How To Train Your Dragon”-3D and Endless Merchandising

We're gonna have Vikings and Dragons from now through next Christmas as the merchandisers rush to cash in on Pixar's latest offering: "How to Train Your Dragon".

It's a great movie, if formulaic. Kids from four to fourteen will love it, as will their adult companions for its action, 3-D effects and colorful characters.

A review and a few complaints.

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”How To Train Your Dragon”-3D and Endless Merchandising

It’s not that I have any problem with merchandising a movie. I’ve long ago become accustomed to such as little toys associated with a movie being included as part of McDonald’s Happy Meals. In fact, I offer it as a point of excitement as I always take granddaughter to a nearby play McDonalds after we go to the movies and before I place the order I drum up Kaitlyn’s excitement by the promise of a toy in her meal that applies to the movie we’d just seen.

Indeed it was the same this past weekend when we’d both seen the movie “How To Train Your Dragon” and indeed included in Kaitlyn’s Happy Meal was a little figurine of lead character Hiccup’s obligatory love interest, Astrid, riding one of the movie’s many…well dragons.

It’s just that this movie is merchandised bejeesus to the point of complete distraction. Vikings and dragons can be purchased in abundance at Walmart or other retailers near you. There’s the McDonalds connection, ever present. We’ve got Vikings and dragons everywhere and Lord knows when it will all fade away. When Pixar has another movie to merchandise or when dragon rides are finally installed in Disney World no doubt.

Movie Web Site here

“How To Train Your Dragon” is the stuff of movie formulas for kids ranging from age 5 thru early teens. First you must have a lovable but pathetic sort of main character that early on must prove something to himself if not the entire world. Second this character must have some sort of love interest, but keep it clean, just a crush sort of thing, perhaps a chaste kiss at the end. Third, there must be some adventure that kids will like with their budding imaginations and what better to meet this criteria than dragons? Every little kid imagines dragons all about, under the bed, perhaps right outside the window.

If I sound jaded please indulge. This was a very enjoyable movie, it had a splendid, if somewhat convoluted story, you had the Vikings all involved and these fellows made great 3D images alongside the fire-breathing dragons.

It’s just that with granddaughter I’ve been to many of these sorts of movies and so far the winner is “UP” but that’s just me.

I’d give this movie an A- if not a solid A for the storyline, adventure, graphics and the 3D is always a great way to watch a movie. Granddaughter adores 3D movies.

But let’s not kid ourselves that this movie is cinema of a mighty intellectual caliber. Still, movie genres, even the formulaic, can be done badly but “How To Train Your Dragon” was done wonderfully.

A few nitpicks: The main dragon character, intriguingly named “Toothless”, really didn’t look all that scary. In fact, he looked like a pet dog. This sort of dragon was characterized in the movie as the most vicious kind of all but those big puppy-dragon eyes and humorous name was a bit incongruous with this depiction.

In addition, the plot line about the dragons’ lair and why they had to raid the Vikings’ livestock was very unclear to me. There was a big bogeyman dragon but the relationship of that dragon to the other dragons was a bit fuzzy. Was it the Queen of all dragons or was it the slaveholder of all the dragons?

Not that 6-year-old granddaughter questioned any of this and she fell in love with Toothless, something I suspect the animators intended.

Thus to those readers with kids do not fear that the vague storylines will distract from the young human’s enjoyment of the film one bit.

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  1. 一沙一世界,一花一天堂,掌中握無限,剎那即永恆..................................................