Hi guys! Fenrir here with a quick bite of some food for thought! It’s been a bit of time since I’ve talked about some speculations, especially about an animated film! Dreamworks has had a few cult-favorites as of late, with films including Rise of the Guardians, Kung-Fu Panda, Shrek (And all its permutations), along with a rather big fan-favorite: How to Train Your Dragon. HTTYD has had consistent praise for its remarkable art and story, and is definitely one of those films that hit you right in the warm and fuzzies.
So with such a successful franchise that includes the movie, animated shorts, holiday shorts, and a television spin-off series — what’s next for the HTTYD line?
A sequel movie, of course!
EDIT: …. Annnnd with all the sequel hype there was bound to be some folks on the Internet who committed the social faux-paux of stealing! More after the cut
So for those of you not in the know, How to Train Your Dragon was a rather brilliant film that took the bonded-by-fate-mismatched-misfit trope and gave it an exciting, fire-breathing spin. (Seriously, why didn’t we review it yet?) How to Train Your Dragon 2 is slated to offer the same draconic delight, with its award winning cast and crew coming back for an encore performance. Dean DeBlois, Bonnie Arnold, and everyone’s favorite, Chris Sanders, are back at the helm for writing, directing, and production (And arguably art design) as well as award-winning composer John Powell in charge of musical score. Also returning is the entire voice-acting cast–so if you’re a fan of Gerald Butler stomping around as a viking with an incredibly inaccurate accent then you’re in for a treat!
Also of note is that Game of Thrones actor Kit Harrington is offering his voice as a real bastard for this film as the currently “TBA” main villain!
With a June 2014 release date, there hasn’t been too much fuss over any HTTYD 2 news, well until now. The good folks over at Berk’s Grapevine certainly know plenty more than our friend Jon Snow, and recently released some conceptual/promotional pictures for the latest installment to the franchise!
… Unfortunately these “promotional pictures” seem to be stolen goods and people are quickly backtracking to delete the information as quickly as possible! Seems these were not meant for an official release at a convention but might have been taken directly from the Dreamworks campus. While respecting Dreamworks I have removed all of the stolen images, but fret not, there’s still some speculation to be had about what this potential sequel has in store!
(Sorry folks, if you were expecting images, but respecting Dreamworks’ wishes we’re going to be deleting everything — also be on the lookout for any misused images that may be running around the net!)
From what we’ve gathered, it seems that the minds behind HTTYD are interested in expanding its world with new places, vistas, and of course, new dragons. There seems to be a basic conflict with the people of Berk, our “good guys” led by the fearless Hiccup alongside his Night Fury dragon friend, Toothless, and a mysterious villain known as “Drago Blood-fist”. It definitely looks like a good-dragon-guys versus dragon-hunters plot, which isn’t terribly complicated, sure, but one shouldn’t underestimate Dreamworks.
And if the plot might leave you feeling a bit burnt out, at least the art is up to par with its usual excellence!
For one, the lay of the land is going to be interesting; many fans of HTTYD fell in love with its intricate flight-sequences set to wonderfully organic fantasy vistas, and the sequel promises much more of that with a clear eye to detail. Which we would, you know, totally show you, if it was legal.
And of course, there are some interesting dragon and character designs to be had — although for the most part these character designs have stirred up some controversy. For one thing many fans who were privy to the leaked photos were mixed, some praising the new changes and the “grown up” look while others fear that Dreamworks is crossing into generic-protagonist territory, leaving much to be desired.
I do like how they “aged up” the film’s previous mains, Hiccup and Astrid respectively. Just enough “old” elements to make them recognizable but enough flair to draw attention to the fact that they’re a bit older — it’s something that the fandom has been a bit in a tiff over, specifically how “generic” these two characters look, but I still remain rather impressed, and excited for what this sequel could potentially bring. With new characters–especially new and interesting dragon designs–and new lands on the way HTTYD 2 might not be as lukewarm as the enclosed plot summary seems to suggest.
And on the very, very sticky topic about images and the Internet…
I personally believe it isn’t particularly good form to go onto the studio set for an animation company, sneaking a few pictures, and then spreading them on the Internet. It’s just not cool – especially if the studio itself explicitly states to not share such top-secret information. And while at this point in time the information has probably spread through the far reaches of the Internet, it still is good, honorable form to delete them — they were unsanctioned images, pretty much stolen from the art team.
Yes, we’re all dying to see HTTYD 2 photos — I know I am — but alas, they were not ready for a public release just yet, and it would be the right thing to delete them and refrain from reposting them elsewhere.
Annnnd that’s all there is for this week’s addition of Food for Thought — tune in next time where we’ll take another look at the comings and goings of fandom and maybe have some enlightening things to say about them!