DreamWorks Dragons

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DreamWorks Dragons
Dragons Riders of Berk logo.png
Genre Action
Adventure
Comedy-drama
Fantasy
Animation
Created by Chris Sanders
Dean DeBlois
Developed by Linda Teverbaugh
Mike Teverbaugh
Voices of Jay Baruchel
Chris Edgerly
America Ferrera
Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Julie Marcus
T.J. Miller
Nolan North
Zack Pearlman
Andree Vermuelen
Theme music composer John Paesano[1]
John Powell (themes)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 79 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Linda Teverbaugh
Mike Teverbaugh
Producer(s) Art Brown
Douglas Sloan
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) DreamWorks Animation
Release
Original network Cartoon Network (2012–14)
Netflix (2015–present)
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release August 7, 2012 – present
Chronology
Preceded by How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Followed by How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
External links
Website

DreamWorks Dragons is an American computer-animated television series based on the 2010 film How to Train Your Dragon. The series serves as a bridge between the first film and its 2014 sequel, showing every step of the plot and revealing the secrets the movies did not tell.[2][3][4]

A one-hour preview consisting of two episodes aired on August 7, 2012, on Cartoon Network,[5] with the official premiere of the series on September 4, 2012.[6] A total of 40 episodes aired on Cartoon Network during the first two seasons, subtitled Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk respectively while a third season entitled Race to the Edge debuted on Netflix on June 26, 2015.[3] The second and third seasons of Dragons: Race to the Edge premiered on January 8 and June 24, 2016, respectively.

DreamWorks Dragons was announced by Cartoon Network on October 12, 2010.[7] According to Tim Johnson, executive producer for How to Train Your Dragon, the series was planned to be much darker and deeper than DreamWorks Animation's previous television series spin-offs, with a similar tone to the movie. DreamWorks Dragons was the first DreamWorks Animation series to air on Cartoon Network rather than Nickelodeon.[8]

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 (previously voiced by Kristen Wiig), Zack Pearlman as Snotlout (previously voiced by Jonah Hill), Chris Edgerly as Gobber the Belch (previously voiced by Craig Ferguson), and Nolan North as Stoick the Vast (previously voiced by Gerard Butler).

Plot[edit]

Taking place between How to Train Your Dragon and 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.

Characters[edit]

Dragon Riders[edit]

  • Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (voiced by Jay Baruchel[9]) – Protagonist of the series; often the chief negotiator between human and draconic characters. He and his dragon, Toothless, share the strongest bond of all riders and dragons. He is mechanically gifted, having invented a prosthetic caudal fin for Toothless and various other dragon riding equipment. He lost the lower part of his left leg in the fight with the Red Death in the series' feature film, but had it replaced with a prosthetic. Since the beginning of the second season, Hiccup's weapon-of-choice is a multi-purpose shield.
  • Astrid Hofferson (voiced by America Ferrera[9]) – Astrid is Hiccup's close friend and the unofficial second in command of the dragon training academy. She has a strong bond with her dragon, Stormfly.
  • Fishlegs Ingerman (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) – One of Hiccup's close friends and followers; has an encyclopaedic knowledge of dragons. He has formed a very close relationship with his dragon, Meatlug.
  • Snotlout Jorgenson (voiced by Zack Pearlman) – One of Hiccup's friends; reckless, quarrelsome, and clumsy. His dragon is a wyvern-like construct named Hookfang.
  • Tuffnut Thorston (voiced by T. J. Miller[9]) and Ruffnut Thorston (voiced by Julie Marcus[10] in Season 1, Andree Vermeulen in Season 2 and 3) – Male and female fraternal twins; followers of Hiccup, who quarrel constantly among themselves, and over commands given to their two-headed dragon Barf and Belch. They are often regarded by the rest of the teens as somewhat stupid and crazy.

Notable inhabitants of Berk[edit]

  • Stoick the Vast (voiced by Nolan North[11]) – The Chief of Berk and father to Hiccup; immensely strong, fearless, fierce, and possessed of shrewd judgement, compassion,suborn and adaptability. His chief interest is the protection either of his son, or of his subjects. As the series progresses, Stoick is often found more in favor 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 Dagur the Deranged and bonding with his own dragon, an adult Thunderdrum named Thornado. Thornado departs to care for three orphaned baby Thunderdrums at the end of the second season, but Stoick acquires a new dragon, a Rumblehorn named Skullcrusher in the third season.
  • Gobber the Belch (voiced by Chris Edgerly[6]) – The blacksmith of Berk, Stoick's closest friend, and Hiccup's mentor. He is a veterinarian for both the dragons (though primarily as a dentist) and the livestock of Berk, and acts as a voice of reason for Stoick, a voice of experience for Hiccup, and sometimes a mediator between the two. He is something of an engineer.
  • Spitelout Jorgenson (voiced by David Tennant) – Snotlout's father. Spitelout takes pride in his son's achievements, but seldom forgives his failures. In the 3rd season he is in the A team of berk and has his own Deadly Nadder named King's Tail.
  • Gothi - The village's shaman. As a mute, she communicates by gesturing or drawing lines and hieroglyphic-like pictures, translated by Gobber or Fishlegs. She is a member of the A team and has a Gronckle.
  • Mildew (voiced by Stephen Root) – Mildew is a cantankerous, spiteful, aged Berk local who raises cabbages and retains a strong hatred of dragons. Mildew is almost always seen with his pet sheep Fungus. He is widely disliked, but capable of rallying riots against the dragons, should the situation allow it; this is usually foiled by Hiccup. Mildew is the only Outcast loyal to Alvin after his defeat by Dagur.

