Here (also) There Be Dragons

I mentioned previously seeing the trailer for 'How to Train Your Dragon'.

I never did manage to catch it in the theater (alas), but did pick it up when it came out on blu-ray. Well, I waited a couple of days to see if Target's price was better than Amazon's that weekend, but when it wasn't even close (I was surprised it wasn't within 10%; in fact, it was about 30% more), I bought it at Amazon after all.

Did I like it? Well, when it finished playing, I hit the pop-up menu to check the extras (not realizing that it was a completely separate extras menu than in the main menu), and saw 'Trivia Track'. Being curious, I went back to the second scene of the movie, and ended up watching the rest of the movie a second time with that on. It was an absolutely brilliant idea as an alternate use of a subtitle track, and was mostly interesting.

I really, really liked the part where Hiccup is being trained, and where he is making friends with Toothless. It was just a beautiful sequence of scenes. And I was very amused how the Romantic Flight (according the Trivia Track, what they called the sequence with Astrid's first flight) was largely lifted from another movie (my first thought was that it was from Superman, minus the drop, but now I think that wasn't it).

I think there are a couple of key reasons that I liked the movie. The now-typical misunderstood geek finds acceptance is one part, but the other, I think, was just the finding that enemies were enemies only because of misunderstanding (or, perhaps, external influence).

It's similar, I think, to why I very much enjoyed Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon (incidentally, when I was in seventh grade, for English class, we had to read an Arthurian book. My teacher was more than a little surprised when that was the one I chose). It wasn't so much the reversal of viewpoint from the men to the women that I liked (I was actually pretty indifferent to that), it had more to do with a view that the enemy wasn't truly evil, but just had different priorities than the "good guys".

I think part of why I liked it, also, was that it was driven by very positive emotions, rather than dwelling on negative ones. This is much the same reason why one of my favorite movies of all time, despite it's extremely high cheese quotient, is Love, Actually. The opening sequence to that, with Hugh Grant's voiceover, talking about the arrivals gate at Heathrow, and mentioning the last calls of those who died on 9/11, is very powerful. If you haven't seen that one, do yourself a favor, and watch it.

Anyway, getting back to 'How to Train...', I enjoyed it very, very much, and would highly recommend it.

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