“This is literally a franchise which has taken the most notoriously war-mongering stereotype in existence, Viking culture, and gradually transformed it until the characters not only refuse to use violence as a solution, but proudly proclaim that they are a “land of peace.”
That’s an unbelievably radical and transformative narrative for a Hollywood film to deliver, much less a Hollywood children’s film. The HTTYD franchise now joins Avatar: The Last Airbender as one of the only animated franchises to commit this deeply to such a polarizing political stance.”
To the very last scene they’re in together, Hiccup is trying to reason with Drago; every one of his actions is done from a position of non-violent communication. That recognition is absolutely central to any kind of effective reading of How To Train Your Dragon. Dissolve’s essay seems to completely overlook this aspect of HTTYD 2. At no point are the male characters aggressors against Drago. Although they talk about it, they never actually act violently except to defend their home from capture. In fact, the only person to attack Drago first is Valka, who hits him weakly out of anger after watching her giant bewilderbeast get killed. And despite what the Dissolve essay speculates, it seems evident that Valka has never really physically fought with Drago herself.
Valka was never intended to be a serious physical match for Drago, nor should she have been, because the whole point of her character aligned with her son’s is to personify the Viking nation’s progressive anti-violence stance. Sorry that Valka was too busy working as a zoologist to become the vaunted warrior-hero-soldier that apparently makes a female character strong enough for you, Dissolve.
Instead, she spends years subversively rescuing dragons from capture like a radical Greenpeace activist, and she is the one who leads the enormous dragon army into battle against Drago.
Gif by catsight
And come to that, when was the last time you saw a mother and son riding side-by-side into battle together? Another point for you, DreamWorks.
Gif via phenomenallyextraordinary123
While it’s true that she doesn’t get to do much in the third act, she doesn’t have to. She doesn’t have to because unlike 90 percent of other Hollywood films, HTTYD is a universe with more than one woman in it. And as a result, it gets to have a variety of women who do a variety of different things. Valka doesn’t have to be an all-powerful warrior-soldier, because Astrid and Ruffnut are out there dumping flaming sulfur on the enemy and generally proving that women can be badasses on the battlefield. Valka proves that women can be badasses as activists and scientists and even, yes, as moms, too.
We had so much outrage over that Dissolve essay. We drink a round for Mako Mori, too, badass feminist cultural icon.(via dailydot)