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How To Train Your Dragon

Dragons Return — Tomorrow

Exciting news from the world of streaming. “DreamWorks Animation has shared a teaser trailer for the all-new CG animated series Dragons: The Nine Realms. Inspired by the hugely popular How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise, the show premieres on Hulu and Peacock December 23. Set 1,300 years after the events of How to Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth’s surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncover the truth about dragons and where they’ve been hiding — a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they’ve discovered.” Find out more and see the teaser trailer over at AWN.

image c. 2021 Dreamworks

Talk to the Dragons

And now a rather different take on Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon universe, this time in a new Netflix TV series for young viewers. Animation World Network gave us the scoop: “DreamWorks Animation has just unveiled the high-flying trailer and cast of its new animated preschool series, Dragons Rescue Riders. This all-new chapter in the Oscar-nominated How to Train Your Dragon franchise follows the adventures of twins, Dak and Leyla, raised by dragons, who share a unique ability to communicate with them. The brother and sister lead a team of five young dragons, Aggro, Winger, Summer, Cutter, and Burple, with whom they spend their days rescuing other dragons and helping people in their adopted town of Huttsgalor. All 14 episodes of the new series debut September 27 exclusively on Netflix.” Check out the preview trailer as well.

image c. 2019 Dreamworks Animation

Movie review: 'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World'

Your rating: None Average: 4 (15 votes)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) is the latest film in the HTTYD series, the first of which came out in 2010 and was followed by a second film in 2014. Now, after a four-and-a-half-year gap, we have a third one, presumably (?) the last, but even if DreamWorks decides to keep the film franchise going, The Hidden World feels like the completion of a trilogy, all of which have involved Dean DeBlois as screenwriter and director.

I'm going to try and avoid major spoilers, so I'll summarize the plot points introduced in the early part of the film. I won't be linking to trailers, because they give away some of the locations and scene gags that are better kept a surprise. I watched a 2D screening, and I haven't kept up with any of the franchise spinoffs or shorts. I'm not a fan of most of the dragon designs or of several secondary characters, but regardless, I've happily enjoyed Hiccup and Toothless' adventures together.

Big News from Dreamworks

Dreamworks Animation have released the first preview of their new How To Train Your Dragon tie-in TV series, Dragons: Race to the Edge. It’s coming to Netflix on June 26th. Interestingly, it’s all coming on that date: All 13 episodes will be available at once. In this latest iteration, “Hiccup and Toothless lead the Dragon Riders as they soar beyond the borders of Berk and discover the mysterious Dragon Eye — an ancient artifact filled with secrets that will lead them to new lands filled with undiscovered dragons. But the heroes find themselves pursued by marauding dragon hunters, who will stop at nothing to seize the power of the Dragon Eye.” Check it out over at Meanwhile, just today came another Dreamworks announcement: Kung Fu Panda 3’s release date has been moved. Again. This time they’ve moved it up from March 18th to January 29th. We still gotta wait until 2016, but at least it’s coming sooner!

image c. 2015 Dreamworks Animation

image c. 2015 Dreamworks Animation

Toothless on the Printed Page

Later this month Titan Comics premiers not one but two volumes of their new digest-sized full-color comic based on the hit TV series Dragons: Riders of Berk. From the preview at Broken Frontier: “Titan Comics proudly presents all-new original adventures of Hiccup and Toothless!  A thrilling all-ages publication and a broadening of the How To Train Your Dragon universe. Featuring gorgeous animation-inspired artwork by Iwan Nazif, and written by Simon Furman (Transformers, Doctor Who Magazine, Thundercats).”

image c. 2014 Titan Comics

image c. 2014 Titan Comics

Dragons Help You Learn

Jump Start is a creative company best known for designing and developing games that help to teach young children the basics of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Since 1991 they’ve released several lines of teaching games under the banners of Jump Start and Math Blaster.  More recently though, Jump Start has hitched up with Dreamworks Animation to create a new line of teaching software and on-line games based on the Madagascar series of animated movies. Yes, kids even learn from the penguins! The first release is called Madagascar Preschool Surf n Slide. Even more recently, there’s a new line of on-line games based on How to Train Your Dragon called School of Dragons. Check it all out at the Jump Start web site.

image c. 2013 Jump Start, Dreamworks Animation

Say Hello to Toothless — Again

Recently on YouTube, Dreamworks Animation released the official trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2, coming to theaters in June of 2014. Absolutely nothing about the plot is revealed, but it’s easy to see that both Toothless the night fury and his rider Hiccup have grown up considerably — and learned a lot about aerial acrobatics.  The new film is both written and directed by Dean Deblois, half of the team that directed the first film.

image c. 2013 Dreamworks Animation

Trailer: 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

It’s started! The How to Train Your Dragon 2 teaser trailer, on the Animation Scoop and Cartoon Brew websites.

