|Created by||Chris Sanders
|Developed by||Linda Teverbaugh
|Voices of||Jay Baruchel
|Theme music composer||John Paesano
John Powell (themes)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||40 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Linda Teverbaugh
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||DreamWorks Animation|
|Original channel||Cartoon Network (2012–2014)
Netflix (Starting 2015)
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original run||August 7, 2012 – present|
|Preceded by||How to Train Your Dragon (2010)|
|Followed by||How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)|
A one hour preview consisting of two episodes aired on August 7, 2012, on Cartoon Network, with the official premiere of the series on September 4, 2012. A total of 40 episodes aired on Cartoon Network during the first two seasons, subtitled Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk respectively. Beginning with spring 2015, new seasons of the series will debut on Netflix.
DreamWorks Dragons was announced by Cartoon Network on October 12, 2010. Unlike previous DreamWorks Animation TV series spin-offs, it is much darker and deeper, like the film. It is the first DreamWorks Animation series created for Cartoon Network instead of Nickelodeon.
The series features Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T. J. Miller and David Tennant reprising their roles from the How to Train Your Dragon film. New cast members includes Julie Marcus and Andree Vermeulen as Ruffnut (who was previously voiced by Kristen Wiig), Zack Pearlman as Snotlout (who was previously voiced by Jonah Hill), Chris Edgerly as Gobber the Belch (who was previously voiced by Craig Ferguson), and Nolan North as Stoick the Vast (who was previously voiced by Gerard Butler).
Following directly after the events of How To Train Your Dragon but before How to Train Your Dragon 2, Riders of Berk follows Hiccup as he tries to keep balance within the new cohabitation of Dragons and Vikings. Alongside keeping up with Berk's newest installment — A Dragon Training Academy — Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the Viking Teens are put to the test when they are faced with new worlds harsher than Berk, new dragons that can't all be trained, and new enemies who are looking for every reason to destroy the harmony between Vikings and Dragons altogether.
- Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (voiced by Jay Baruchel) — The sarcastic, sophisticated, and intelligent teenaged lead character of the series and Head Dragon Trainer of the Berk Dragon Academy. As the frictions of human/dragon co-habitation on the Isle of Berk become apparent, Hiccup is charged with resolving them as the leader of the Dragon Academy with his skills as a "born-leader", thinker, planner and an unparalleled rider. He and his dragon, Toothless, share the strongest bond of all riders and dragons. He is mechanically gifted, having invented not only a prosthetic dragon tail for Toothless but also various other dragon riding equipment. Unfortunately he is weaker than average in terms of strength and smaller in build compared to other vikings which tends to make the adults less likely to listen to him despite his high intelligence and perception. This is shown in an episodes whence the name "Hiccup" is revealed to be given to the runts of their litters, especially with animals. He lost the lower part of his left leg in the fall following the fight with the Red Death in the series' feature film, but had it replaced with a prosthetic that Gobber made with a little "Hiccup" ingenuity thrown in. As the shows progress he learns various things about himself, others, and the dragons, sometimes the hard way. Since the beginning of the second season, Hiccup's weapon-of-choice is a multi-purpose shield, developed himself using Gronckle Iron as its primary material, providing both offense and defense when Toothless is unavailable to fight in battle.
- Astrid Hofferson (voiced by America Ferrera) — Striking, energetic and tough, Astrid is Hiccup's close friend, mutual love interest (though both are too shy to admit much less act on it,) and right-hand woman as second-in-command of the Dragon Academy. An exceptionally skilled teenaged warrior of Berk who is equally formidable with either weapons or her dragon, she is shown to have an occasional temper as well as a tough personality. When the academy's focus was dragon slaying she was the top student by a wide margin until Hiccup met and used what he learned from Toothless to race ahead. As a result she knew something was up leading her to discover Toothless in the movie and still competes against Hiccup in various things such as having the fastest dragon. She is very intelligent with a strong moral code, and at times acts as Hiccup's conscience and friend who chastises him when he starts acting badly or really needs to hear something he doesn't want to. She's essentially an all-rounder in terms of abilities. But under her tough surface, she is caring and willing to do anything to protect her friends, especially Hiccup and her dragon.
