The “How to Train Your Dragon” Movies, Shorts & TV Series
Starting with the first hit movie in 2010, DreamWorks Animation's version of the entire “How to Train Your Dragon” story included various short films and a TV series that filled in the gap of events between the first movie, and the second movie released in 2014. Watching the TV series, one could witness the movie characters age from around 15 year old teenagers, to young adults of 20 or so years.
The final third movie which concludes the story, appears to ignore the events of the short films and TV series entirely.
Read on, to learn more about the highly detailed DreamWorks Dragons story, and how it unfolds:
How to Train Your Dragon
The first How to Train Your Dragon movie, released in 2010, was a huge worldwide success, both financially and also receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from viewers. Four short films, a television series, several video games, an arena show, a mind-bogglingly huge array of merchandise and two sequels were to follow.
Along with the unique, fitting and beautiful soundtrack, this movie was a rare treat to experience, well-deserving of its success.
The overall message of the movie (as well as the books) seems to give hope to anyone feeling the pressures of a complicated and often harsh world: That our weaknesses, which we all have in places, can become our strengths and that we're better off working together than being on our own.
The TV Series
The HTTYD TV series first started airing in 2012 to 2018 with a total of 118 episodes shown. The series shows the events between the ending of the first movie and beginning of the second movie.
With the Vikings of Berk and dragons no longer at war, come new challenges of learning to live together and now defending their newfound peace and dragon-friends from increasingly dangerous outside threats.
The viewers can witness Hiccup, Toothless and all his friends and their dragons grow from young and inexperienced (but always striving) teenagers, into more mature and accomplished adults.
It is generally well-written and lively, without being neurotic and full of stupifying fillers and fluff, like so many other shows for younger audiences. The earlier episodes were criticised by some viewers for their lack of “action/battles”, which is probably unfair criticism, as the characters were only young children of around 15 years - adults are supposed to shield children from such violence. Instead, the early episodes positively focused on dealing with and solving more close-to-home problems, similar to those facing teenagers in the real world.
In fact, the sought-after “action” (in other words “violence”) still came very soon within the series, as the responsibility to place their own lives in danger to defend their homeland, was increasingly heaped upon them by the world outside their childhood bubble.
The amount of violence in this series eventually reaches surprisingly diabolical levels, with the teenagers and dragons often facing merciless and deviously scheming murderers. Therefore, they are frequently coming within an inch from being skewered alive, infected with plagues and poison, stabbed, shot, hacked, clobbered, splattered or burned to death. It happened so gradually, it was hard to notice at first. Thankfully, the teenagers and their dragons win in the end.
So, being a Viking wasn't easy going then - it would have been hard to sneak this much conflict into most other tales, without it seeming completely out of place.
The series also introduces several entertaining characters and humerous situations, and has plenty of fun moments and character development between the young riders and their dragons. If you're a fan of “Hictooth” (Hiccup and Toothless), then you'll enjoy seeing lots of nice moments between them.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
HTTYD 2 plays around 5 years after the events of the first movie, having increasingly mature themes of growing up, loss, compromise and accepting more responsibilities.
The movie was also very successful and visually beautiful. As the story progressed, it had started to move beyond the idealistic new friendships made in the first movie and into the sometimes darker territory of consequences and battling events beyond one's control.
Some reviews noted that this theme of increasing responsibilities wasn't handled as well in the story as it could have been. Also, that the story's themes should have made a greater effort to focus on closer-to-home issues and personal growth.
The friendship between Hiccup and Toothless, and indeed all the Vikings and dragons however, was stronger than ever and enjoyable to witness, helping carry the story across the finish line.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The third and final movie "HTTYD: The Hidden World", concludes this Viking and dragons story. The movie explains the reasons for dragons now living hidden, away from the humans (beneath the sea) - waiting to emerge until humans can live with them in peace.
Again, a visually beautiful movie and triumph of modern 3D animation, this final instalment could end up being the most divisive movie in the Dragons franchise.
The occasional seemingly out-of-character revelations and reactions that started showing in the previous movie, appear to be more frequent and obvious than before. Without the friendship between Viking and dragon to help bring the movie to a satisfying end, can the story live up to expectations?
It comes down to a viewer's own reasons for seeing the movie, and what they're looking to find.
For a review of this movie and more information, see the following blog post: Review of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” - The Hidden Shrek?
For greater insight into the How to Train Your Dragon movies and TV series, you can visit the HTTYD wiki pages that go into terrific detail:
See the HTTYD wiki here, you will go directly to the "Media" category, showing an unsorted overview. In the “Media” menu at the top of the screen, you will find everything sorted.
- Creating a paragraph for each short movie
- Finding ways to watch each (short) movie and TV episode as economically as possible (DVD package deals, sales, ???)
- Creating short reviews for the TV series, and cutting/pasting some information from this page, as some information is probably more suitable for a full review, rather than overview.
See our Planned Updates & Updates Log blog post for more details.
Header image is a montage of DreamWorks Animation HTTYD posters and screenshots.
Screenshots and poster pictures on this page taken from the How to Train Your Dragon Wiki at Fandom.com
(Accessed December 2018 - March 2019)
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