I had little interest upon the initial release of 2010’s How To Train Your Dragon. I was familiar with, though not particularly enamored of, the book series. My enjoyment of previous Dreamworks projects was hit-or-miss. When I finally got around to seeing HTTYD, I was floored. Excellent storytelling, a protagonist who made a difference through kindness and engineering, lovely animation, and dragons. Well, one dragon in particular.
But first, a quick bit of human-character backstory. Hiccup isn’t like the rest of his Viking clan. He’s small and prone to dreaming. He solves problems with his mind rather than an axe or sword. Still, he’s determined to prove his dragon-slaying warrior worth, and manages (with a device of his own design) to fell one of the creatures. When he tracks it, he finds that 1. it’s a fabled Night Fury and 2. it’s still alive. With what he deems as weakness, what we know is compassion, Hiccup frees the dragon.
He later realizes the Night Fury is injured (half of it’s tail fin gone) and unable to fly. Owning his responsibility for the creature’s situation, he approaches and ultimately befriends the dragon he names Toothless.
Toothless is a clever one. Watching Hiccup use a stick to make a drawing (of the dragon) in the dirt, he rips up a tree and shares his own.
He ably conveys his feelings when Hiccup is about to step on his drawing, and when he withdraws.
With a small, tentative movement, he offers his trust.
(trust-building scene, complete with glorious score, in its entirety here. You’re welcome.)
Toothless is remarkably expressive overall. Note his textbook-perfect skepticism.
The dopey grin.
He’s basically an enormous, black, scaled kitty.
While the second movie didn’t have the same effortless charm of the first, the visuals were absolutely gorgeous, especially when showing Toothless in flight.
Toothless-become-Alpha is fierce and beautiful.
The best, the most important, part of both movies is the bond between Toothless and Hiccup.
They support one another.
They are partners. Best friends. Brothers.
One would be lucky to have a Night Fury as a friend. One would be beyond blessed for that dragon to be Toothless.
I live in hope. 🙂