- Fishlegs Ingerman (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) — Normally nervous and timid, Fishlegs has an inexhaustible arsenal of dragon-based facts and enjoys studying and learning about dragons (among other things). Fishlegs, like Hiccup, is intelligent, but he prefers learning from books rather than Hiccup's riskier hands-on approach. Unlike Hiccup rather than scrawny he is really overweight. He is extremely reluctant to fight or put himself or his dragon in danger, often voicing his pessimistic feelings towards a risky plan's worst possible outcome. His aversion to danger is the primary reason why he's not remarkably skilled as a rider, but he's still a very valuable member of the team. Whenever a new dragon appears he is the one the others, especially Hiccup, turns to on identifying its type, characteristics and other important information.
- Snotlout Jorgenson (voiced by Zack Pearlman) — Unintelligent, brash, vain, tactless and overconfident, Snotlout is a tough, physical ideal of a warrior for his age. This tends to get him in trouble, especially when he ignores Hiccup's advice such as not eating berries without knowing if they're poisonous or not and ending up with a swelled tongue. Snotlout is also a typical bully, often trying to push around the other youth riders but usually faltering in a situation where he does not appear to have a clear advantage. He shows romantic interest in Astrid and constantly tries (unsuccessfully) to impress her. While he boasts of having superior abilities as a warrior and dragon rider, his skills as a rider are somewhat lacking, though the fault is not entirely Snotlout's. While his dragon Hookfang, a Nightmare dragon, likes him Hookfang occasionally ignores or disobeys Snotlout similar to how Snotlout ignores or disobeys Hiccup. However, in order not to burn his rider Hookfang almost never covers his body in flame when Snotlout is riding, although he does occasionally do dirty tricks on Snotlout such as flying away when Snotlout tried to command him to impress Heather.
- Tuffnut Thorston (voiced by T. J. Miller) and Ruffnut Thorston (voiced by Julie Marcus in Season 1, Andree Vermeulen in Season 2) – Male and female fraternal twins of the youth Viking group, they both have low intelligence and a rather crude, immature personality; they are often found pulling mindless pranks around Berk, admiring disaster and destruction, or, most often, beating each other. As riders, they may be better than some of the other teens, if not for their sibling rivalry, which usually translates to opposite commands being given to their dragon, resulting in very chaotic flying/crashing as the dragon tries to follow both commands simultaneously. However, while almost always arguing or at odds with each other, they are inseparable, and where ever one goes, the other is not far behind. Even when they're really fed up with each other they'll team up and work together if their dragon is in danger, such as when the Berserkers wanted to hunt down and use their dragon's blood as ink.
Other Inhabitants of Berk
- Stoick the Vast (voiced by Nolan North) — The Chief of Berk and father to Hiccup, Stoick is immensely strong, utterly fearless and a fierce warrior, embodying the traditional Viking virtues. That, and also showing a strong ability in politics, shrewd judgement, a strong caring heart, and a talent for adjusting on the fly to situations. Next to caring for Hiccup, Stoick considers the safety of Berk his top priority, even at the cost of the dragons. Despite initial reluctance, he gradually allows Hiccup more responsibility and becomes more open to his suggestions and beliefs. As the series progresses, Stoick is often found more in favour of dragons on Berk and does go out of his way to defend and protect them, especially after the initial attack of Alvin the Treacherous and bonding with his own dragon, Thornado. He still cares for and misses Hiccup's mother, although what happened to her isn't revealed until the sequel.
- Gobber the Belch (voiced by Chris Edgerly) — The blacksmith of Berk, Stoick's closest friend, and Hiccup's mentor. As a veteran dragon-fighter, he is able to contribute his own knowledge of dragons. His duties expanded to include being a veterinarian for both the dragons (though primarily as a dentist) and the livestock of Berk after the peace with the dragons left him without work. He also acts as a voice of reason for Stoick, a voice of experience for Hiccup, and sometimes a mediator between the two of them. Gobber had lost a hand, foot and tooth in battle with dragons over his lifetime, and he then replaced them with prosthetics built in his smithy. He also replaced Hiccup's left lower leg after Hiccup lost it in the original film.
