DVD Film Fun – How to Train Your Dragon

By on March 24, 2011
Your son and his friends are convinced the house down the street is haunted. True, it’s been abandoned for years, and weeds have turned the yard into a dense jungle. Rumors fly about its mysterious former owners: Did they really disappear in the middle of the night? Is there a tombstone hidden in all that underbrush? No kid dares to venture inside
the rusty gates. Then, one day, landscapers arrive and transform the yard into a lovely, green lawn. Workers repair the sagging shutters and paint the dreary exterior of the house. Before long, a moving truck is unloading furniture and the neighborhood welcomes a new family. Your son learns that things are not always as they seem, and long-held beliefs can still be wrong.
Vikings Revise Their Views of Villainous Invaders

by Laura Gray

The young hero of How to Train Your Dragon, available this month on DVD, learns the same lesson when he has a face-to-face encounter with a dreaded predator. Enjoy the movie with your children and then discuss it using our Talk Together conversation starters. Later, you can create a “Double-Duty Doodad” with our Play Together activity.
In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup doesn’t quite measure up to his father’s definition of a true Viking. Hiccup lacks the skill to wield a sword to fight attacking dragons – a task that is vital for a good Viking. Their small village is under constant siege by dragons of every kind. The villagers train diligently to defend their town, but they never get ahead. Then Hiccup builds a special catapult that, miraculously, brings down the mysterious Night Fury dragon. The next day, Hiccup searches the countryside for the downed dragon. When he locates it, he discovers it is still alive but injured. Taking pity on the creature, Hiccup designs a prosthetic wing that allows the dragon to resume flying. He forms a friendship with the Night Fury, which he names Toothless. But Hiccup knows that if his fellow townspeople find out about Toothless they will not rest until they have destroyed the dragon.
Astrid, one of Hiccup’s classmates in dragon-fighting school, follows him one day to the canyon where Toothless is hiding. Hiccup introduces her to his docile dragon and they take a ride over their village. Suddenly, they come across the dragons’ nest. It turns out that’s the reason the dragons must steal food – to feed the dreaded Red Death dragon that
rules the nest.
Once the Vikings uncover Hiccup’s hidden dragon, they use Toothless to lead them to the dragons’ nest. However, they are quickly outmatched. Hiccup and Toothless fly in and defeat the Red Death, bringing peace to their island. They prove that looking beyond your preconceived notions can be a rewarding (and possibly life-saving) experience!

Talk Together

The Viking villagers suffer frequent attacks by dragons stealing their sheep. What is their impression of the dragons? How do they fight back? Why does Hiccup decide not to kill Toothless when he finds the dragon injured? What is he surprised to learn about dragons?
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