There are only a few animated films out there that really capture my heart and ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ is one of them. If I were to list some, they would include Aladdin (my all-time favorite), The Land Before Time, Up!, and Monsters Inc.
‘Dragon’ has that perfect combination of good storyline, humor and direction. As an animated film, it didn’t solely bank on visual appeal although the utterly undeniable cuteness of “Toothless” can surely melt anyone.
The film has the same formula as in many movies before where a protagonist tries to find his place in the world he is living in. Hiccup, the hero in the film, is trying so hard to serve his purpose in his community. And that purpose is to follow on the footsteps of his father.
He’s got so much to live up to. But Hiccup was not in any way a viking-material. And it doesn’t help that his father is the Viking Chief. So he tries. And tries harder and fails miserably. And even with intensive dragon training, he never became the dragon-slayer that he is expected to be.
Instead, he became a dragon-tamer, just the exact opposite of everything that is expected of the son of the Chief. But once he finally accepted that this is who he really is, he never denied that to anybody and more importantly to himself.
Going against societal dogmas is probably one of the greatest hurdles one would face. But just because society wants or expects you to be someone that you’re not doesn’t mean you have to follow that. You shouldn’t try to be someone you are not, even if it means hurting the people you love. Although Hiccup tried to be what was expected of him, it was a way for him to realize that it was not what he is meant to be.
So he had to prove to his community, especially to his dad that it can’t be taken away from him and against him who he really is. But this comes at a price. He lost the respect of his father. Hiccup was disowned by him. But he had to stand his ground firmly. And although he lost his foot (leg?) in the process, he was completely fine with it and bounced back pretty quickly. The important thing was that at least he served his true purpose. He knew completely that you don’t come out of this hurdle unscathed.
His indomitable spirit is undeniable. Hurdles like going against your family and society are not easy. Proving to your community something that they’ve always believed for over 300 years is not true can be downright scary and would seem like an impossible task.
That he did. He successfully educated his village that dragons were not really vicious. Hiccup knew that those dragons were just forced and ordered by their evil and extremely humongous queen dragon to fetch food (sheep) for her which they primarily get in the island of Berk. So what seems to be an attack on their village is no more than that they don’t have any choice to do it or they’d be eaten by their queen.
The message was clear and simple. In order for us to fully understand why people act in certain ways, we need to know the reason behind their behavior. We can’t judge solely on what we see. One’s actions are not necessarily translated to intentions.
All of us just want to belong and be understood. I believe that that is what most of us strive for. If we achieve that, then we’d be in a better place and be happy with our lives. So maybe true happiness really depends on other people then? You don’t really get to be completely happy when other people, especially those who are close to you, are happy for you as well? I really don’t know how to answer that myself….for now. But one thing I’m sure of. I’m glad I saw this movie.