How to Train Your Dragon 2 Flight Scene

Made by Eunice Oh

Created: December 4th, 2014


I chose to use the teaser trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2 as the scene is full of dynamic moments. The beginning will consist of exciting and fast rhythmic beats on a drum. There will also be fast strings playing while the bass drums play in the background. It will remain this way until it reaches the moment they stop for a moment in the sky before Hiccup decides to fly himself. At this point, the drums will stop and a high pitched flute or piano will be playing during the time he is gets ready to fall off. As soon as he falls off, the upbeat and fast music continues again but more intensely than the first time it played. More instruments will be added at a faster pace until the trailer ends. At the end, the music will come to a complete stop and act like a "cliffhanger" to the music and the trailer. 



Curatorial Statement

The trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2 had both a grandiose and a playful vibe and I made certain to include these elements by carefully choosing the instruments used in the trailer. From the sounds of the wind to the sounds of the waves of the ocean, it was important to include these elements to add the the authenticity of the scene. The timing of the instruments was also extremely key in producing the intended reaction from the audience. The transitions aided in switching the mood from suspenseful to playful and it played an extremely significant role in producing the desired effect. Overall, the piece was intended to have a similar effect of the original trailer and create excitement to watch the film from the audience.


Climax: I thought the climax of the scene was the section where Hiccup opens his own wings and flies alongside his dragon, Toothless. I chose to make use of the brass instruments in the to recreate a grandiose exit to the overall clip.

Flow vs. Break / Continuity vs. Surprise: This particular element had a very significant role in producing an (intense) reaction from the audience. It was important that the climax scene at the end left a deep impression on the audience. In order to do so, I changed the instruments and the melody from what it was before to add suspense and a lasting impact. The sudden playing of the brass in this scene

Unresolved Harmonies: At a certain scene, Hiccup and his dragon fly upwards into the clouds and it commences with brass instruments with a very strong and intense melody. However, once they reach the top, it changes into a flute trill to represent the twirling of the dragon to exemplify the playful vibe of this entire flight.

Ending Gesture: Climax vs. Fade Out: I chose to use a climax as the ending gesture in this particular scene as the clip was taken from a trailer. I wanted to emulate the overall dramatic effect of a trailer by leaving a cliffhanger at the end. This would create interest in the movie and make the audience on edge and make them want to watch the movie later.

Account of the Process:

It was incredibly difficult to create music as I am not talented in that area. However, using the piano keyboard I created some melodies using the instruments on the program. The timing was also tough to match up as the music and the scenes were always a little off from what I had intended. However, I tried to fix that as much as I could, although the final outcome still has some issues with the sound and the clip.

In making the overall project, I originally split the clip into sections to indicate the mood that a particular scene was supposed to produce. The intro scene required a sudden beginning and I chose to incorporate a “booming” noise to produce that effect. The sudden entrance into the scene was followed by fast paced strings playing and brass instruments in the background. When they slow down and turn upside down, the music slows down and it indicates a more grand way of flying.

This then turned into Toothless rising up into the sky (after he dropped) and spinning, which called for a more playful vibe. To achieve this, I chose to use the flute trills to emulate the dragon’s twirling in the sky. When he stops and starts to fall, a gradually rising string melody is played when Toothless opens his eyes and continues the fast pacing of the scene.

When Hiccup and Toothless stay still as he prepares to fall off his dragon, a more slow sounding melody is played using flutes and strings, to create a somewhat calm and peaceful feel before he actually falls. This forces the listener to be unprepared for the intense music as Hiccup begins to fall as Toothless flies after him. This was done to create a sense of urgency from the audience and achieve a discontinuity to keep their interest.

When Toothless flies alongside Hiccup, the music once again is slowed down to be peaceful once again as it is less urgent and dangerous and regains its playful atmosphere. This is changed again when Hiccup opens his wings and starts flying, in which the music turns more grand with the brass and the strings playing with it. The last scene of the clip shows both of them flying off into the distance, and I had decided to keep this last note playing to have a grandiose ending to the clip.

Critical Response:

The comments definitely helped in how I approached my piece as I placed an incredible amount of importance to the timing and changes in mood of the scene. The instruments I chose and finding out when they should be playing was a huge role in creating the impact that I wanted. I added in wind and wave noises to add to the authenticity of the scene as suggested. However, I was unable to add in voices for the two characters Hiccup and Toothless. I would like to have added in noises for both Hiccup and Toothless but due to time constraints, was unable to do so.

Before this semester, I would not have paid much attention to the details that were behind the choosing of instruments or the timing. I would have definitely noticed a certain impact different parts of the music made on me, but I would not have seen the amount of effort that was behind this. The climax would have made an impact as it was a very impressive scene that ended in a way that was seemingly satisfying.