How To Train Your Dragon (DreamWorks) – 2010 – PG
Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig
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Everyone is unique. If you try to be like everyone else by following the crowd, you won’t live up to your own special talents and passions. Try to understand the other people, and creatures, around you. Children have the greatest struggle with this, and need our understanding and guidance in order to help them to discover the greatness within themselves. Everyone has reasons for doing the things that they do. Listen to opposing sides, really LISTEN. Once you realize each other’s differences, those differences can actually be productively used to enhance the community as a whole. Life certainly isn’t easy, and we all make mistakes, but you need to take responsibility for those mistakes in order to find solutions. Fight for what you believe in, and especially fight for those you love, but always remember that kindness goes much further than cruelty.
(If you have additional ideas on how this film can be used for educational purposes, please let us know in the comments.)
Being a Viking, and having to deal with dragons makes for a tough life. The dragons are constantly trying to steal food, and setting everything on fire. On the island of Berk, the strongest and the bravest grow up to be dragon killers in order to protect their village. Hiccup, although not exactly the muscular type, was born the son of the village chief. His father is the strongest and the bravest man on the island, and Hiccup longs to be a dragon killer just like him. But Hiccup is different. He doesn’t have the same physical skills as others in Berk, but he is a creative inventor who works as a blacksmith apprentice. His inventions are usually not received well, since they tend to create more problems than they solve, but he manages to create one big machine that succeeds in taking a Night Fury dragon out of the sky. No one will listen to him when he tells them that he has hit this mysterious creature and that he thinks it fell into the woods. In pursuit of the glory of being the only one in his village to strike down this particular breed of dragon, Hiccup sets off on his own to find it. However, when he does, he sees that it is merely wounded, and not dead. Taking out his knife to end the creature’s life, he looks into it’s eyes, and is unable to kill it. However, even after cutting the dragon loose from the ropes that restrain it, the beast is unable to fly since part of his tail has been lost, thanks to Hiccup.
Meanwhile, back in the village, , his father decides to allow his son to pursue his previous desire of dragon killing training. While Hiccup publicly goes through the motions of attending his training class, in secret, he is studying the dragon he has caught. He names him Toothless, and earns his friendship by creating a prosthetic tail that allows him to fly. However, the tail only works is Hiccup is riding him, so that he can man the controls. The strong bond they develop is tested when the chief becomes more determined to eliminate the beasts, and feels that his own son is a traitor for befriending one of them. The only way for Hiccup to save his best friend, is to somehow convince his entire village that these creatures are no different from themselves.
Hiccup: [voice-over] This is Berk. It’s twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It’s located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village. In a word? Sturdy. It’s been here for seven generations, but every single building is new. We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunsets. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice or mosquitoes… We have…
[aloud, as he slams the door against an attacking Monstrous Nightmare]
Hiccup (as the narrator): My name’s Hiccup. Great name, I know. But, it’s not the worst. Parents believe a hideous name will frighten off the gnomes and trolls. Like our charming Viking demeanor wouldn’t do that.
Gobber: Remember, a dragon will always, ALWAYS… go for the kill.
[cut to Hiccup in the forest where he freed the Night Fury]
Hiccup: [picking up the cut ropes] So why didn’t you?
Hiccup: Everything we know about you guys…is wrong.
Stoick: [about Hiccup] What am I going to do with him, Gobber?
Gobber: Put ‘im in training with the others.
Stoick: No, I’m serious!
Gobber: So am I!
Stoick: He’d be killed before you let the first dragon out of its cage!
Gobber: Ah, you don’t know that.
Stoick: I do know that.
Gobber: No you don’t.
Stoick: No, actually, I do.
Gobber: No, you don’t!
Stoick: Listen, you know what he’s like. From the time he could crawl he’s been… different. He doesn’t listen, he has the attention span of a sparrow… I take him fishing and he goes hunting for, for trolls!
Gobber: Trolls exist! They steal your socks. But only the left ones. What’s with that?
Stoick: When I was a boy…
Gobber: Oh here we go.
Stoick: …my father told me to bang my head against a rock and I did it! I thought I was crazy, but I didn’t question him. And you know what happened?
Gobber: You got a headache.
Stoick: That rock split in two! It taught me what a Viking can do, Gobber, he can, he can crush mountains, level forests, tame seas! Even as a boy, I knew what I was, what I had to become… Hiccup is not that boy.
Gobber: You can’t stop him, Stoick. You can only prepare him. I know it seems hopeless, but the truth is you won’t always be around to protect him! He’s going to get out there again. He’s probably out there now!
Hiccup: Why couldn’t I have killed that dragon when I found him in the woods? Would’ve been better, for everyone…
Astrid:Yep. The rest of us would have done it. So why didn’t you? (pause) Why didn’t you?
Hiccup: I don’t know… I couldn’t.
Astrid:That’s not an answer.
Hiccup: WHY is this so important to you all of a sudden?
Astrid: Because I want to remember what you say, right now.
Hiccup: Oh, for the love of… I was a coward! I was weak! I wouldn’t kill a dragon!
Astrid:You said “wouldn’t”, that time.
Hiccup: Agh, whatever… I wouldn’t! Three hundred years, and I’m the first Viking who wouldn’t kill a dragon!
Astrid: First to ride one, though. So?
Hiccup: I wouldn’t kill him because he looked as frightened as I was. I looked at him… and I saw…myself.