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 How to Train Your Dragon 2/Riders of Berk Discussion or whatever..

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Chosen Zelos
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PostSubject: How to Train Your Dragon 2/Riders of Berk Discussion or whatever..   Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:35 am

So, I fucking loved HTTYD2



... Yeah, the flaming sword threw me off at first too, but, it makes sense in the context of Hiccup's character.

Anyway, what I liked most about it was that it truly evolved everything about the last film and made for a great film that I almost argue could stand on it's own, but I loved the first one anyway so I would never suggest that, lol. Everything was pushed up a notch: The characters grew up, the story was pretty epic for a kids film, the computer graphics looked ... I dunno what they did but the film looks so beautiful and the attention to detail seems almost overwhelming. Not that the first film wasn't a visual spectacle, but everything looked so detailed I could probably count Hiccup's whiskers if I wanted to. Yeah, all the kids have lil beards now, that's just adorable. Also, this film was pretty dark and left me almost in tears a few times. Not soooo dark where it could be a pg-13, but probably right at the level you can get away with now and again. (ex: It is IMPLIED that one big dragon stabbed another dragon in the chest. I assume, it cut away from it, and the other dragon has no blood, but one of the dragons is down and everyone is sad, so, dead. Also, main character dies too. Also, sad.) Honestly, close to being one of my favorite films of the summer.

I loved the first movie and only saw most of the first season of the tv show they had on Cartoon Network. I thought it was a fine show and it was nice to keep seeing these characters again before 2 came out, but I missed a lot of episodes and just had no desire to follow it. It was an okay show, but pretty safe here and there. Each episode just felt like filler shenanigans, with some meh moral at the end. The ones with the evil alvin viking or whoever were neat, and I liked that most of the voice cast stayed on board (most). But, after just seeing HTTYD2 which seemed like a kids movie Game of Thrones, I dunno if I even really wanna pursue watching the rest of the show, it seems pretty tame and weak by comparison.

Anyway, what were your guy's thoughts on How to Train Your Dragon 2?

And if you watch the tv show, tell me, is it worth continuing? Does it get any more interesting in the second season or more of the same?

Discuss, peoples:

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PostSubject: Re: How to Train Your Dragon 2/Riders of Berk Discussion or whatever..   Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:59 pm

Chosen Zelos wrote:
So, I fucking loved HTTYD2
Also, this film was pretty dark and left me almost in tears a few times.
This film left me in tears twice.

The Dancing and the Dreaming scene. I love it so much. So much.
I can't express it well enough to properly convey how much I loved them.
It was so beautiful.

As for the other...

I thought this was a children's film!
I mean, it served the narrative and the plot so well. And I was ignoring all the hints because I thought they were for the other person and this is a children't movie so by all accounts they should be false flags in the first place.

Those arrows hitting their mark really drove the point home.

I was in denial the rest of the movie. I had hope because of something said before it happened, but no stinger at the end of the credits. No nothing.

I've been listening to For the Dancing and the Dreaming to calm myself for a while now.

I don't think there's ever been another character in a movie I'm going to miss as much.

The movie is amazing though. I didn't realize how much I needed to see this. It was worth every minute I spent watching it thrice over. It was beautiful, it was sad, it was exhilarating. It gave me goosebumps more than once. Dreamworks, I applaud you for making another movie I'll never forget.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Train Your Dragon 2/Riders of Berk Discussion or whatever..   Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:12 am

OH MY GOD I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A HTTYD2 THREAD ON THIS FORUM.

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY DRAGONS.

Okay, so first, as a note on this film: I loved it. Saying I loved it isn't even enough. I thought that it was just as excellent as the first film, and the first film is literally my all-time favorite movie. It's to the point where I've seen all of the specials, all forty episodes of the TV show (I'll get to that in a minute!) and now both movies. I've seen this one twice, and the first one . . . I don't know how many times. Enough times that I can quote chunks of it at the drop of a hat, I can say that much.

So, as deep into this as I am, as much as I loved the first film, this one completely met all of my expectations and more. Admittedly there were some pacing issues, since there's a lot they had to set up for the final movie, but man. Man. I can say that I was expecting the character death (and it isn't the first time there has been a major character death in a kid's movie--remember The Lion King), but the way it happened . . . oh god. That I was not expecting, and Hiccup's reaction is what drove me to tears, and . . .

