Grace Jordan, arts & living editor
For the first twenty years of my life, I hated animated shows and movies. I genuinely despised them. I never saw the fascination with Disney princesses or cartoons, and I especially disliked adult cartoons. I mean, cartoons for adults? What could be worse than that? But, there has always been an exception to my hatred: “How to Train Your Dragon.”
“How to Train Your Dragon” is not just one movie, but three, spanning from 2010 to 2019. The first movie is set in a world where the people of Berk hate dragons and follows a boy from Berk, Hiccup, who finds an injured dragon. Hiccup works to change the minds of his people while also forming a bond with his new dragon, Toothless.
I don’t remember where I was or who I was with when I watched the first movie, but I do remember my ten-year-old self talking animatedly with my seven-year-old brother about the movie after I had seen it. I loved everything about the movie, from the cute dragon named Toothless and Hiccup’s father Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler, swoon) to the amazing and beautiful world Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois created.
For the second movie, I saw it in theaters with my brother. That’s when I realized how much I loved the series. Hiccup had grown up and fourteen year old me was admittedly in love with him. However, it was the third movie that became so important to me.
The first two movies came out when I was still at home, still a young kid who relied on my mom and dad for everything. The third movie came out right after my freshman year of college ended. Freshman year was a hard one. I had never felt so alone and it didn’t help that I had come to recognize that my life would never be the same. I was an adult now; my childhood had already been experienced. On top of that, the last “How to Train Your Dragon” movie was coming out soon. After that, I would never see a new “How to Train Your Dragon” movie again.
I went to see the movie with my brother and little cousins who at the time were four, eight and eleven. I was the only one crying at the end. I had just survived my first year of college and I was crying in a movie theater in Hendersonville, Tennessee, surrounded by children. It didn’t even stop there; I was dejected for days after the movie. It felt like my childhood had ended and I was no longer allowed to enjoy things like cute movies, but instead I had to focus on getting a job and taxes.
The movies meant so much to me. On top of sharing great lessons, like if you love someone let them free, they were about fantasy and childhood wonder. Those few days after the last movie were hard, but I understand now that I don’t have to stop loving childish things just because I’m a little older.
Childhood wonder never left me, it just changed. So I will hold on to my love for the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies and try not to cry every time I watch them