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Friday, June 23, 2017

Better than the Book: How to Train your Dragon

You guys read this book? It's by Cressida Cowell, and it's not bad. It's just not all that great, either. I never connected emotionally with Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. I never really felt like anything of vital import was going to happen in the novel. Maybe that's because I read it when I was already about 35 years old. My son read it, and he liked it okay, but hasn't felt the need to read the rest of the series.

But the movie...the movie has music. Of course I have to bring that up, because the score is triumphant and inspiring. The whole score is worthwhile, but check out this part:


John Powell.

For whatever reason, after Hiccup's dragon Toothless has been revealed and Stoic has sailed off with it on his foolish errand, and Hiccup and Astrid are standing on the cliff and Astrid asks him what he's going to do, and he tries to dodge the question because he doesn't know, and Astrid won't let him because she wants to hear what he has to say, I get a little choked up. It's  because she trusts him, even more than he trusts himself.

Hiccup's a different sort of hero, and I appreciate that. Cerebral rather than physical, which is kind of the whole point of the movie. My kids love it because of the dragons--I don't think I've ever heard them talk about Hiccup at all, but they really get into the different types of dragons in the movies and shows. But I love it because there's something worthwhile in the human relationships. I would never have cared about that level of trust when I was a kid, but as an adult, as someone who feels like he's in that kind of relationship, I see it as laying the groundwork for understanding each other in my own children. Sometimes we need someone else to say that what we're doing is important, and that it can change the world, even just for a small group of people.

That said, I do think they missed an opportunity in the second movie when they didn't make Astrid the new chief.

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