I haven’t read the book “How to Train Your Dragon” but I loved the movie so I naturally had to see these two mini-features. This is part of my tribute to the Year of the Dragon.
“Gift of the Night Fury” is about an annual winter holiday called Snoggletog. The Viking village of Berk is now at peace and even quite used to having the dragons about. Suddenly, flocks of dragons are seen flying over the village and the village dragons soon take off to join the migration. Because of Toothless’ disability, he is the only dragon that remains. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is now envied by the other kids.
As all the kids are dragonless, the villagers are glum. Astrid (America Ferrera) decides to come up with new holiday traditions to take their minds off of the absent dragons and these are disastrous in many comical ways such as the undrinkable yak nog.
Hiccup decides to help Toothless become more autonomous by making him a contraption that Toothless can use by himself. Toothless finds new joy in his independence. Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has been keeping his dragon, Meatlug, confined and secretly feeds him. When Hiccup follows Fishlegs, he accidentally is taken along with Meatlog on the dragon migration.
This is a charming little addition to the “How You Train Your Dragon” world although it seems unlikely that all the dragons are female. There’s some very obvious basics about biology that need to be thought out here. I won’t spoil the whole story, but it’s a wonderful little holiday story about how you should treat your best friends, even if they aren’t human.
The story ends with Hiccup commenting, “That year, I gave my best friend a pretty great gift. He gave me a better one.”
The second short animation “Book of Dragons” is basically an explanation of dragon mythology. Hiccup, Astrid and Fishlegs are taking notes and Gobber explains the different dragons and how they are classified. Bork the Bold, formerly known as Bork the Very Very Unfortunate was the first to decide to classify dragons. His manual, “Bork of Dragons” eventually became known as “Book of Dragons,” but his knowledge of dragons was hard-won.
The kids are now dragon trainers and the viewers are supposed to be new recruits into dragon training. That means there are a lot of amusing 2D vignettes featuring Bork with commentary by Hiccup, Astrid and Fishlegs with Gobber (Craig Ferguson) guiding the lesson along.