Finally, it was my time to introduce a movie my BF hadn’t seen! Although to be fair I think he’s much more of a movie buff than I am. What saves me is when I was in high school theatre, we thought it was our creative thespian duty to watch old classic films so I clocked in some hours back then.

But he hadn’t seen How to Train Your Dragon, and I’m not even sure what got us on it, and since it’s been so long since I’ve seen it, watching it was like seeing it (almost) for the first time.

loosely based on a book by British author Cressida Cowell

Even if you don’t have kids, How to Train Your Dragon is visually stunning, and it’s hard not to appreciate the art work that went into this computer animated movie. It’s also a fantastic underdog story.

The idea though of rooting for the underdog is not common in Thailand (and possibly other Asian countries). For me, getting to unravel these cultural differences in a learning environment is one of the reasons why I like teaching. I’ve never had to explain this concept before, and I’m not sure my students really got it either, but at least it gave them something to think about.

Gerard Butler does a bang up job as the voice of Stoick the Viking

It’s also interesting to consider the differences between how the East versus the West portray dragons. In Western cultures, dragons are typically evil, guarding treasure, and greatly feared. In the East, dragons are lucky, they are depicted everywhere on temples, clothing, and even have an esteemed place on the zodiac.

When I was getting ready to watch this film for the first time, I thought ‘it’s going to be a nice Disney-like movie’, but boy was I wrong. HTTYD exceeded my expectations and I fell in love. Audiences around the world must have felt the same way as it earned nearly $500 million, received many awards, and has been followed up by two (also successful) sequels.

It’s funny, heart-warming, and intelligent.

I love this movie (and yes I cried at the end). Looking forward to watching 2 and 3 soon.


This is Film Fridays hosted by Darren and Sarah. Care to join? Hashtag and give me your credit card details. Just kidding. Any form of cash will do. JOKING!


Screenshots and sketch from http://www.imdb.com

Have you seen How To Train Your Dragon?

36 replies on “Film Fridays – How to Train Your Dragon

      1. Don’t enjoy gathering my thoughts for reviews that much but I make the effort for books….films I’d rather just watch I think unless it’s a documentary worth sharing. Happy (and grateful) for others to do it though!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great film! So well animated, funny and touching.

    We watched this recently as it has been on TV several times over lockdown, presumably to keep the quarantined rugrats amused though it worked on me too!

    It departs from the books which are a delight also. The decision not to include some things in the movies has missed an opportunity; To quote Cressida Cowell ‘The mighty bosoms of Big-Boobied Bertha had killed many a Warrior in mortal combat’. Now tell me you would not pay to see this? Worryingly my wife’s bosses 7 year old daughter has borrowed the books from us…

    I was interested in the East/West differences you mention. I am guessing our Western dragons are grumpy because blokes in armour keep poking them with swords πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Now you’ve got me curious about the books too. Nice! Yeah, who doesn’t like a big-boobed Bertha, right? Hopefully, the 7 year old is giggles and that’s that.

      The dragon differences was something I thought about when I had to memorize a fairy tale and retell it to a kindergarten class for my Waldorf teaching interview.

      It was a Chinese story about a boy who saves his village from a dragon. They discover the dragon is not harmful. No spears or swords were used to provoke him πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The books are great fun, as are the illustrations. They have a kind of subversive humour that is probably over the heads of their target demographic too.
        I am curious about the dragon mythology now.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I love all parts of “How To Train Your Dragon”!!!
    None of my friends were excited to watch the third part, so I went alone to watch it. I was sitting next to a 8year old boy and his grandmother. At the end of the movie, me and the little boy were howling. His grandmother couldn’t understand why but tried to console us. πŸ™ˆ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, don’t tell me any more about part 3. I still haven’t seen it as I just found out when I was doing research for this post! Crazy, right?

      Glad you liked all three. I’m looking forward to continuing the storylines πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. Aaaah! This one has been on my list for years now and I can’t believe I haven’t managed to watch it yet!! I so want to, I love dragons and stories about dragons and this one sounds great!
    Dragons might be generally depicted as evil(ish) in the western hemisphere but they’re also admired a big deal for their strength and cunning. Need to read the books too!
    Apropos- have you watched/read ‘Eragon’? Loved that one and the sequels too. πŸ˜ŠπŸ²πŸ’•

    Like

    1. No, thanks for the recommendation. I remember the book covers. I’ve read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern or whatever the series was called. I’ve dabbled, but I forgot about Eragon. Awesome. Thanks.

      AND YOU MUST WATCH THIS IF YOU LOVE DRAGONS… Homework, Sarah, homework. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I LOVED that movie. My boys did, too, but not as much as I did! That’s going to have to get a second viewing. I then tried to get them into the series of books, but that didn’t take. I don’t know why–one of my guys loves fantasy. But maybe, for once, the books didn’t measure up to the movie!

    Like

  5. I relate to a lot of what you just shared (and I never consciously noticed the cultural differences in opinion around dragons until you mentioned it). The ending of that movie (and the second one) made me cry too.

    And interesting about the underdog in Thailand and the parts of Asia you’ve been to. In the Philippines, it feels like everyone thinks of the underdog. In sporting events or movies here, people are often cheering for the underdog instead. Maybe it’s the strong Western influence here… *chews on that thought for a bit*

    I love the evolution of animated films that grown up kids like us can also enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, yes, I would imagine it’s the strong Christian and Western influence. I once hear a crazy statement about how it’s a shame that Thailand was the only country that wasn’t colonized in SE Asia. Besides being wildly un-PC, I could see the POV, at least on an intellectual level. I know many in the US are down on American culture but as an expat I must say there’s something to be said about a blend of the two.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely un-PC! From my perspective spending my growing up years here, it’s a double-edged sword (as all things are, really). There are definitely pros and cons when you approach it putting political connotations aside.

        I agree a blend of the two is best, but I think all cultures have some positives and negatives in them depending on who’s doing the looking.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw glimpses of it at my cousin’s house when I was around 8-9 and thought it was scary (it was the part where Toothless pinned Hiccup and roared at him), so I was a little reluctant to watch it. But then my whole family gathered in the living room one night (when I was 9-12) and we watched it. My siblings and I fell in love immediately and stayed up late many nights when we were supposed to be sleeping playing that we were dragon riders. *sigh* My sweet childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, lovely! Yes, I can see it becoming an addiction for children (or adults!). It’s an endearing story with some surprises and great animation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah! I’m still in love. Even now I sometimes imagine I ride dragons. (Particularly the Night Light with the blue eyes and the white nose. I’ve named him Eclipse in my mind.)

        Liked by 1 person

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