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HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON

An animated family fantasy film released by Dreamworks.

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Cute Kid Film or Subversive Pro-Terrorist Propaganda?

  • May 6, 2010
Rating:
+4
This Right Wing Movie Review has been brought to you by the letter T, and by GoldLine, because there’s nothing more patriotic than speculating on America’s eventual financial ruin. 
 
How to Train Your Dragon, the latest box office success to come out of Dreamworks, is probably the most blatant and chilling example of the indoctrination of America’s youth by the liberal elitist Hollywood since Happy Feet. Only this time, they are not using gay penguins to brainwash our children. No, this time they are using fire-breathing dragons. Or maybe I should say wolves in dragon’s clothing, because we are not really dealing with dragons here. The dragons in this animated feature are actually meant to represent Middle Eastern terrorists, and this film’s overall goal is to convince the young, impressionable minds watching it that they should be sympathetic towards those who would seek to destroy our American way of life.
 
Now, I know many of you are probably shocked by this accusation. After all, it is just a harmless kid’s film, right? Right, that’s what everyone thought about Pokemon before parents across the country discovered that Pikachu and Squirdle were teaching their children how to gamble and glorifying barbaric animal arena events like dog pits and cockfights.
 
So, in the interest of saving your children from this psychological intrusion by other malevolent parties, I am going to break the film down here and point out the subversive symbolism. There might be some spoilers here, so if you are concerned that I am going to ruin the ending of a children’s cartoon for you, you probably have bigger emotional problems to deal with.
 
Take, for example, the film’s opening, which introduces the home country of the film’s leading character Hiccup, the Viking village of Berk. Hiccup’s people are Norse Vikings, and the opening sequence finds them under attack constant attack by dragons. Right off, it is obvious that this Norse village is representative of white Anglo-Saxon America of European origins. I mean, if you want to have a fantasy setting that symbolizes white America, you cannot get any whiter than a Nordic warrior tribe.
 
This village is under attack by dragons, which are obviously meant to represent Middle Eastern terrorists. Now, you might by saying, hey, that is quite a stretch! What gave you such a far-fetched idea? Let me spell it out for you by pointing to a specific detail during the opening. As these dragons are attacking the village, the most powerful of these dragons, the dreaded Night Fury, which attacks by achieving supersonic speeds and flying into objects in order to destroy them, does so during a spectacular moment during the dragon attack by flying through one of the Viking village’s towers.
 
Let me repeat that for clarity: he attacks them by flying through their tower, and in an apparent kamikaze attack, otherwise known as a suicide attack. Now, can you think of another moment in our recent history that involved a suicide attacker flying into a tower? Maybe twin towers? This is an obvious allusion to the attacks of September 11, and sets the major groundwork for this film’s attempts to convince the young children watching this film that the terrorists that would do something like that are not bad people, but simply misunderstood creatures.
 
As they say, It is all downhill from here. The film spends a great deal of time portraying the Viking warriors, who spend all of their time battling the dragons and training their children to battle the dragons, as ignorant paranoid warmongers. Sending their children into battle is a major theme of the movie, as this has been a major argument against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the idea of sending other people’s children into combat. So of course, the film features multiple scenes of children wielding weapons and being thrown into dangerous battle situations, no doubt a scary thought for any parent accompanying their children to the movie theater.
 
This warmongering Nordic tribe is under constant attack by these strange foreign creatures, which keep blowing up their buildings before disappearing overseas. Does this sound familiar? In addition, these monsters are coming from some mysterious place that the Vikings cannot seem to find, kind of like the nomadic Al-Qaeda tribes that keep moving from one cave to another so they cannot be tracked. It does not take a great leap of faith to make the connection.
 
But wait, it gets better. The hero of our story, the young pacifist Viking Hiccup, does not think we should by fighting the dragons. No, the dragons are not bad. They are just misunderstood. If we only get to know them better and learn what they like and why they are attacking us, then we can easily convince them not to. This is the philosophy proposed by the film, the whole touchy-feely approach to global conflict involving the diplomatic strategy of talking out our problems rationally with those who seem determined to destroy our homes and cripple our economy by burning fields and stealing livestock (a possible metaphor for oil). This is portrayed as the only rational solution to stopping repeated attacks against a country under direct attack.
 
