'How to train your Dragon' essay by BrooklynnPreston
In this essay I am going to explain why the Dreamworks movie 'How to train your Dragon' was so important to me growing up.
Let's start with the basics, the past. I was diagnosed with Autism at eight years old, and turrets at three years old. Needless to say, I did not fit in. Children my age would ask me about my 'obsessions' so they could laugh in my face about what I had said later on. I-being young and naive-thought they were just interested in what I liked. Alas, even in elementary school children could be cruel.
Skip a few years later. It's 2011, one year after the 'How to train your Dragon' movies came out. I was at an aunt's house and my friend-a nine year old boy whom I considered family-was watching a movie and wanted me to watch it with him.
At the time I watched the second half of the movie and thought the concept was nothing more than cool. One thing led to the other and while I was in one of my many mental hospital stays the series 'Dreamworks Dragons Riders of Berk' came on the small TV encased in glass. We weren't allowed to adjust the volume or change the channel. Out of pure curiosity I watched the episodes back to back not having anything better to do until group therapy in three hours.
I enjoyed the concept of the show so much that when I got home my Bami got me the disk for 'How to train your Dragon' and for my twelfth birthday got me the 'Riders and Defenders of Berk' series.
I immediately fell in the love with the movie and it became another one of my 'obsessions' which are common in children with Autism. Before 'How to train your Dragon' it was rocks, though that only lasted a short period of time, the obsession before that being 'Pokemon'.
The overall plot of the story got me better than the animation itself did. Here was a fourteen year old boy with everyone expecting so much of him-the heir to the village. He yearns for his father's approval, though his little quirks and different likes leave him to be looked down upon and made fun of.
The boy-Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third-is pretty much a walking rag doll, no real purpose for the time being and always getting in other people's way.
I have felt this way many times in elementary school and even in my own family.
Then-in a desperate attempt to earn his father's and villages approval, young Hiccup does the most dangerous thing of them all. He goes out with a Bola Launcher-a weapon he designed himself to make up for his overall lack of strength compared to the other vikings in his village-and shoots down none other than the Night Fury. 'The unholy offspring of lightning and death itself, never engage this dragon'.
Surprisingly enough and probably with a little help from the Gods, Hiccup shoots down the Night Fury. He tries to tell his father this but Stoick The Vast, Chief of the tribe, does not believe him.
I have found myself in Hiccup's situation many times. I would come up with a cool idea or do something that I thought would make people happy, but society had grown so used to taking care of little old oblivious me and pretending to be proud of my shortcomings. They never really took the time to look at things I had done really good because they were overly used to babying me.
Later in the movie Hiccup finds the Night Fury in the woods. He tries and tries to kill the dragon but simply cannot do it. As he says to his crush later in the movie 'I couldn't kill him (the Night Fury) because he looked as frightened as I was. I looked at him, and I saw myself'.
Now THIS scene killed me. Not just because of the beautiful animation and soundtrack, but because I would kill to have someone like Hiccup's Toothless (the Night Fury's name Hiccup gives him a few scenes later). Alas, I never had a true friend until I was sixteen years old, all of the other ones leaving me soon after meeting me because they simply couldn't put up with my aggressive and odd side.
Overall, How to train your Dragon is not only a replica of what I wish I could have, but also a mirror image of my own deep dwelling feelings, all reflected into a boy and his Dragon. A beautiful animation with so much relation to my own life. Hiccup even has the prosthetic leg my ex step-dad would one day receive in a motorcycle accident.
I may be seventeen years old and have many people telling me to give up 'How to train your Dragon' because I am too old for it, but honestly I don't think I ever will. It's too big a prize, too valuable. A possession that will continue to remind me of the movie that brought me through my rough childhood as a child of divorce and one with Autism. Hiccup...he was honestly my best friend growing up.
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