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Animation Monday: Despicable Me/How To Train Your Dragon


Wait; am I doing two Animation Monday’s again?  Well yes I am!  Recently two very popular animated movies premiered on TV.  Despicable Me and How To Train Your Dragon both were very successful movies and made lots of money at the box office.  Both franchises are coming out with sequels and I can’t wait to see them!

Despicable Me:

Despicable Me I have to say is a geeky favorite.  Many geeks love seeing super-villains doing their dirty work.  Except in this movie you don’t see a superhero saving the day.  You can say the superheroes are the three girls Gru adopted for one of his evil schemes.  But what made this movie in my opinion was those Minions!

Gru is a super-villain who has stolen many things such as the large TV screen in Times Square and the Great Pyramid of Giza.  He hashes out his latest plan to shrink and steal the moon.  This is an idea based on his childhood dreams of being an astronaut, which were always discouraged by his mother, Marlena.  This plan is so big he has to borrow money from the Bank of Evil but was denied!  So Gru and his minions steal a shrink ray from a secret base in Asia but the up-and-coming super-villain, Vector steals the shrink ray from Gru.

After Gru sees the orphaned girls walk into Vector’s fortress.  Gru fakes his way to adopt the girls.  Gru wants the girls named Margo, Edith, and Agnes to concentrate on his dirty work.  But along the way he realizes what being a father is all about.  He has to take the girls to ballet classes and other fun activities.  After the Bank of Evil rejects him again.  The girls and the minions rally together with funding to complete the theft.  A geeky heart’s dream come true!  Gru’s gadget man and good friend Dr. Nefario actually gets the girls to be returned to the orphanage which was sad.

Gru proceeds with his plan to steal the moon, successfully shrinking it to fit in his hand but is too late for the girls recital.  He then receives a note from Vector, who has kidnapped the girls, telling him to give him the moon in exchange for them.  We then get to see a thrilling mid-air rescue of the girls just as the moon un-shrinks itself and explodes out from Vector’s ship and launches itself back into orbit.  Gru does re-adopt the girls and now treats them as their father.  Yes the dancing at the end of the movie was awesome as well!

I can see why the movie was a success.  One, the movie has plenty of things all geeks and nerds can relate too.  Who doesn’t love villains, weapons, evil plans, and action.  Two, you have to adore those Minions!  They were created by Gru to help do his dirty work.  The way they talk is very funny!  And three, the role of being a parent.  Gru at first was just going to use the orphaned girls as part of his dirty work.  But he soon treats them as his daughters and he writes them a bedtime storybook framed around his own experience which was very cute!  Despicable Me 2 comes out on July 3, 2013.  Here is the trailer!

How to Train Your Dragon:

This movie has to also be a geeky favorite.  Many geeks are also animal lovers.  And since dragons are not real animals we see today.  We get to see a fantasy world which geeks love!  The movie is based off the island of Berk in the middle of the ocean in the Viking world.  The only problem of living on an island in the middle of nowhere is the dragons which love attacking the Vikings.

The dragons often attack the island of Berk stealing livestock and burning down homes.  Hiccup, the awkward son of the village chieftain, Stoick the Vast, uses a cannon contraption he invented and shoots down a dragon he thinks may be a Night Fury, a rare dragon nobody has ever actually seen. Hiccup locates the dragon in the forest, but finds he is unable to kill the helpless animal.  By the way; I could NEVER kill a helpless animal ever.  I am just that kind of animal lover!

After Hiccup cuts the dragon free it runs away.  But later Hiccup finds the dragon trapped in a shallow glade; the dragon’s tail was injured, preventing it from flying normally.  By trial and error, Hiccup discovers a way to earn the dragon’s trust and begins to care for it.  He names the Night Fury “Toothless”, for its retractable teeth. Later, Hiccup fashions a makeshift harness and prosthetic tail that allows him to guide the dragon in free flight.  Hiccup uses these skills in dragon school and this surprises the other students and the teacher.

Astrid follows Hiccup into the forest and is shocked to discover Toothless.  She attempts to escape to tell the rest of the village, but Hiccup takes her for a ride on Toothless instead. At first, Astrid is terrified, but then begins to enjoy the excursion.  This is what you would call a love scene!   Then Toothless unexpectedly joins a flock of dragons and takes the pair straight into the dragon’s nest, where the truth behind the dragons’ constant raids of their village is revealed – the Red Death, a gigantic dragon, depends on the food they bring back or else it feeds on the dragons themselves.  The teens escape but almost did not make it.  Astrid wants to tell the village of the nest, but Hiccup wants to keep it a secret to protect Toothless. Astrid, who admires his determination, agrees.  Before she heads back, she punches his arm for kidnapping her, and then kisses him on the cheek for “everything else”.

During the dragon killing or final exam, Hiccup has to fight a dragon called the Monstrous Nightmare.  But when he tries to show the village the dragon’s true nature, Stoick stops the fight, inadvertently angering the dragon and endangering Hiccup. Toothless hears Hiccup’s scream and flies in to save him, but is captured himself.  This makes Stoick very angry at this son.  And when Hiccup reveals where the dragon nest is at.  Well the entire village prepares to go attack it.  Stoick refuses to listen to his son, demotes Hiccup from being a Viking, and disowns him which was sad.  Hiccup refuses to see the entire village get killed by the Red Death so he gets his classmates together to save the Vikings!

We then get to see an awesome action scene between the dragons, Vikings, and the Red Death.  Hiccup frees Toothless and lures the Red Death into flight, ultimately damaging its wings and then forcing it into an inescapable dive back to earth, killing it in a massive explosion.  While attempting to flee from the crashing dragon, Hiccup falls and Toothless dives into the flames after him.  After the explosion Stoick finds Toothless, who reveals an unconscious Hiccup safely wrapped in his wings.  This was a sad scene!  Hiccup wakes up back on Berk, finding an eager Toothless greeting him.  As he leaves his bed, he discovers part of his left leg has been replaced by a prosthetic leg made by Gobber.  His grief is turned to joy, however, as he steps outside to find the Vikings and dragons working together to rebuild their village.  He is greeted by everyone, and Astrid rushes to kiss him, awe!

This was a movie I am sure many geeks and nerds loved!  One thing I liked about this movie was the lesson of not judging other people or things.  The Vikings did not judge the dragons, they just wanted to kill them.  Only after the actions of Hiccup, the Vikings are now friends with the dragons.  And two, Toothless back tail and later Hiccup’s foot were cut off and replaced with gadgets.  Anyone with a disability can do anything and this movie did a good job of that!  I am interested in what the dragons will do next and I think everyone wants to know where the relationship of Hiccup and Astrid goes!  There will be another movie coming out in 2014 but until then we can enjoy Dragons: Riders of Berk on Cartoon Network!

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