- Mulch (voiced by Tim Conway) — One of the Viking farmers responsible for gathering and producing food for the village. Unlike his partner Bucket, Mulch is more intelligent and independent, and is therefore charged with keeping an eye on Bucket due to the latter's lack of both said qualities. He is missing his right hand and his left leg and has had them replaced with a hook and a peg leg.
- Bucket (voiced by Thomas F. Wilson) — A rather simple-minded and soft-hearted farmer who is named after the bucket he always wears on his head. Bucket suffered a blow to the head in a dragon battle which lead to him, in addition to always wearing a bucket, suffering memory loss, an inability to perform tasks without supervision and, surprisingly, possessing artistic talent. Like Mulch, Bucket lost his right hand and has had it replaced with a hook.
- Spitelout Jorgenson (voiced by David Tennant) — Snotlout's father, whose personality is very similar to Snotlout's. A strong and confident Viking warrior, he expects the same results out of his son. Spitelout takes pride in his son's achievements, but often is unforgiving of his failures.
- Gothi — An elderly woman who serves as the village's shaman. As a mute, she communicates by gesturing or drawing lines and hieroglyphic-like pictures in the dirt with her staff that Gobber translates, sometimes with mixed success. Fishlegs is shown to be able to completely be successful in translating.
- Alvin the Treacherous (voiced by Mark Hamill) — The main villain of Season One, and later an anti-hero in Season Two. Impatient, merciless, and always desiring action, Alvin the Treacherous is the leader of the Outcast Tribe in of Season One. Exiled from Berk for an unspecified treachery, he plots to invade the village and displace Stoick to claim the island as his own. Plagued by dragon attacks as Berk once was, he seeks to capture Hiccup who he knows as the "Dragon Conqueror" in hope of training and controlling dragons for his own schemes. In the season one finale, he learns how to control dragons from Mildew and earns the trust of a Whispering Death bringing a new era to the Outcast Tribe. Later on, after initially allying with the Berserkers he ends up becoming a pawn in Dagur's plot to capture Toothless, and he is betrayed and left for dead by Dagur. During this time, it was revealed that Alvin was best friends with Stoick sometime before his exile. After Alvin saves Snotlout and offers to help the Hooligans with help from the Dragon Riders, Alvin ended up working with Hiccup and Stoick to free Toothless and defeat the Berserkers. Afterwards, Alvin and the Outcasts went back to Outcast Island as Alvin was glad to work with Stoick again just like old times.
- Savage (voiced by Paul Rugg) — Savage is another member of the Outcast Tribe. He is Alvin's right-hand man and top lieutenant, though he is often threatened by Alvin. After Alvin's "death," he is press-ganged to join Dagur. It is unknown if he rejoins Alvin after Dagur's defeat.
- Dagur the Deranged (voiced by David Faustino) – A secondary villain in Season One, and later the main villain in Season Two. He is the half-crazed teenaged leader of the Berserkers. Dagur the Deranged replaced his "retired" father Oswald the Agreeable and pursues a mission to bring the Berserkers back to their former, bloodthirsty glory, believing his father to have been "a coward" due to Oswald's rather more assumed merciful personality. After confirming that Hiccup and Stoick had lied and Berk had been training dragons, Dagur now sets out to ensure Hiccup and Toothless are defeated. Unlike Alvin, who recognizes the true potential of training and using dragons, Dagur only sees them as game to be hunted for sport, and he becomes obsessed with hunting and catching Toothless. Dagur later made a shaky alliance with Alvin to defeat the Hooligans, then betrays him and forces the Outcasts to join his already-vast armada. With help from Alvin and the Dragon Riders, Hiccup was able to defeat Dagur and the Berserkers. At a last-minute attempt, Dagur attempts to kill Hiccup with his axe, but he is stopped by Alvin, who then prepares to get payback at Dagur for betraying him. Dagur's exact fate is left unknown.
