My baby kitten Montgomery hasn't been a kitten in a decade. This is my favorite photo of his childhood to your left. He is 11 years old now. He's had a lot of health problems lately so I just got back from yet another expensive trip to the vet. But anything for my baby. If it's between him and the rent, I'll be looking for a comfortable cardboard box big enough for both of us to sleep in.
All of which probably made me a sucker for How to Train Your Dragon's pet-love sentiment. I finally saw the hit yesterday. (I'm not used to being so behind the curve but I got caught up in festival world for a month there.) What is Toothless other than a scaly superpowered cat and what is Hiccup other than a boy who really loves his cat/dragon?
I really responded to the story for these personal reasons but it also surprised me. I hadn't read a lot about it so I didn't really know the plot outside of the what the trailer offers.
It's surprising to find a movie -- even a cartoon --that actually champions a boy for being sensitive and smart rather than impulsive and athletic (though Hiccup has those more traditional traits, too... the movie just downplays that he does). That the movie has been such a hit with moviegoers despite being far less gender-rigid than most animated films is a bigger surprise.
But before I get carried away assuming some kinder, gentler thread in moviegoing emerging after years of increasingly extreme bloodlust, I should note that when I went to buy my ticket, the 11 year old girl in front of me in line excitedly asked for Nightmare on Elm Street. So same as it ever was. Only I suspect I got the way sweeter deal as movies go. Even though I had to buy one of those ridiculously expensive 3D tickets.
I fear that the movie industry has basically given up on increasing the moviegoing habit. They're willing to price themselves out of true relevance just like Broadway did. $17.50 was way too much to pay for the movie even though I loved it. And the fact that I'm saying that, someone who believes in the sanctity of moviegoing and finds it many times preferable to home viewing, should be worrisome to the industry. If you are even willing to alienate the people who do still go to the movies every single week... who exactly will keep going to the movies? Or will everyone eventually do like my non-movie oriented family where they'll see like 1 or max 2 movies in a theater per year and otherwise watch only television?
But back to Tame Your Dragon for two hot seconds.
One. I want to adopt Toothless. He's my new dream pet. But I can't because Monty is a jealous boy. He will straight up attack if there's a stuffed animal anywhere near me. No joke.
Two. What the hell was with the Scottish accents for Vikings? Vikings are Scandinavian! Now, I suppose there is an argument about cross-pollination and Norse control of Scotland to be made but Viking mythology belongs to Scandinavia. Just because both begin with "Sc" doesn't mean they're completely interchangeable. That's like assuming that if a bitch is from Chicago that's like being from China. Or that New Yorkers are impossible to separate from New Zealanders. I think if you drop Woody Allen into the Shire or ask Frodo to intern for Miranda Priestley, there's going to be chaos!
Hollywood's confusion about geography is just as funny as New York's. That happens to 'center of the world' places. One of my favorite New Yorker covers of all time illustrates this (lol). Maybe Hollywood needs a cheatsheet?