There’s a telling bit a dialog, which I believe it’s even in the trailers, when hiccup’s father (the head Viking warrior, of course) finds out about his son’s ludicrous idea of trying to talk rationally with the monsters attacking them with incendiary weapons (WMDs? Weapons of Massive Dragons?). The father yells at the child incredulously that the dragons have killed hundreds of their people, and hiccup rebelliously responds “And we’ve killed thousands of them!” This is an obvious reference to the high death toll exacted by American troops throughout the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and most likely a specific reference to the unfortunate loss of civilian lives at the hands of American soldiers and private war contractors. These accidental deaths are indeed tragic, no one would dare argue otherwise. However, in the logic this film expects our children to buy into, the sad reality of innocent lives being lost in necessary combat situations somehow makes us the unreasonable and more barbaric side in the conflict.
 
Are you starting to see the lengths that this film is going to in order to brainwash American children against the current war against subversive American-hating terroristgroups? Of course, the children in the film swoop in and save the day in the end, using the dragons (i.e. their new terrorist allies) to defeat the cause of all of this senseless fighting, the big bad dragon forcing all of the other poor dragons to do all of those bad things that have caused us to misunderstand them.
 
Now, whom does this big bad dragon at the end symbolize? Saddam HusseinOsama bin LadenMahmoud Ahmadinejad? These are all possible candidates, but knowing how the liberal elite in Hollywood think, this monstrous Deus Ex Machina probably symbolizes something more abstract and touchy-feely, like Intolerance or Bad Karma. Whatever it represents, all it takes is its destruction for the Vikings/Americans to live in perfect peace and harmony with the Dragons/Middle Eastern Terrorists. If this sounds like a logical series of events that translates well into the real world, and you are willing to buy into this pacifist make-love-not-war view of global conflicts, than I have a Health Care Plan I would like to sell you. Let’s just hope our future generations adopt this approach to battling the real fire-breathing dragons of the world.
 
This satirical film review was originally recorded in Episode #15 of the film review podcast MovieSucktastic.

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June 09, 2010
Thank you for including the fact that this is indeed a satirical review because after logging a certain number of hours with Glenn Beck (and a few reviewers on Lunch) I couldn't trust my own judgment any more. Hilarious.
 
