Hollywood continues to invade your local Walmart. The chain, which has whipped up special in-store boutiques for Twilight DVD releases, is now doing something similar with DreamWorks Animation. Ahead of next Friday's theatrical release of How to Train Your Dragon—an animated 3-D tale about a teenage Viking dragon-fighter—Walmart is setting aside big areas in its stores for a Viking Ship display and more than 100 licensed products. Months ago, manufacturers like Kraft, Kellogg, Pepsi and Spin Master began working directly with Walmart and DreamWorks to create custom products tied to the movie. The "dragon-ized" products your young Viking will be demanding include foam swords and helmets, apparel, skateboards, hooded towels, sunglasses and snacks. There's virtually no escaping the hype about this movie: Walmart has developed a How to Train Your Dragon activity book that will be distributed at 1,000 McDonald's sites within Walmart stores. And you New York City hipsters without a Walmart, don't be so smug: A 40-foot Viking ship is coming your way, with a two-day docking in the center of Times Square and an appearance by Ugly Betty's America Ferrera, who is one of the voices in the film.
—Posted by Noreen O'Leary