So, a little bit of an intro into my love for Dreamworks and these movies specifically. By no means am I a Dreamworks fanboy who blindly loves everything they do. In all honesty, I think Pixar is better at consistently delivering quality movies.
That being said, I think both of the Dragon films are huge home-runs. They're two of my most cherished movies. I watch them after a bad day or just whenever. I used to watch the first one when I stayed up late doing homework in college so it's easily understandable that I've seen it near 30 times. I went to art school and I can assure you that's not an excessive about of late nights.
Anyway, time to get into the meat of this post. I've been composing a mental list for some time now of all the things I loved about this film and I figured MoviePilot was the best place to let it all out.
1. I personally love how each movie begins and ends with the same book end. In the first film, Stoick points to Hiccup and says, "No more of...This!" and Hiccup replies with "but you just gestured to all of me." Exactly! At the beginning, Hiccup is the prime example of what a Viking should NOT be, but by the end things have changed. After he single-handedly saves the day and proves Dragons and humans can live together Stoick says "Turns out all we needed was a little more of..." and Hiccup concludes with "You just gestured to all of me!". Same thing, new context! I love it. And guess what! Same thing in the second one. At the beginning Stoick is preparing the island for Drago's imminent invasion and he says "A chief protects his own." At the very end of the movie while Toothless is challenging the monster that is the Alpha, Hiccup rewords it but it's basically the same. He says, "The Alpha protects them all." I just adore that kind of dedication to consistently doing that in both movies.
- 2. Never before have I seen two characters who were in love, or dating, or whatever, with near as much chemistry as Hiccup and Astrid show during the scene where she finds him exploring and expanding his map. Please, if you know of an animated film that does this nearly as well, please tell me.
3. Hiccup's scar is actually present in the first movie. Kudos to you guys at Dreamworks who knew far enough ahead to include that. I made a point to look for it when I rewatched the first one awhile back.
- 4. I think, overall, Dreamworks did an amazing job showing emotion in a believable and relatable way throughout this movie. Most notable in the scene where he meets his mother for the first time. That almost double take of realization he has is so powerful. Another is when he pushes Toothless away after Stoick's death. We know Toothless didn't have any control and doesn't even remember what he did so he's especially hurt and confused when Hiccup yells at him. Breaks your heart.
5. They actually reference things in the first film. Right off the top of my head, I can think of two instances. The first, is when Hiccup is trying to convince Eret that Dragons can be friends and Astrid chimes in "He can be pretty persuasive". The second is when they're fighting the Alpha and Hiccup is once again hurdling towards the tail and yells "Not again!" referencing how he lost his leg in the first movie. Speaking of which, I just remembered a third time. Hiccup tells his mother how Toothless came to be his.
6. I appreciate the metaphor of the Alphas vs Stoick and Drago. Might have been a bit obvious, but appreciated nonetheless.
- 7. I absolutely die laughing at the background humor. In almost every scene where Toothless is in the background, he is doing something goofy and it's so great to watch him interact with other dragons.
8. In the first movie, Toothless is very stubborn. When he's insulted or taken for granted he takes offense and waits till that's acknowledged before he forgives. In the first movie you see it when Astrid calls him an "it" and runs screaming away from him. Once Hiccup convinces her to ride Toothless, Toothless decides to make it the worst flight ever until she caves and says sorry. In the second movie, Toothless is still the same. He has the same personality. In the first five minutes we see Hiccup risk both their lives for what we can presume is NOT the first time and Toothless is not happy about another close call. When teased about it he walks Hiccup to the edge of the cliff and pretends he's going to drop him until he apologizes. Again, I appreciate consistency like this from one movie to the next.
9. I relate to Hiccup and Stoick's relationship. Whether it's true or not, I always felt like Hiccup at the beginning of the first movie growing up. It wasn't until I was in high school that the relationship I have with my dad became more like the one between Hiccup and Stoick in the second movie.
And that, my friends, is my long-winded review/art post.
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