Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dragons Review: "How to Pick Your Dragon"

Dragons returns in its new Wednesday night time-slot.  Stoic has decided it's time to embrace the new way of life and wants to learn how to fly on a dragon.  Unsurprisingly, his attempts to fly on Toothless are a bit less than successful at first.  But Hiccup is able to convince his father that having a dragon would make his job as the island chief much easier.  It has unintended consequences, however, as Stoic beings to take Toothless out flying everyday, leaving Hiccup dragon-less.  (And Toothless is none too thrilled to be lugging around a four hundred pound viking all the time either.)  Can Hiccup find Stoic his own dragon that is as good as Toothless?

Oh yeah, and there's a rogue never-before-seen dragon terrorizing Berk.  Where could this story be going, I wonder?

Yeah, this yet another episode of the series to have it's plot be painfully predictable.  But, at the very least, it doesn't really try to hard to hide that fact.  Heck, even the commercial for the episode flat out reveals that Stoic ends up riding on the new dragon.  It's not meant to be much of a reveal.  Instead "How to Pick Your Dragon" focuses on making the story as entertaining as possible, if not especially surprising.  And, despite being predictable, "How to Pick Your Dragon" does tell a unique story that could only be told in the world of Dragons, rather than relying on television cliches like several past episodes.

Admittedly, Hiccup taking his father on a reprise of the "romantic flight" scene from the film (complete with the musical score) comes off a lot goofier than it was likely intended.  But beyond that this is another fairly solid episode, and it was nice to see Stoic's character continue to be fleshed out.  The climax of the episode was also a bit on the silly side, but it was still quite entertaining to watch and had an extremely satisfying conclusion.

These reviews are starting to sound redundant, but honestly there still hasn't been a poor episode of Riders of Berk.  The show's biggest flaw is being predictable, and "How to Pick Your Dragon" is no exception, but the episodes still manage to provide solid enough storytelling and great enough visuals that the predictability of the plot does not get in the way.  Bring on the next episode!

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