- Mildew (voiced by Stephen Root) — Mildew is a cantankerous, spiteful, aged Berk local who raises cabbages. Mildew lives reclusively in a house outside of the village by himself and festers a strong hatred of dragons. Mildew is almost always seen with his pet sheep Fungus. He is widely disliked by the residents of Berk, but he is, nonetheless, capable of swaying public opinion and rallying riots against the dragons, should the situation allow it, thanks to his clever and patient mentality. His hatred for dragons extends to include Hiccup, as Hiccup is the head dragon trainer, frequent advocate for all the dragons, and the primary cause of failure for most of Mildew's schemes to have the dragons evicted or killed. This leads to Mildew siding with the Outcast Tribe as their Dragon Trainer upon him faking his fall from Toothless. He is shown to be the only Outcast loyal to Alvin after his defeat by Dagur. He and Alvin later rejoin Stoick to help fight Dagur.
- The Screaming Death - A huge albino variant of the Whispering Death. Born once every hundred years this particular dragon species can reach increasing colossal sizes to that of the Whispering Death. Unlike other dragons, it is capable of rapid firing its own flames in rapid succession. In addition, unlike its predecessor, it is not weak to light and it possesses a screech, rather than a whisper, that can disorient other dragons. Despite its size, it maintains its rapid fire ability, but so far has been constantly overpowered by a team effort from all the Academy riders. Hiccup then learns that the Screaming Death was looking for its mother that was imprisoned in Outcast Island. After reuniting with her, the Screaming Death leaves to parts unknown.
- Trader Johann (voiced by Michael Goldstrom) — Trader Johann is a seafaring merchant who visits Berk on occasion. As a trader, he selects his items for trade by uniqueness, quality, and/or capability, claiming to use any tactic necessary to possess it (for instance, wrestling a colossal squid for ink or personally contacting authors for books). His fondness for the residents of Berk increased since Hiccup rescued him and returned his stolen ship (though not for Snotlout and the twins), and has returned the favor by smuggling Stoick and the riders onto Outcast island to rescue Hiccup.
- Heather (voiced by Mae Whitman) — A mysterious teenage girl who was found by the Viking youths on Thor's Beach. Her personality very much contradicts Astrid's feisty personality, but Heather is nearly as strong and as intelligent. Astrid is jealous of Heather because Hiccup and Heather seem to be close. Although she was at first introduced due to her treachery to Berk, her true motive, to rescue her parents from Alvin the Treacherous while helping the youths fight against the Outcasts, proved her loyalty as an ally to Berk.
- Toothless — A male Night Fury befriended by Hiccup, Toothless is the only dragon that cannot fly without his rider, due to him having lost his left tail fin in the feature film. Has dark black scales, retractable teeth, and shoots blue/white plasma bolts which can create light or fire. He is the fastest, most intelligent and rarest dragon on Berk. Toothless has an extremely strong friendship with Hiccup ever since he helped him to fly again. When compared to the other dragons, Stoick observes that he hasn't "seen a dragon that can hold a candle to a Night Fury."
- Stormfly — A blue, female Deadly Nadder befriended by Astrid. Like Hiccup and Toothless, Astrid and Stormfly are extremely loyal to one another and display exceptional teamwork. She and Toothless share a friendly rivalry in most of the competitions Hiccup and Astrid devise for the academy. In addition to her magnesium-fueled fire bursts, Stormfly can launch spines from her tail.
- Meatlug — A brown, female Gronckle who bonded with Fishlegs. Because of her husky size and short wingspan, she lacks the aerobatic maneuverability and speed of the other dragons. She and Fishlegs have a very close, albeit, overly nurturing relationship. She also can eat a particular combination of iron ore and rocks and regurgitate a highly prized metal known as "gronckle iron."
