Well, I have lots of very exciting news, to be honest, but we have time to get to all that later. RIGHT NOW, I have something I'm super excited to share with you because ... well, you'll see.
First, if you have a minute for a long read, I implore you to go to this NYTimes piece by a father of an autistic child that found a way to reach him and pull him out of his shell. I'll wait.
I want to discuss it in length in the not-too-distant future, but I feel like it's important information to have ruminating in your minds while we discuss the reason for today's post. Just trust that as I was reading it, I was openly bawling because I saw so much of Kiedis in those stories ... and to know that I'm not alone in operating this way to reach my son, that all the guilt I've been made to feel about how much screen time my son gets perhaps hasn't really been deserved ... I can't begin to express to you how much that means to me or the relief that I feel that maybe I have been doing something right all along.
One of the movies that has reached Kiedis and helped him to come out of his shell has been How To Train Your Dragon. He can identify all of the kinds of dragons from both the movie and the first season of the TV show as well as their riders. He quotes both every day. He was Hiccup, the main character, for Halloween.
For those of you who may not have seen the movie or the show or read the books (because there are books! that I will be buying for Kiedis at an age-appropriate time!), Hiccup is a viking that doesn't fit in with his village because he's not a big, strong, prone-to-violence kid but rather a more gentle, timid, clumsy albeit incredible creative and intelligent person. I don't want to spoil any of it for you, but Hiccup is a character I'm not mad in the least that Kiedis emulates and possibly aspires to being more like.
So imagine how floored I was when DreamWorks and Fox Home Entertainment contacted me about hosting a giveaway in honor of Kiedis' birthday.
Coming to DVD March 25th, the all-new Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1 follows the story of Hiccup, his dragon Toothless (gah I love Toothless and I'm not one bit ashamed of that) and the other dragon-riding residents of Berk as they defend their island home from invaders. The TV series features the original voice talent from the film including Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera, and the DVD is loaded with exciting bonus content for the whole family to enjoy in 10 epic adventures and with four all-new dragons.
This is actually an award winning series -- the 2013 Annie Award winner for Best Animated Television Production for Children, to be exact, and I can attest from MULTIPLE VIEWINGS of the previous Riders of Berk series that it's quality stuff that manages to tackle some pretty complex concepts while still being entertaining (and not actually too overly violent, despite what it may seem like).
And to top it all off, the DVD kicks off the “Year of the Dragon” which will continue with the highly anticipated sequel How To Train Your Dragon 2 arriving in theaters June 13th (we will be SO going) as well as Dragon game apps, books and other fan experiences releasing throughout the year. One app, School of Dragons, is already out available (we have it on the iPad) and is pretty awesome with cinema-like graphics and an immersive 3D world, it takes more than courage to train a dragon, but brains as well. It's a little above Kiedis' ability at this point, but perhaps I've caught his father playing it on more than one occasion, ahem.
SO, after all of that, I have a surprise for you.
You can win a copy of Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1 on DVD of your very own!
I mean, we don't even have this yet and I know Kiedis would FLIP to get it so I'm jealous, you guys, so very jealous.
Anywhoodle, the contest is open to residents of the US and Canada only and is for one (1) copy of the DVD. To enter, leave a comment on this blog here (not Facebook) about your favorite dragon from the series. Alternately, you can tell me about something you had to overcome as a kid/teen that helped you find your place in the world. Because I like triumphant stories like that. The contest opens at midnight March 12th, 2014 (yes I know that'll be past by the time this posts but bear with me) and closes at midnight on March 20th, 2014, at which point a winner will be chosen at random by me and voila, you get a DVD!
All because a little boy found his voice through a dragon-training viking kid.
You guys, my heart.
Go forth and enter below for your chance to win, and keep your eyes peeled for more Dragons fabulousness in the coming months!