Okay, screw it, I can't be completely vague about this, time to bust out the spoiler tags.

Spoiler:
 

So yeah, all of that completely wrecked me, but everything else was on point. I ended up loving Eret (Son of Eret) way more than I thought I would; Ruffnut finally got some spotlight, which was great after she didn't get much in the TV show; and while it was disappointing that the rest of the original Berk Riders were pretty much just background characters (the TV show made me really attached to them, Snotlout and Tuffnut especially), the bits we did get of them were still golden. Astrid was pretty on point, too, even if she's the reason all of the chaos happened later in the film. Good job, Astrid.

I just. I could go on. I could, but I won't, though I could link you to my original reaction post if you wanted.

But, that aside . . .

Chosen Zelos wrote:
And if you watch the tv show, tell me, is it worth continuing? Does it get any more interesting in the second season or more of the same?

OKAY, LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU A FEW THINGS ABOUT RIDERS/DEFENDERS OF BERK:

The first season (Riders) is very, very bumpy. Very. Usually when I tell people to watch it, I offer to give them a list of the episodes that are worth it. It gets a lot better in the second half (episodes like "When Lightning Strikes" and "What Flies Beneath" are fantastic for Hiccup and Toothless bonding), but at the same time there are some episodes that are either not that great or are downright awful ("Thawfest" is godawful and no one should watch it ever). The first season of the show didn't quite know what it was trying to accomplish, and you're right in that a lot of the episodes felt like filler fluff that were trying to teach a moral. A lot of them were trying to teach a moral.

But that said, I'm pretty sure the crew listened to the fandom (I'm actually in a mutual follow with one of the animators on tumblr), because as I said, the show got better in the back half of the first season and really got better in the second season, aptly called "Defenders of Berk." (Sadly, "Defenders" didn't get its own unique opening sequence, save for a title card change. But it's not that big of a deal.) Ruffnut started to actually get lines again (her voice actress in the first season wasn't good at improv, and Tuffnut's VA--TJ Miller, from the movies--is a fucking god of improv, so he stole the spotlight), the characterization improved, and so did the overall plot (there started to be more of an overall plot, though there were still standalone episodes--and honestly, even those improved; "Race to Fireworm Island" is a fantastic Snotlout episode, for instance, and David Tennant even came in to voice Spitelout again!). Plus, "Defenders of Berk" has far more focus on Dagur, which is great in and of itself.

Okay, so, to explain a bit more indepth: you don't have to watch the TV show to understand the movies, obviously. Dreamworks has said that characters from the TV show won't appear in the movies, which is why Stoick's TV show dragon had to go bye-bye and why he had a new one in the movies (which is BS, but honestly I'm glad that Thornado doesn't . . . er, that is to say, given events of the movie, I'm okay with it). But that said, the TV show did introduce some great characters, and Dagur the Deranged, chief of the Berserkers, is one of them. Honestly, he's disturbing as all get out (I mean, let's just say he earns that title of his), but he's also hilarious because of it. Not as hilarious as TJ Miller is, but hilarious all the same.

(No, really, I'm so glad that TJ Miller reprised his role as Tuffnut for the TV show, because they let him improv a ton of his material and it is gold. You really don't get much better than TJ Miller. You honestly don't. As glad as I am that Ruffnut got to have the spotlight in the second movie, part of me did wonder what TJ would have done with the script if he had the chance.)

All in all, if you're interested in the TV show, I can go ahead and give you a viewing list of the episodes that are worth it/important to the overall narrative. Be warned that most of the "Defenders" episodes will be on the list, because they're great.

