New Delhi?: The fantasy of animation often draws inspiration from realism of life. British author Cressida Cowell would vouch for the fact.
Children’s author Cowell wrote the popular “How To Train Your Dragon” series of 12 books, which have already inspired three successful animation hits in Hollywood. Cowell says her fantasy imagination reflects realities of her childhood.
“The series is based on a true story,” Cowell said when asked about the starting point of the idea behind the story.
“I grew up in London because my dad’s job was in London. He was a businessman, and he lived in a house (around) a garden in central London. He was an environmentalist and every year from when I was a baby we would go to this uninhabited island off the West Coast of Scotland.
“There was nothing on the island, no houses, no roads, no electricity and we were just camping. It was an extraordinary experience for a child. When I was nine, we started spending the whole summer on that island. There was no television in the little house, and this was the place where the Vikings came first,” Cowell said.
It was the stories about the Vikings that made her believe in dragons, and look for them.
“My dad used to read these stories from the Vikings, and they believed that dragons really existed. So, I used to think, what if the Vikings were right? What if they really were dragons? I used to play in the cage, looking for dragons,” she said.
Cowell says the character of Stoick the Vast is based on her father.
“Stoick the Vast is a version of my father, who I love very much but I wasn’t very like him. So the trueness exists in both senses, about the place and the human relationship. When I started writing the first book, I just had a baby. It could really be how to train your parents or how to be a parent. So, a lot of things being explored in the story are true to my mind. So, the books and the movies resonate and have a truth in my head,” she added.
The three-film franchise is about a young Viking named Hiccup who aspires to hunt dragons, but ends up becoming friends with a young dragon. He then goes on to train dragons.