15 April 2010

The Panda Reviews the Movie How to Train Your Dragon

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. 
- Henry David Thoreau

How to Train Your Dragon is a story of a lanky, geeky lad, who wanted to be like his father- the chief and strongest dragon slayer in a village that has been infested by dragons for generations. Hiccup's father would not allow his son to train as dragon slayer. His father was somehow skeptical of his son's capabilities. But to prove himself, Hiccup invents a catapult device to target, capture, and bring down flying dragons from a distance. One night, during a dragon infestation, he was able to hit and bring down a dragon. His eventual finding of that dragon made him understand dragons and himself.

Philosophers for thousands of years have offered good advice -  "know thy self." However, this suggestion does not mean we should only know our "negative self". In the story, Hiccup was made to believe that he was not fit to be a dragon slayer, but he proved his father wrong by solving the dragon infestations not by force, but by compassion.

How to Train Your Dragon is a lesson on empathy, empowerment, and understanding. It shows that if we just try to listen - problems can solved in a better perspective. If we just  try to understand the "why" of  people, situations, and things, we can become more tolerant and understanding. If we just try to empower people by giving them a chance and showing them the way, we will be able to wake ourselves up from the nightmare of prejudice.

The panda likes this movie. Worth watching? Yes.


mjomesa said...

In Montessori, it applies on the children, "Help me to help myself." If we try to understand the power of a child, his capabilities and potentials, then we can fashioned him in an adult we want him to be. Nice realizations my friend.

Random Student said...

great insight. that's what i got from the movie too. and i am always challenged by quotes from thoreau. love his insight on salvation.

Rah said...

@ mjomesa, are you a Montessori teacher sir? I have always been a believer of the montessori style of education, it just develops more confidence in children. Wish I studied in one when I was young.

@ Random Student, did you see the last part of the movie, when he woke up.. and found... (ok il stop to avoid a spoiler)

pmm012 said...

same goes to our country too, that why im so irritated with some of campaign ads these days.. promising to alleviate the poor and all that crap.. focus of presidential wannabes should be on providing an enabling environment for the poor to empower themselves.. and getting to the "why" of things.. sorry this might be a little off the topic.. just thought that some of us (voters)need a little "training", people this days are so getting used to immediate comforts and freebies.. we are the dragon, and we are right now "infestations".. we need a someone at the helm who "understands" and empowers, not give alms..