RIDERS OF BERK VIEWING LIST:

-Episode 1: "How to Start a Dragon Academy" (if only because it kicks off the show, sets the stage etc)
-Episode 4: "The Terrible Twos" (introduces typhoomerangs, and Torch comes back in season two)
-Episode 5: "In Dragons We Trust" (Mildew nonsense, which is important for the overall seasonal arc)
-Episode 6: "Alvin and the Outcasts" (second part to episode five)
-Episode 7: "How to Pick Your Dragon" (introduces Thornado)
-Episode 8: "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man" (great Stoick and Hiccup episode)
-Episode 9: "Dragon Flower" (Mildew nonsense once again)
-Episode 10: "The Heather Report Part 1"
-Episode 11: "The Heather Report Part 2" (good Astrid episodes, and I like Heather)
-Episode 13: "When Lightning Strikes"
-Episode 14: "What Flies Beneath"
-Episode 15: "Twinsanity" (introduces Dagur, who is super important in season two)
-Episode 16: "Defiant One" (great Snotlout and Hiccup episode)
-Episode 19: "We Are Family Part 1"
-Episode 20: "We are Family Part 2"

. . . Okay, so that still ended up being most of them. To be fair, the only ones that are strictly necessary are the ones with Mildew nonsense and Dagur. The rest are just ones I recommend (especially "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man," "When Lightning Strikes," and "What Flies Beneath," though. Especially those). I went ahead and bolded those ones for convenience.

What's really interesting, though, is that . . . do you remember the part in the second movie where
Spoiler:
 
That's actually a plot point in the finale, and one that leads to the finale's overall plot (hint: it gets them into some real trouble). I found it interesting that it came up in the second movie, too, if only very briefly.

Anyway, that's Riders. For Defenders (which, yes, will have an even longer list):

DEFENDERS OF BERK VIEWING LIST:

-Episode 1: "Live and Let Fly" (they start a Dragon Flight Club and literally say, "The first rule of Dragon Flight Club is there is no Dragon Flight Club" and if that doesn't convince you I don't know what will, except to say that this episode is very plot relevant, so)

-Episode 3: "The Night and the Fury" (Dagur episode! Also fantastic episode!)
-Episode 4: "Tunnel Vision" (introduces the Screaming Death, which is plot relevant)
-Episode 5: "Race to Fireworm Island" (excellent Snotlout episode, guest starring David Tennant)
-Episode 6: "Fright of Passage" (great Astrid episode)
-Episode 8: "Appetite for Destruction" (Screaming Death ep)
-Episode 10: "A View to a Skrill Part 1"
-Episode 11: "A View to a Skrill Part 2" (Dagur episodes)
-Episode 12: "The Flight Stuff" (another Dagur episode, kind of)
-Episode 13: "Free Scauldy" (GREAT Ruffnut episode, FINALLY)
-Episode 15: "A Tale of Two Dragons" (good for Snotlout and Astrid)
-Episode 16: "The Eel Effect" (good for Toothless and Hiccup)
-Episode 17: "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (Dagur episode)
-Episode 18: "Bing! Bang! Boom!" (goodbye Thornado :( )
-Episode 19: "Cast Out Part 1"
-Episode 20: "Cast Out Part 2"

Really, the entire second season could go on this list, but I left off the ones that weren't the best . . . even though they were all great. (Also, Fishlegs is my least favorite of the crew so I left his episodes off both lists, so if you like him, you could always watch his episodes anyway.)

Anyway, ultimately what I'll say about the above is that it might depend on how much you love the characters/world/etc. I absolutely love this series (it's one of my main fandoms at this point, heh), so I enjoy the show for what it is. The movies are still better in quality, of course, but one of the pluses of the show is that it introduces a ton of new dragons (typhoomerangs! thunderdrums! scauldrons! whispering deaths! SCREAMING deaths! changewings! etc!), and it also gives the Berk teens (young adults in the second movie) a ton of screentime together, so you really see them bounce off one another. Honestly, it's enough that I actually missed it in the second movie. Legitimately missed it. Had to write a fic to compensate. They got me that hard.

That said, there's one other character you'll grow attached to as well (spoilers for the second movie below) . . .

Spoiler:
 

But other than that, I do like the show, I'm looking forward to seasons three and four, etc. There are just some skippable episodes, and with the episodic format it's understandable that it can't be quite as good as the movie. That said, though, there's one last thing to say about it:

Jay Baruchel reprised his role as Hiccup for the TV show. That's fine, but do you know his reason? His reason was, "I don't want anyone else to have the same relationship with Toothless that I do."

If that's not the cutest goddamn thing you have ever heard in your entire life, then I don't even know what to say to you.

(And this post is long enough now, I will stop talking about Dragons and leave, goodbye.)
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