how to train your audience

This past Saturday, I got to see Pixar’s How to Train Your Dragon. It was a pretty good movie. I think it’s a little late to offer this as a review of the film, but I did get some good things out of it.

After watching this movie, my dad asked me a question: Did you get the vibe that there are movies today teaching kids it’s okay to disobey parents? He mentioned Disney’s the Little Mermaid, where Ariel strove for what she wanted, regardless of the wisdom of her father, and for that disregard, she is rewarded with everything she wanted in the end. It looked like that for Hiccup as well. He disobeyed his dad, admitted that his dad didn’t know what he was talking about, and in the end is called a hero.

While I understand where my dad’s coming from, I didn’t quite see it that way. My dad isn’t like King Triton or Hiccup’s father, sitting the child down and laying out the expectations based on tradition. That is portrayed when Hiccup is given his helmet. “You’re going to be a Viking, that means [unless stereotype and specific parameters that define what a viking is.]” Stuff like that is likely to cause rebellion, simply because anything outside of following those specific parameters would be considered rebellion.

What my dad has done, for which I am very grateful, is set down expectations that anyone legitimately could follow. While you live in my house, these are the rules. It would apply as much to a king or a prophet, a vagrant or a child: graduate high school, follow the standards you’ve got for yourself, and do what’s right. Anyone can follow that. If my dad had cornered me and said granddad was military, he was military, so pick a branch and get enlisted, then i would have rebelled. That communistic approach is seen in several movies: Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs, Horton Hears a Who, Kung Fu Panda, and even Finding Nemo.

Ironically, I am still trying to get enlisted in the National Guard. I could take several blogs to talk about that, but I shall refrain… for now. However, my choice to take up the military was my own, with the support of my dad, not the other way around.

Valence Drive, book 3 in the Juniper Crescent series, is going slowly but surely.

Dream Well,
Tony

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