My Answer to the Daily Prompt . . .

What movies or TV series have you watched more than 5 times?

I’ll talk about movies.

When our girls were little, having a video player, and later on, a DVD player, together with the subsequent supply of children’s movies for them to watch was a necessary approach to family entertainment. After all, the cost of the video/DVD was always (and still is) cheaper than the cost of taking them to the cinema, although we did that as often as we could.

Over the years, there were many movies viewed copious times in our household.

I recall several (cheap) VHS tapes of Warner Brothers cartoons that eventually wore out, and Shrek comes to mind being the first DVD that came into our house. I still know the dialogue, and I’m still surprised the disc didn’t become compromised it was played so often.

We watched, and rewatched, so many wonderful films, some animated, others not – Never Ending Story, Babar: The Movie, Howl’s Moving Castle, Toy Story, Ever After, Finding Nemo, Stardust – the list really is extensive.

But in recent years, one movie has found its way into my heart and I continue to watch it over and over, never tiring of the story it tells.

How to Train Your Dragon

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Actually, there are three movies in the franchise:

  1. How to Train Your Dragon;
  2. How to Train Your Dragon 2; and
  3. How to Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World.

I’ve lost count of the times I’ve watched all three. They are my ‘go-to’ when I need to feel good, and when flying somewhere. And, if I can’t get all three in during the flights to and from my destination, I’ll finish watching the story when I get home.

If you’ve never seen these movies, I thoroughly recommend them, however, the How to Train Your Dragon series comes with my following warning:

They are beautifully animated and highly addictive!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

It’s a coming-of-age story in the truest sense.

The protagonist, Hiccup, is a socially awkward misfit who is ostracised by his Viking clan for being regarded as weak and reckless.

Hiccup desperately wants to conform and earn the respect of his clan by killing a dragon.

When he actually manages to shoot one down (I think more through dumb luck than anything else), Hiccup quickly realises he can’t bring himself to kill it.

So instead of ‘doing the Viking thing’ his father – the clan chieftain – expects of him, Hiccup befriends the dragon he couldn’t kill – a rare Night Fury he names Toothless – and, with all the courage and conviction it takes when we stand up for something that’s right, he sets about working to change everyone else’s perceptions of dragons – including his father’s.

That in itself is a monumental undertaking.

But first, Hiccup has to overcome an even greater hurdle.

He has to win the trust of a dragon.

Easier said than done.

Toothless is fierce and adorable all at once and is the deuteragonist of the story who immediately works his way into your heart without uttering a word. Because dragons don’t speak, Toothless has to show his emotions leaving us, the audience, to pay attention and read him for what it is he has to say.

This makes for exceptional non-verbal/visual communication throughout the films.

As the story progresses, Hiccup discovers within himself, profound reserves of bravery, commitment, and loyalty. And, along the way, he transforms from the teenage, geeky (and some might say, scrawny), boy next door into a confident, capable young man.

(I could add more here, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you.)

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

There are strong morals to be found in these movies: Don’t try to be something you’re not · Be yourself and follow your own path · Stand up for what’s right · See the best in others (especially when they can’t) · Being different doesn’t make you useless · Growing up is hard, but inevitable.

But by far (in my opinion) the most powerful lesson these movies teach is that:

Real love is unconditional.

(I think that’s a perfect lesson to learn.)

–⋅ o ♥ o ⋅–

I also think it’s impossible to not fall in love with these movies and all their rich and complicated characters that take you on an exhilarating, emotional rollercoaster ride.

I love this story and as soon as it’s over, I immediately want to watch it again.

Yes, I am talking about an animation, but it’s beautiful and heartwarming and (again, in my opinion) as close to perfect as any animated movie can get. Kudos to Cressida Cowell for writing such a powerful, captivating story and DreamWorks Animation for the beautifully crafted computer generated animation.

Author: Clare

Ever-expanding one star at a time, my cosmos is a galaxy of thoughts and creativity where you can find poetry, short stories, photography and so much more.

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