How to Train Your Dragon

To read about previous article that contains Set-Up of How to Train Your Dragon click here

Until now we have explored almost all four elements of Set-up before I discuss Character relationships in How to train your Dragon, I want to share small concept of Dynamic Relationships ..

Two types of relationships exist between characters
  1. Static Relationships
  2. Dynamic Relationships

Static relationships are which do not change throughout the story like Friend , father, mother, boss, neighbor, enemy, brother and there is no development of relationship ,

i.e. from the start of the  story  until the end the perception of each other for each other remains same

And most important and awesome are Dynamic Relationships in story.. and it exist at that moment of story for example ..

When Woody is talking  to Buzz at first he meets him ,

Dynamic relationship

Woody –> Buzz :  Woody thinks Buzz is Andy’s new toy and must be welcomed

Buzz-> Woody : He is on different planet and Woody is some kind of local police authority

So when they are talking they have this mutual different perception of each other

And at the next moment , when all toys are impressed by Buzz

Dynamic Relationship (in next 40 seconds after meet )

Woody -> Buzz :  Now for him Buzz is threat and plus he thinks Buzz as stupid toy

Buzz ->Woody : Its still the same

As movie progresses the dynamic relationship changes continuously ..

It depends on the story how the relationship exist Static and Dynamic , story has both relationships!

But most important moments of story are when Dynamic Relationship changes between characters .. the most emotional scenes in story have awesome and major Dynamic relationship change ..

For example in “Bolt”, where Rhino convinces Bolt that why he should save Mittens , or in Cars where McQueen realizes that Doc was a famous race car. . .or in Up where for the first time Carl sees the complete adventure book his loving of wife and that moment his dynamic relationship changes with Dug, Russell(before it was “I’m stuck with you”), Kavin

The Dynamic relationships helps us to like , relate , hate , understand , love the characters in story , if there aren’t Dynamic relationships , it will be like putting together one dimensional robotic characters, who belong to different story and brought together , and forced to interact with each other..

Watch bad boring movies you will notice the difference ..

Now lets see

the Dynamic Relationships in “How to train your dragon” ,
  1. Hicup<-> His father
  2. Hicup<-> Toothless
  3. Hicup <-> Astrid (for Astrid from Looser to the first Right Viking in 300 years)
  4. Toothless<->Astrid
  5. Toothless <-> Father (from hate to thank you for saving my son)
  6. Hicup <-> Gobler
  7. Hicup <-> friends
  1. Hicup<-> His father

Every father has expectations from his son , and every son wants to fulfil them , sometimes both succeed majorly, sometimes not , its like everybody’s story .. right there we relate to this son – father relationship..

At start of Set Up we see , that father think of him as weak son and needs to be protected , we can see the desperate need of Hicup to fulfil the expectations , he thinks of his father as strongest person out there and we literally can feel the emotional distance between both , they are emotionally far away from each other ..

When in middle , where Hicup is doing good in school and Father comes back from trip and talks to him .. how he appreciate his progress in school ..

That was amazing scene , both are struggling to talk with each other

And this relationship undergoes through changes until the end , from protective father ,screaming ,”stay away ” to happy and satisfied father , laughing and encouraging , “you gave your best shot “

Another awesome Dynamic Relationship is

2. Hicup and Toothless

From strangers to best friends , when Hicup first touches Toothless  , that scene was amazing , really touchy , it starts special relationship that ever existed in their world ..

This is the best pair of friends I have ever seen , so many emotional scenes are there ..

When they learn to fly , when they play , when Toothless comes to help Hicup , when Hicup jumps in water for Toothless and last 2 minutes of movie are so emotional and portraying the uniqueness and outstanding friendship, love  we have never ever seen in any Animated movie ..

I mean I can go on and on about their Relationship its so innocent and beautiful.

And the rest of the Dynamic relationships are assignments for you.. I will discuss that when we will be studying Dynamic Relationships in  Character Series , we will plot the graph and see dynamic relationship changing along with progression of sequences in story 🙂

Though its story of ordinary guy , who fights and wins in the end , but on broader level it contains really awesome message , it shows the difference in the perception of countries or cultures may be totally wrong for what they are fighting from many years , without knowing exact wants and needs of each other and when we really understand each other together we can really make world better and most beautiful, peaceful and happy place like heaven !!”

This is one of the emotional reasons we all can relate to the story.

The conflict is really big enough and the obstacles for Hicup are planted really well. The intensity of conflict increases gradually and at one point it seems impossible for Hicup to overcome.

We haven’t learned about Resolution, still , the story has the best Resolution. (we will see about that in upcoming articles of story writing )

Lets see the Intensity of conflict using the Pyramid of transformation for Hicup, like every awesome movie “How to train your dragon”  have awesome Pyramid of Transformation for main character/s

5.Environment


It changes he is in school , he has new friend Toothless ,

4. Does/Do

What he usually do doesn’t work , he still trying to figure out some way, until  Astrid meets Toothless and freaks out

3. Capability

Somehow he convinces Astrid the truth but he realise he doesn’t have capability to convince others

2.Belief / Values


But he believes that if in the final exam he proved in front all that the truth about dragons by actual performing practically , everything will be perfect , and he drops

His weapon  , father freaks out , dragon gets more angry

    1. SPIRITUAL

When toothless is gone , he realises whatever he believed didn’t work , father is upset , everything is falling apart ..

He sees toothless going and father on final impossible battle , knowing both might not come back again .. he is helpless ..  he thinks he made huge mistake at first not killing the dragon … which he could have..

And then he answers the Question .. Why didn’t he kill the Toothless ..

At that moment he taps into his spirituality .. and says , “ I looked at him , I saw myself “

Suddenly he transforms ..

2. Belief-Values :

His belief changes , suddenly he realises there is something more

3. Capabilty : He realizes the his true capability of his team and dragons

4.Do: What he does is outstanding , train all to ride dragons

5.Environment : Environment radically changes , in fact all his world Changes which we see in last one minute .. 🙂

Similarly you can find Pyramid of Transformation for  Hicup’s Father,

I give you a hint he reaches his Spiritual Level , when he saw  his son jumps in water to save Toothless .. 🙂

So in this way we have explored many Aspects of “How to train your dragon “using the Animation Story writing tools we have learned until now . I have left some assignments please do that they will help you a lot..

And the last thing, I think there could have been even more crucial role of Astrid .. so just think this way if you have to make Astrid as more memorable character and more important character , what things you have done in story without changing the essence of the story and emotions that portrays story.

Here I’m saying bye .. see you soon with more exciting Animation Story Writing Articles

Mahesh

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