Hiccup takes Astrid for a ride on Toothless

Sunday Seven: More Dragons!

Yes, it’s another How to Train Your Dragon Sunday Seven list.  It won’t be the last.

Last June, in my first How to Train Your Dragon Sunday Seven, I listed seven unexpected or moving moments from the film.  Yet the movie is so rich in its story and animation, there were several things I missed upon first viewing.  So here are seven things I noticed upon watching the movie a second time.

Seven Things I Caught When Watching How to Train Your Dragon for a Second Time

  1. During the DreamWorks logo/credit, after the boy in the moon casts his fishing line,  a Night Fury flies across the night sky.
  2. Hiccup is left-handed.  At the time I hadn’t read any of the books, so I was curious as to why the creators made this choice.  Once I’d read How to be a Pirate (the second volume in the How to Train Your Dragon series of books), everything made sense.
  3. Gothi, the village elder, watches the teens’ dragon training session with the Deadly Nadder.  She also observes the Zippleback training session, and thereafter is joined by more and more villagers.
  4. Also during Nadder training session:  when Snotlout, trying to impress Astrid, throws his weapon at the dragon and misses, the Nadder laughs at him.
  5. Towards the end of the “Forbidden Friendship” scene (when Hiccup tries to befriend the dragon in the cove), after Hiccup has made it successfully through the dragon’s maze, his hand reaching out is in 3-D.  Since I’ve only seen the movie in 2-D, I hadn’t realized this was an obvious  3-D “gag.”
  6. When Hiccup and Toothless race through the archipelago without the aid of the cheat sheet at the end of their “Test Drive”), Toothless does a 360-degree barrel roll.
  7. After the teens arrive at the battle scene with the Green Death, Astrid throws a salute to the others when she and Hiccup peel off to save Toothless.

There you have just some of the delightful wonders this film provides.  What are your favorites?

And just because it must be said:

Only 88 days until How to Train Your Dragon 2 is in theaters!

In a scene from How to Train Your Dragon 2, Toothless plays with a large, colorful dragon.

Could it be that Toothless has a girlfriend?

Fishlegs joins Hiccup on the back of Toothless to save Meatlug from capture.

Back on the Dragon Train!

The second season of DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk wrapped up this week, and FX aired How to Train You Dragon last Friday.  So this seems like a good time to return to my Dragons obsession.  This week we’ll look at the television series.  Next week we’ll revisit the movie, and after that we’ll take another look at John Powell’s fabulous soundtrack.

I wasn’t terribly consistent in reviewing the Defenders of Berk episodes at SciFi Chicks, but I never missed an episode (unless thwarted by electricity), and my obsession love for the franchise continues.  And so I present…

My Seven Favorite Defenders of Berk Episodes

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Hiccup takes Stoic for a ride on Toothless.

A Dragons Sunday Seven, Part 2

Cartoon Network is showing reruns of DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk nearly every day.  If you haven’t seen this award-winning series, I highly recommend you catch up.  Although it’s classified as a children’s show, just like the movie, there’s something for everyone.

The series picks up shortly after the end of How to Train Your Dragon.  Now that the Vikings of Berk are no longer killing dragons, living with them takes some getting used to.  Along the way, we watch Stoic and Hiccup become truly father and son.  And so we have…

Seven Favorite Riders of Berk Episodes
(Although All 22 Are Worthy)

  1. Animal House (103).  The farm animals have to learn to live with the dragons before a severe storm sets in.  Toothless leads the other dragons to protect the humans and animals when they get caught in the storm.
  2. The Terrible Twos (104).  Hiccup discovers a little dragon of unknown species, who causes all sorts of problems for Toothless.  Toothless appears to be jealous, but he’s actually trying to help everyone, including the new little guy.  (I loved this episode so much, I did a previous Sunday Seven on it.)
  3. How to Pick Your Dragon (107).  Stoic gets a dragon of is own, but not before riding Toothless ragged.
  4. Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man (108).  A inaccurate portrait of Chief and son leads Hiccup to believe Stoic would prefer a more Viking-like son.  To prove himself, Hiccup and friends set off in search of a legendary treasure.
  5. Thawfest (112).  For the first time in history, Hiccup has a chance at beating Snotlout in the annual Thawfest games.  But, as Astrid notes, Hiccup is not a very gracious winner.
  6. When Lightening Strikes (113).  Homes on Berk are being crushed by the weight of  dragons sitting on roofs.  After building iron perches, Berk is besieged by severe lightening strikes.  The townsfolk believe the Night Fury is the cause, and force Toothless to leave the island.
  7. Breakneck Bog (117).  When Trader Johann is late in bringing something important to Stoic, Hiccup and the gang go in search of it.  Hiccup learns the package is actually for him, from his mother.  However, the package is trapped on Breakneck Bog, home of the fabled Fog Monster.

How to Train Your Dragon: Sunday Seven, Part 1

The dragon places  his nose in Hiccup's hand.

All together now—”Aww.”   [Photo credit: DreamWorks]

I’m a huge fan of all things How to Train Your Dragon:  the books, the movie, the soundtrack, the television series, all of it.  There are so many things to love, I could write seven separate Sunday Seven Dragon lists.  But that’s just overkill.  Let’s start with the movie.

When I first watched it, there were moments I was totally awed, by either the story or the animation. (And I haven’t even seen it in 3D yet!)  These are some of those moments.  (The list actually started with 11; these seven are the best of the best.)

Danger, danger!  If you’ve not seen the movie, stop reading now.  Besides possibly ruining the surprise, it might not make sense.  And also, what are you waiting for?

Seven Amazing (1st Viewing) Moments
from  How to Train Your Dragon (the movie)
  1. Hiccup’s first encounter with the downed dragon:  As the camera pans across its wing, its eye opens.  (According to the the DVD commentary this was unintentional.  But what a great mistake!)
  2. As Hiccup steps through the dragon’s maze, he looks as if he’s dancing.  He turns his body rhythmically, and his hair waves with the movement.
  3. When the dragon puts his head in Hiccup’s hand, Hiccup gasps.  It’s such a realistic moment, and we feel his thrill.
  4. As Toothless returns to the cove after his first flight with his tail fin (and Hiccup hanging on to his tail), the dragon’s body is reflected in the water. Gorgeous!
  5. On the way to the dragons’ island, the number of dragons flying alongside Toothless is slowly revealed.  The numbers just keep growing until dragons have completely filled the screen.
  6. Having been trapped under water while the Vikings are fighting the Green Death (sometimes erroneously called the Red Death), Toothless suddenly resurfaces carrying Stoic.  Not only is it a surprise, Toothless’s arched back and curved wings make a powerful yet graceful image.
  7. When Hiccup regains consciousness, he makes his way outside leaning on Toothless.  Toothless’s tail sweeps across screen, and we see how interrelated these two are.  (Oh yeah, I’ve heard this scene produces audible gasps from theater audiences. )

So those are some of my favorite scenes.  What about you?  Do you love the movie?  What are some of your favorite moments?