Posted tagged ‘guilty pleasures’

How To Train Your Dragon

August 10, 2011

So my post is a day late… again. But here it is regardless!

This summer’s guilty pleasure is the movie How To Train Your Dragon.

I know: it’s from last year. I’m frequently behind when it comes to movies. Let me just say that I find this movie to be timeless.

One of the things that I love about so many of the animated features over the past 10-15 years is their explorations of being different in a different-is-good way. Characters like Shrek and Fiona, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, everyone in The Incredibles (okay, so not Buddy/Incrediboy — I kept waiting for his redemption. But I digress, as usual.)

For one thing, How To Train Your Dragon has beautiful music. It’s worth it to watch just for that.  It also features a boy who is basically a loser who doesn’t relate to the values being impressed upon him by his father in particular and his society in general. Here’s the thing: he’s not perfect. He makes mistakes. But he learns from them. He also teaches everyone else in the process and saves the world, but that’s the fantasy part. And we loved the dragon Toothless. Toothless looks and acts a lot like our semi-wild cat Ernie.

As a queer person, I also saw queer subtext in this movie. Don’t get me wrong: I see queer subtext in lots of things where a non-queer person might not. It’s my own filter. But I saw Hiccup (the main character) as a gay boy growing up. I also saw Astrid as a baby dyke — after all, she was the only character in the movie who carries a labyris. (Even though there was the intimation of budding romance between these two characters that isn’t necessarily in the happily-ever-after part of the script.)

Anyway, both Melinda and I love this movie, and we’ll probably watch it over and over again!

Finally, here’s a sort of tongue-in-cheek review of this movie:

Do not let your children watch this movie! I, like any good parent, screen movies before allowing my children to view them. And what I saw made me physically ill:

There is a young boy who is growing up in a village that kills dragons. This young boy wants to be like everyone else but there is something different about him (incidentally his mother apparently died when he was very little). No matter how hard he tries he cannot fit in. Then one day a certain event causes him to realize his true inner feeling: he wants to study and understand dragons, not hunt them. Now let me point this out: This is exactly like gays! They start out like everyone else but some traumatizing event in their lives causes their minds to start acting a little off! Obviously a gay analog.

Of course if the movie had just stopped there and had been about the boy overcoming his sinful feelings and becoming a fearless dragonslayer, all would have been well. But of course he explores his new feeling, all the while trying to hide them from his dad. At one point his dad comes in to his room while he is writing dragon stuff down in his journal and he frantically hides it (obviously a reference to gay magazines). Now here’s the worst part, and is a warning for everybody else: the boy spreads his love of dragons around the village, and soon everybody is a dragontamer, not a dragonslayer. It’s just like in real life! One gay man starts talking about how gay he is, and pretty soon everybody in the whole country is as gay as can be!

And… since this is part of a Synchroblog, here are the other posts on the subject of Summer Books and Movies: