How to Train Your Dragon
I don’t know where to begin with this one. I saw the last half of this movie one night – I’d come home from college and my mother recorded it with my nephew in mind. Just watching the climax of this movie, I HAD to watch the rest of it.
There was something magical about the ending that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. The characters were charming, the ending was AMAZING, and the world was incredible. I set the whole movie to record, and that next weekend, I watched How to Train Your Dragon about 12 times in two days.
I fell in love with Hiccup’s character, with the whimsical world built around the Viking culture, and with the dragons, the characters, and everything. It had love interest, it had dragons, it had father-son plot, it had a serious plot line with comic relief characters; it had everything!
The plot, for those uncultured boobs out there, is simple enough – boy meets dragon, boy changes world. Hiccup lives in a small world where it’s Viking against dragon. When he befriends Toothless, he then sets into motion a chain of events that will change the world. In the end, the Vikings are riding the dragons instead.
Now – confession time. How to Train Your Dragon grabbed me enough that I fell into the world of fan fiction. Yes. I read it. I wrote it.
The first story I wrote from start to end was fan fiction. I had this feeling of accomplishment at the end – and I realized what I had been missing in order to be a writer. I had to be obsessed with what I was writing. That story gave me this sense of determination that I had never felt before – an overwhelming desire to see to the end.
I’ve written a number of fan fictions since that first one, and WOW has my writing improved. And, all the people telling me how much the enjoyed the things I wrote, how much they looked forward to updates, and how good my writing was – those comforts were/are really nice.
How to Train Your Dragon was a milestone in my creative life. It made me want to write worlds that were as vast and in need of exploration; characters that were as funny and heart-felt and badass; and a story that would inspire other people, that would offer the same sense of escape that I craved.
And yes, I’ve seen the TV series, the Netflix continuation of that TV series, the specials, and I’ve read the comics. I’m aware it’s a show aimed at 14 year old boys. Don’t judge me! I’m sticking my tongue out at you. Right now.
That’s another thing I loved about the movie – it was for everyone. It wasn’t some Disney-princess thing aimed at young girls, or the next Transformers aimed at boys. It had a wholesome, real-life plot at it’s heart. It had a ‘family’ center, one that anyone could enjoy. The entire series is Hiccup’s coming-of-age. And I do enjoy those. (Dragons, love interests, and jokes, too.)