At The Theater #14: How to Train Your Dragon 3D

While watching How to Train Your Dragon 3D, I couldn’t help but think that the whole movie was a big metaphor for coming out of the closet. Hiccup, the main protagonist, is not like the other Vikings in his town. He’s not a testosterone fueled muscle-head, which pretty much describes every other man here. He’s shunned by his peers for not being athletic, and his father wishes he wasn’t so different.

After a fierce battle with some dragons, dad leads a Viking horde to hunt the dragons on their home turf and sends his son to dragon-killing school, which if you’re still following my metaphor is the equivalent of one of those camps parents on the religious right send their to kids to purge them of their homosexual tendencies. Hetero-camp, um, I mean dragon-hunting school backfires, as Hiccup realizes that he cannot bring himself to kill any dragons and begins to pacify them in ways he learns from training his secretly kept pet dragon.

Hiccup sneaks off to frolic with his pet dragon every chance he gets. He has to do it in utter secrecy though. If the other Vikings found out that he had befriended a dragon, they would scorn him and kill his new friend. Unfortunately, he is found out, his dragon is locked up and dad wishes he never gave Hiccup his helmet fashioned from Hiccup’s mother’s breastplate. Hey daddy Viking, if you’re so ashamed of your son’s gender identity issues, don’t ask him to wear his mom’s bra on his head and call it a helmet. Just sayin’…

In the end, as can be expected in these stories, Hiccup proves to his dad that his skills as a dragon whisperer are worthwhile when Hiccup and his pet dragon save the day. This is the equivalent of the dad finding out that his son might be gay, but damn, the kid can still play football.

I graduated high school with a guy who looked
a lot like America Ferrera’s character Astrid.
Skirt by Hot Topic.
Boots by Ugg.

Don’t agree with that metaphor? How about this one? How to Train Your Dragon 3D is all about the recent financial crisis. Late in the movie, it’s revealed that the dragons aren’t actually evil, they raid the Vikings’ sheep pens not for themselves, but for a big-bad king-dragon that will eat them if they don’t bring it something else. Big-bad king dragon is your too-big-to-fail bank like AIG or Citi. The other dragons are smaller banks that are trying not to be eaten up by the big boys, and the sheep are the taxpayers dollars needed to prevent big-bad from exploding out of his mountain home and wrecking havoc with the sheep and armor markets. The Vikings are the US taxpayers, left footing the sheep bill for big-bad.

Metaphors aside, the oddest thing about How to Train Your Dragon 3D is that despite being the scariest dragon the Vikings have ever encountered, so dreaded that no Viking has ever seen one and lived to tell the tale, the terrifying Night Fury looks like a Digimon that has been upgraded with the cuteness of Puss N’ Boots from Shrek. Since the next dragon down the fright-o-meter ignites itself on fire when attacking you, I was expecting something a little less cute. But the night fury does fly too fast to see while shooting proton torpedoes out of its mouth, so I can see why the Vikings, with their axes and wooden shields, when faced with a dragon sporting the firepower of a the Millenium Falcon, would be on the scared side.

The Night Fury: so deadly, so cuddly.

I cannot begin to explain how happy I am that this movie was good. After a week of some very bad movies back-to-back, I didn’t think I could take another disappointment. That one-two punch of Remember Me and Greenberg did me in. But How to Train Your Dragon 3D definitely gets a thumbs up and a “go see it” recommendation. I would put it up there with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs as an all-ages movie that adults will enjoy.

We saw How to Train Your Dragon 3D at Cobble Hill Cinemas. A word of warning to anyone seeing this, or any 3D movie at Cobble Hill: the usual Tuesday/Thursday discount of $6.50/ticket does not apply. I thought they would tack on $3.50 to the discounted price to cover the 3D glasses and bring the total up to $10, but that wasn’t the case. All 3D movies there are $12, now matter what showtime you see. When you consider that a regular movie will run you $12.50 in Manhattan, and a 3D movie $15-$16, Cobble Hill is still a deal. Plus it’s a great, old school theater. I recommend this theater to everyone…unless you talk during a movie, in which case, have fun at Court Street.