- Hookfang — A red, male Monstrous Nightmare, ridden by Snotlout. Hookfang has a habit of attacking Snotlout or abandoning him when Snotlout tries to assert dominance. He is often distracted and doesn't always pay attention to Snotlout. Despite Snotlout's pride and their sometimes antagonistic behavior towards each other, they are shown to be extremely close. His skin excretes a highly flammable oil that covers his body in flames when ignited (usually when angry) that burn anything that gets too close without harming himself. However, this ability is almost never used when Snotlout is riding him since Snotlout would get burned by the flames. Although Gobber got singed a little every now and then while riding Hookfang while the two were searching for Snotlout.
- Barf and Belch — A green, male, two-headed Hideous Zippleback jointly ridden by the twins, normally with Ruffnut sitting on the dragon's right head, named Barf (which breathes explosive gas), and Tuffnut sitting on the dragon's left head, named Belch (which can ignite said gas). The heads are usually agreeable, but can have difficulty flying when their riders start to disagree, although it has been shown that the twins are the only ones able to successfully control the dragon, though with occasional mixed results. Occasionally bicker with each other when both try to follow their riders who are going in different directions.
- Thornado — Named for having the power of Thor (Norse god of thunder and lightning) and the ferocity of a tornado, Thornado is a blue, male Thunderdrum and Stoick's bonded dragon; he emits sonic blasts instead of fire which ripple through the air in rings. Stoick gained his trust and friendship after helping him defend an injured friend from a pack of hungry wild boars. Like his rider, Thornado is rather stubborn, although he and Stoick are, regardless, just as close with one another as the other riders and their dragons. Stoick reluctantly releases Thornado late in Season Two so Thornado could care of three wild orphaned baby Thunderdrums.
- Torch - Originally discovered by the group in the forests of Berk, Torch is a baby Typhoomerang that has been separated from his mother. The name comes from whirling in place like a typhoon but always coming back to the same spot like a boomerang. After discovering her baby had gone missing his mother begins to set fire to the island in an attempt to find him, eventually doing so and leaving Berk in peace. During that time Torch got along with the dragon riders, especially Hiccup, but making Toothless extremely ticked off and jealous. Torch returns again in season 2 as a full grown Typhoomerang, roughly twice the size of a Monstrous Nightmare, and helps Tuffnut escape a dragon trap and stop a deadly forest fire ravaging Berk. After saving the island and saying his goodbyes he leaves Berk once again with his signature fire spin.
- Scauldy - A full grown, aqua green Scauldron discovered injured and trapped by the dragon riders in season 2. After several attempts to free the dragon prove fruitless, the group discovers the Scauldron has an affinity to the fish oils Ruffnut uses in her hair. Using this to calm the dragon while the rest of the group works to free it before it dries out and dies, they develop a bond and she eventually names the dragon Scauldy. Once freed the group notices that the dragon has a minor break in its wing making flight or swimming impossible. The group must assemble a makeshift wing splint while being attacked by a group of Changewings. Pressed for time, Ruffnut cuts off her own hair to finish the splint and the group is able to leave Changewing island safely with Scauldy.
- Whispering Death - A large spiked ball shape dragon with a small tail, wings, and a nasty attitude. Is able to shoot spikes from anywhere on its body and has a multi-fanged mouth like Thornado's. Can tunnel through the ground as easily as it can fly in the air. For some reason it really hates sunlight, possibly because the light is too bright for its eyes and its skin sunburns easily due to spending so much time underground. While it can see its vision is a little off as shown when the camera switches to its Point of view shot (POV). Tends to leave large holes where it entered/exited with a large labyrinth of underground tunnels. In the series one shows up that seems to have a history with Toothless.
- Trained Terrible Terrors - The Trained Terrible Terrors are the dragons used for the competition between the riders in Worst in Show, reasoning that they were the best dragons to train to determine which of the group was the best dragon trainer, rather than their current performance being variable due to the different intellectual capabilities of their individual dragons. They later used their skills to save Meatlug from the Outcasts.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired (U.S. dates)|
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||Riders of Berk||20||August 7, 2012||March 20, 2013|
|2||Defenders of Berk||20||September 19, 2013||March 5, 2014|
On October 12, 2010 it was announced that Cartoon Network had acquired worldwide broadcast rights to a weekly animated series based on the movie. How To Train Your Dragon producer, Tim Johnson, said that unlike the TV series spin-offs of the films Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and Monsters vs. Aliens, How To Train Your Dragon's series would be much darker and deeper, like the movie, and would follow after the events of the first movie. This is the first DreamWorks Animation series to air on Cartoon Network rather than Nickelodeon, unlike previous series such as The Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, and other series such as Monsters vs. Aliens.
