Celebrating Fatherhood in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
By Job Garcia, Contributing Writer
As Father’s Day approaches, we acknowledge and highlight the vital role that fathers play in families, communities and societies. These unified bodies of people (families, communities and societies) thrive and succeed when fathers fully embrace their God-appointed role and function.
In the upcoming DreamWorks Animation movie, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the Academy Award nominated HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, starring Gerard Butler, star of the upcoming movie GODS OF EGYPT, the worth and significance of fathers is presented. The movie highlights the inherent characteristics of a father – leadership, protection and self-sacrifice.
In the exhilarating second installment of the blockbuster trilogy, five years have passed as Hiccup is discovering what it means to be a leader and a man as impending war comes to their village. The now thriving Viking village of Berk made peace with the dragons and everyone has their own personal dragon. Hiccup struggles with the thought of filling his father’s shoes as Chief, but when the threat of war presents itself and Hiccup discovers that his long lost mother is still alive, his transition to manhood quickens as he learns what it means to be brave and selfless.
The movie touches on a very sensitive issue: single parenting as a direct result of an absent parent. In HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the mother (Valka) is presumed dead and absent, even though she had the opportunity to return home, and the father (Stoik) is a single parent who raises Hiccup on his own. It’s very interesting that the movie presents this scenario because, in today’s reality, the father is often the one who is absent, and the mother is a single parent.
MOVIEGUIDE® recently had the opportunity to attend an intimate media press conference for the movie and witnessed Gerard Butler, the voice behind Stoik, speak about his own fatherless childhood.
Mr. Butler was asked, “How do you see the relationship between Stoik and Valka?” He began by jokingly commenting on the awfulness of Valka’s abandonment of her child and family.
“By the way,” he said, “I didn’t see my father for 14 years, I didn’t even know he was alive, and he turned up out of the blue.”
He added, “I came home one night and my step-father said ‘keep your jacket on you’re going into town, your dad’s here.’” He finally met his dad in a restaurant, but not before wondering which man in the restaurant was his father.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 shows some of the biblical characteristics of a good father. These characteristics include the ability to be an adequate leader, protector and one who gives of his life for his family.
For example, in the movie, Hiccup’s father, Stoik, demonstrates biblical fatherly leadership as he leads and trains his son Hiccup for adulthood and manhood. As Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Stoik instills leadership values in Hiccup, who gets to exemplify those values as fights to protect his people, his beloved dragons, and the peaceful relationship between humans and fire-breathers. Stoik also demonstrates his ability as a father to protect and sacrifice his life for his family in two distinct scenes of the movie.
The unfortunate circumstance of an absent parent is a direct consequence of being in a fallen and broken world. However, as believers, we have a reason to rejoice because our heavenly Father, through the sacrificial giving of his Son, we have been made sons and daughters, and now have the privilege to be led and protected by God. We can rest in the truth that our Father in Heaven is faithful and will not abandon us.