff but I want to start a blog and I need your help! If you could read my pre-review (or “view” if you prefer) of Song of the Sea and comment (or else I won’t know you read) I’d REALLY appreciate it! Sorry to interrupt, Jen Out!

  32. I’ve got no interest in watching this film, which is all I can say about it. Dreamworks is good in diversity but the studio as a whole is honestly a mixed bag for me. I can’t claim to love any of its movies except…

    *excited bunny hopping* The Prince of Egypt! You’re finally reviewing it! I really love that movie, though I haven’t watched it in a few months. I plan on rewatching it soon since I’m reading the Torah now, and I…really…need…something…related…to…keep…me…going. *glares at law section*

    Also, about women in movies, pretty cool news, I’m currently taking a course that discusses both women and men in Disney movies and how animation portrays the both of them. I’m six lessons in and it does a really good job so far in discussing gender roles. I think the course administrator is a Jewish woman, too.

    1. Yeah, we Jews have kind of a whole weird law thing. We were not nice. Luckily because we’ve such a naturally inquisitive bunch we’ve questioned pretty much all our precepts at some point. It’s a weird balance.
      As for the whole “Moshe not knowing he’s Jewish” that you’ve seen in all the adaptations… yeah, he knew. I mean it doesn’t say he knew, but given that his real mother was also his midwife, he was told beforehand, or at somepoint. And he was 60-something when he killed that Egyptian. But it adds to the drama, so I can’t fault the adaptations for that.

  33. You know, I don’t really like that movie either. Like you I don’t think that it is bad just…underwhelming. It never really touched me. Yeah, the scenes with the dragon are nice but how often have I seen something like this? It doesn’t help that the voice of the main character is downright annoying, and I hate the way the movie constantly narrates stuff they could just show.

  34. Tbh I’ve rewatched this recently and I kind of have to agree. I still love this movie (I have a Toothless necklace and like 4 toothless teddies) but it’s not as good as I first thought.

    With the exception of the score, which I still think is epic (3 parts that point out to me. When Hiccup first meets Toothless and he lunges at him, The nose bit with Hiccup (Forbidden Friendship) and the flying scene with Astrid) and the whole forbidden friendship scene the rest of the film is just okay. Doesn’t help that I saw Lilo and Snitch recently and it’s so much better :/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s