Toothless on the Printed Page

The guys at Ape Entertainment put it very well: “Fans of Toothless, the flying Nightfury from 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon, have had many reasons to celebrate of late. First DreamWorks Animation announced it would release two sequels to the hit film, scheduled for 2014 and 2016. Then Global Creatures brought the character to animatronic life for a live arena show that has been touring the world since March. Earlier this month, Toothless made the transition to the small screen with the debut of a tie-in animated series on Cartoon Network. Now, he’s making the leap to the printed page in Ape Entertainment’s Dragons: Riders of Berk comic series, expected to hit newsstands in December.” The new full-color comic book series is written by Aaron Sparrow and illustrated by James Silvani, who previously teamed up on Disney’s Darkwing Duck for BOOM! Studios. You can also read an interview with them about the new comic at Animation World Network.

image c. 2012 Ape Entertainment

'How to Train Your Dragon' 1 1/2: 'Dragons: Riders of Berk'

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

The Cartoon Brew website has a preview of DreamWorks’ TV series sequel to its 2010 hit theatrical feature and Ursa Major Award winner: Dragons: Riders of Berk, a CGI series premièring on Cartoon Network on Tuesday, September 4.

The show will recount the further adventures of Hiccup (and Toothless) and his friends, and their dragons, of the Viking island of Berk, as they all learn to become expert dragon riders. (Comparisons with Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern are already being made.) The movie’s principal voice cast will re-play their characters, and new characters will include Tim Conway as Mulch and Mark Hammill as Alvin the Treacherous.

Dragons: Riders of Berk will keep the series fresh until the theatrical sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2 (or whatever it will be named), is released in June 2014.

Dragons on TV

After a few years and much talk, Dreamworks Animation are ready to premier their new TV series Dragons: Riders of Berk.  Re-named from the more simple Dragons, this new series brings us further adventures of the young viking Hiccup, his dragon friend Toothless, and other characters from the Ursa Major Award-winning feature film How to Train Your Dragon. Jay Baruchel (as Hiccup), America Ferrera (as Astrid), and several other voice actors from the feature film reprise their roles for this new TV series. Unlike previous Dreamworks series like The Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, this new Dragons series will be shown on Cartoon Network instead of Nickelodeon. A special preview episode will air on Cartoon Network starting Tuesday, August 7th. Check out their Wikipedia entry too.

image c. 2012 Dreamworks Animation

'DreamWorlds: Behind the Scenes' art exhibition at USC

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

PoThe Cartoon Brew website announces that the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts Gallery is presenting an exhibit, “DreamWorlds: Behind the Scenes, Production Art from DreamWorks Animation” from July 30 through September 7.

DreamWorks’ works include more than just anthropomorphic animals, of course (Prince of Egypt, anyone?), but there has been SO MUCH anthropomorphization in its 24 features!

The exhibition includes more than one hundred digital prints and approximately thirty traditional paintings and drawings on paper; two miniature sets; three character maquettes; two set pieces – an 8? high Kung Fu Panda “Po” statue and the new Rise of the Guardians standee; and three media stations displaying animation tests, stereo footage, and the Rise of the Guardians trailer. There will also be a contemporary animation work station on display, with demonstrations given by current Hench-DADA students.

Dragons on your iPhone

Dreamworks Animation have announced the release of a new video game for the iPad and iPhone called Dragons: Tap Dragon Drop (get it?).  Players take on the role of Hiccup and Toothless from the How to Train Your Dragon movie series. As a terrible storm approaches the village of Berk, the vikings hurry to move their sheep to safety. But the sheep are scattered all over the island! Hiccup needs to train his dragon Toothless to herd (and in many cases, air-lift) the sheep away from danger while losing as few of them as possible. Dreamworks has a YouTube video preview of the game up now.

image c. 2012 Dreamworks Animation

'How To Train Your Dragon' to appear live on stage

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

 ArenaHow To Train Your Dragon - the story of a young Viking who defies generations of tradition by befriending a dragon - was a hit for DreamWorks in 2010.

Loosely based on a children's book series by Cressida Cowell, the movie grossed nearly $500 million worldwide, and won the 2010 Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture.

Now the story is being adapted for the stage.

Music video: HTTYD "Sticks and Stones"

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

DreamWorks' animators have cut together a music video for Jónsi's "Sticks and Stones" out of clips from How to Train Your Dragon. [tip: Lando]

DreamWorks intends to release a sequel in 2013, plus a weekly series on Cartoon Network.