Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lessons from How to Train Your Dragon part 1

    So here's an interesting post. This has nothing to do with Neostriker as I have taken no inspirations from the HTTYD movie nor intend to. However, when it comes to storytelling and design, I think it is a great film to study in terms of the arts. When I look at it, I think to myself, "I can really think of this as a timeless classic." Sure there are some things I don't like in terms of storytelling (pretty much just the stubbornness of the father), but that's out of personal taste as opposed to critical. On a critical level, everything is perfect. So let's start from lessons we can learn about it and how it may affect my own storytelling in the future.
    The very beginning of the movie is the first hint that you have a well-done movie. You have a quick introduction that is timed perfectly with fantastic music. In fact, I often listen to the soundtrack and reflect on well-done it was. The beginning is your chance to convince the audience what to expect and to lure them in. How to Train Your Dragon does fantastic job by starting with a nice mellow tune and scene but quickly turns to humor and epicness. Within the first 5 minutes, almost all of the themes that will be apart are covered. You are subconsciously told that there will moments of reflection, humor, epic encounters, and romance, and a few twists. The only theme missing that is the core to the whole movie which is friendship.
    The friendship is itself interesting as this movie could have easily been about two tribes fighting each other and an unlikely friendship between two wannabe warriors, but instead we get this sort of pet friendship. To be honest, while the other situation may have made a good story, the one we got here worked out perfectly and led to awe-inspiring moments. Sometimes it's best to forgo the more true-to-life scenario and instead tie your themes with fantasy. After all, who wouldn't want to ride a dragon (unless you're afraid of heights)?

That's all I have for you today. Perhaps another time I'll spend more on the movie. Even though this doesn't have much to do with Neostriker, it is important to enjoy the arts for you never know what might really inspire you. Just don't forget my previous advice to take the time and hone whatever inspirations you obtain.
J. D. Nyle

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