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More How to Train Your Dragon reviews
review by . March 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ Stars: MAY Well Become the BEST Animated Movie of 2010!! ....it's NO Son of a
Dreamworks animation has often been regarded as the “Poor man’s Pixar” since its animated films are more or less a hit or miss. Well, after the sleeper hit "Monsters Vs. Aliens", the company is once again poised to redeem itself with “How To Train Your Dragon” which is based on the book with the same name. This latest film directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois has enough thought-provoking morale themes, stunning animation, as well as an invaluable …
review by . February 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     You can count on animated films to be good when live action films just aren't. While this is definitely a good thing to count on, some animated films are just bad, and yes, as bad as the live-action flicks are. This is not the case with Dreamworks Animation's first of three 2010 animated offerings. In fact, "How to Train Your Dragon" is the best thing that Dreamworks has had to offer since "Shrek". Yeah, they've come out with some pretty solid stuff from time …
review by . December 30, 2010
i hear so much hype about this movie, so i decide to see it. the animation was unbeliveable,i forgot i was watching a movie. i am really intrested about the movie, so i check out all the special features and all(i watched it on DVD) that, and all the effort into this movie, the hundreds of crew and cast, the animation, like i said, was great,it was fantastic. but i am looking forward to see some other great animation hits, so for right now, this is the best  9.5 out of 10 stars  4.5 …
review by . November 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
DreamWorks Builds its Masterpiece
   With a review title as ambitious as mine, some justification is definitely in order.  See unlike Pixar (with a little help of the Disney promotion machine), animated hits with the potential to become pop culture icons aren’t a given for DreamWorks.  Sure they’ve had Shrek but ask anyone and you’ll discover that 4 feature films and a variety of spin-offs have milked the franchise past its worth.  Kung-Fu Panda came next with signs of brilliance.  …
review by . December 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Out from DreamWorks' animation studio is a tale based on two aggressive yet extinct species, dragons and Vikings. Interesting enough, How to Train Your Dragon strays away from stereotyping these two prolific breeds, giving them a fresh interpretation. Hiccup, the main protagonist (voiced by Jay Baruchel), is illustrated as the lanky outcast whose father is the leader of the violent pack of dragon hunters. In addition, his dragon counterpart, Toothless, isn't the barbaric creature that Vikings …
review by . April 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dragons have had a pretty checkered history on the silver screen. There have been some good efforts (Reign of Fire, Dragonslayer, Dragonheart) and some terrible misfires (Dungeons and Dragons, Eragon) over the years, but all have fallen short of delivering the definitive dragon movie. The rather clunkily titled How to Train Your Dragon, directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, may well be that movie.      Since its formation in 1994, Dreamworks has always been standing in …
review by . March 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   We always seem to go through phases when it comes to popular genres and topics of entertainment.  We have the year of 3D (which I'm still debating as to whether I should actually be excited or not), the year of remakes (that has become YEARS and I wish would seriously end), the year of cheapquels/sequels (which some films have promise and others are straight to DVD quality), and of course the year of the "underdog"/geek(which is by far my favorite).  3 months …
review by . April 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Dreamworks has always been dominant in the the animation field, but that has never made their movies that were great.  They had Shrek, which was very clever and very unique and original.  But most times when watching a Dreamworks production you're hit with a lot of pop culture references and whatnot.  The exception being Kung Fu Panda which showed a different side of Dreamworks.  How to Train Your Dragon merely perfects what Kung Fu Panda began.  It focuses on being a heartfelt …
review by . April 04, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is a young boy living on an island with the great vikings. He explains in the beginning that it is a very old land, but with new houses. This is because their houses are constantly being burned down by the firery breath of dragons, who they are always in battle with. Hiccup is the son of a high in rank viking Stoick (Gerard Butler) who is ashamed of his son because he fails to be the dragon fighter he is supposed to. So to prove himself Hiccup shoots down a never before …
review by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
How to Train a Dragon is a coming of age movie. The usual stuff. The overbearing father, with the son who embarrasses him because of his lack of mini-me-ness, tries to force said son to man-it-up and get on with it already. Son does the one thing he can think of to impress his whole village but screws even that up. But while doing so he discovers truth that will change everything his dad, his whole village, his whole world believed. Add humor, fighting, action and a few scary moments, make it animated, …
About the reviewer
S. Michael Wilson ()
Ranked #213
I am the editor and coauthor of Monster Rallyand the author of Performed by Lugosi. I am also a co-host of the wildly popular film review podcast MovieSucktastic.      As a writer, … more
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Wiki

How to Train Your Dragon is a CGI animated fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the 2003 book of the same title. The film stars the voice talents of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, and David Tennant. The story takes place in a mythical Viking world where a young Viking teenager named "Hiccup" aspires to follow his tribe's tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After finally capturing his first dragon, and with his chance at finally gaining the tribe's acceptance, he finds that he no longer has the desire to kill it and instead befriends it. The film was released March 26, 2010.

Poster art for "How to Train Your Dragon: An IMAX 3D Experience."

Characters

  • Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is the main character in these books. He is an unusual Viking who thinks before he does anything. He has red hair and is very thin. He is one of the only people ever to understand and be able to speak Dragonese, the language of the dragons. He is abnormally clever for a Viking, and a good swordfighter. His hunting dragon isToothless, a small dragon that is a common or garden dragon. Hiccup's best friend Fishlegs claims that Hiccup's dragon is a Toothless Daydream, a mythical and rare type of dragon, to fool Hiccup's father Stoick the Vast and those around him.
  • Toothless is Hiccup's hunting dragon. Just like his name suggests, he has no teeth. He used to have one tooth, but it fell out in a ...
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Details

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Release Date: March 26, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks
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