Although it was announced that the series would be called Dragons: The Series, TV promos shown in June 2012 revealed a new title — Dragons: Riders of Berk. The second season is accompanied by the new subtitle of Defenders of Berk, replacing the previous Riders of Berk. At the end of May 2014, DreamWorks Animation announced that in spring 2015 the series would move to internet streaming service Netflix.
Dragons: Riders of Berk has received positive reviews. Brian Lowry of Variety reviewed the series: "The program is dazzling visually, and pretty effortlessly picks up where the narrative left off," although he found that the initial episodes "lack of actual villains" and have "not-particularly-stirring array of characters". Mary McNamara of Los Angeles Times said that it "retains both the personality and production value of its progenitor. Dragons promise to be lively and entertaining, with great visuals of dragons swooping and soaring." She praised its look: "It looks pretty dang spectacular even by today's standards. It's so crisply drawn and fluid that a person of a certain age would be forgiven for wondering how on earth we survived with things like Scooby-Doo and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop." According to Nielsen Media Research, episodes of the first season ranked on average #1 in their timeslot among boys 2-14.
|2012||Annie Awards||Best Animated Television Production For Children||Episode: "How to Pick Your Dragon"||Won|
|Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Shi Zimu||Nominated|
|Character Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Andy Bialk (for "Alvin and the Outcasts")|
|Directing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||John Eng (for "Animal House")||Won|
|Music in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||John Paesano (for "How to Pick Your Dragon")|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Doug Lovelace (for "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man")|
|Writing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Mike Teverbaugh, Linda Teverbaugh (for "Animal House")||Nominated|
|Editorial in an Animated Television Production||Lynn Hobson (for "Animal House")|
|2013||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Individual Achievement In Animation – Character Design||Andy Bialk||Won|
|Annie Awards||Animated Effects in an Animated Production||David Jones||Nominated|
|Directing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Elaine Bogan|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Douglas Lovelace|
|Editorial in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production||Lynn Hobson|
A 3D unity-based in-browser game, titled Dragons: Wild Skies, was launched on August 27, 2012, on CartoonNetwork.com. Players will go through a tutorial with Hiccup, and train a Deadly Nadder, before being able to free roam around the several islands in the Barbaric Archipelago, with dragons scattered around them. The player can choose to be a blonde/brunette male or female Viking, before setting off to explore the islands. To train a dragon, players must feed the dragons correct food before doing correct gestures to gain the dragon's trust. In the game, players do not die or otherwise fail. Players complete challenges to earn gold for buying tools to obtain food for training dragons. The overworld consists of six islands, each with a unique dragon to tame. The number of dragons and worlds to explore is set to expand over time, as the series introduces more and more places and dragons.
A DVD collection of the first four episodes, titled Dragons: Riders of Berk, was released on November 20, 2012. The first season of the series was released on DVD in two parts on July 23, 2013. Dragons: Riders of Berk: Part 1 contained episodes from 1 to 11, and Dragons: Riders of Berk: Part 2, episodes from 12 to 20. In December 2013, Walmart released an exclusive pack containing the Complete 1st Season in a special edition "Toothless" plastic package. A DVD collection of the first 10 episodes of the second season, titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk: Part 1, was released on March 25, 2014. The second part, titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk: Part 2, was later released on May 27, 2014.
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- IcelandicEel (July 27, 2012). "A New Character: Trader Johann". Berk's Grapevine. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
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- Official website
- DreamWorks Dragons at the Internet Movie Database
- Dragons: Riders of Berk at the Big Cartoon DataBase