Villains[edit]

  • Alvin the Treacherous (voiced by Mark Hamill[10]) – The villain of Season One and an antihero in Season Two. Exiled from Berk for an unspecified treachery, he plots to displace Stoick. In the season one finale, he learns how to control dragons and earns the trust of a 'Whispering Death' dragon named Groundsplitter; and after initially allying with the Berserkers, he is betrayed by Dagur and co-operated with Hiccup and Stoick to defeat the Berserkers. Afterwards, Alvin and his followers departed in peace.
  • Savage (voiced by Paul Rugg) – Savage is Alvin's right-hand man, and later that of Dagur. In Season Three, Savage continues to follow Dagur after they escape captivity.
  • Dagur the Deranged[12] (voiced by David Faustino[10]) – A secondary villain in Season One, and a recurrent villain from Season Two onwards; Dagur is the leader of the Berserkers, and becomes obsessed with hunting and catching Toothless. He is later revealed to be long-lost brother of Heather. In season three, he joins the Dragon Hunters.
  • Ryker Grimborn (voiced by JB Blanc) – One of the main villains of Season Three, he is the second-in-command of the Dragon Hunters.He is a pro at dragon hunting.
  • Viggo Grimborn (voiced by Alfred Molina) – The Main villain in the finale of Season Three, he is Ryker's younger brother and the ruthless, cunning leader of the Dragon Hunters. Viggo is extremely intelligent and smarter than his older brother. He is outmatched physically by his older brother.

Secondary characters[edit]

  • Trader Johann (voiced by Michael Goldstrom[13]) – Trader Johann is a seafaring merchant who visits Berk on occasion, and trades mostly in curiosities. He is an ally to Hiccup and the others of Berk.
  • Heather (voiced by Mae Whitman) – A mysterious teenage girl found by the Viking youths. Although she was at first introduced for actions against Berk, her true motive, to rescue her parents from Alvin the Treacherous, proved her loyalty. She returns in Season Three and bonds with a Razorwhip dragon named Windshear. She is later revealed to be Dagur's long-lost sister and pretends to be in league with him in order to get close to him and the newly unveiled dragon hunters. She leaves to parts unknown after her plot is uncovered by Viggo.

Dragons[edit]

  • Toothless – An extremely rare male of the Night Fury species, befriended by Hiccup, and the only dragon that cannot fly without his rider, having lost his left tail fin in the first feature film. Has dark black scales, retractable teeth, and shoots blue/purple plasma bolts which can create light or fire. Toothless also has the unique ability to navigate in dark places using animal echolocation.
  • Stormfly – A blue, female Deadly Nadder dragon befriended by Astrid. Like Hiccup and Toothless, Astrid and Stormfly display exceptional teamwork. She and Toothless share a friendly rivalry in most of the competitions Hiccup and Astrid devise. 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, 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, and does not always pay attention to Snotlout. In battle, Hookfang covers his skin with his flammable saliva and sets it afire, without harming himself; this ability is almost never used when Snotlout is riding him.
  • 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 exhales explosive gas), and Tuffnut sitting on the dragon's left head, named Belch (which can ignite the gas). The heads are usually agreeable, but can have difficulty flying when their riders disagree, and sometimes therefore quarrel.
  • Thornado – Named for having the power of Thor (Norse god of thunder and lightning) and the ferocity of a tornado, Thornado is Stoick's first dragon; he emits sonic blasts instead of fire. Stoick gained his friendship after helping him defend an injured friend from a pack of hungry wild boars. Stoick reluctantly releases Thornado late in Season Two so Thornado could care of three wild orphaned baby Thunderdrums.
  • Skullcrusher – Stoick's second dragon, first seen in How to Train Your Dragon 2. He makes his debut in the series attacking the residents of Dragon's Edge, prompting Hiccup to call on Stoick for help. Skullcrusher is a Rumblehorn. Stoick is quickly impressed by the driven dragon, and the group later learn that it was trying to help them escape an incoming tsunami. Stoick is able to help Skullcrusher block the wave from hitting the base and bond with each other.
  • Grump - Gobber's dragon, first seen in How to Train Your Dragon 2. He makes his debut in the series when he eats scrap metal on Dragon Hunter Island, where Gobber become enamored with him. Grump is a Hotburple. Gobber was able to get Grump to help him and the other riders escape by eating through the dragon proof bars. Gobber then flies back to Berk with Gobber and bond with each other.
  • Night Terrors – A pack of small territorial but intelligent dragons resembling Terrible Terrors that the riders found on Dragon's Edge. They are capable of mimicking the shape of a larger dragon but only when their leader is present. After some initial conflict, they bond with the Dragon Riders and become a native security force for Dragon's Edge.
  • Windshear – A female Razorwhip who bonded with Heather after being nursed back to health following a fight with a Typhoomerang. The two became partners on Heather's vengeance against Dagur the Deranged and the Berserkers.

Episodes[edit]

Cartoon Network episodes
Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 20 August 7, 2012 (2012-08-07) March 20, 2013 (2013-03-20)
2 20 September 19, 2013 (2013-09-19) March 5, 2014 (2014-03-05)
Netflix episodes
Season Episodes Originally released
1 13 June 26, 2015 (2015-06-26)
2 13 January 8, 2016 (2016-01-08)
3 13 June 24, 2016 (2016-06-24)

Production[edit]

On October 12, 2010, it was announced that Cartoon Network had acquired worldwide broadcast rights to a weekly animated series based on the movie.[7] According to Tim Johnson, executive producer for How to Train Your Dragon, the series was planned to be much darker and deeper than DreamWorks Animation's previous television series spin-offs, with a similar tone to the movie, and would follow after the events of the first movie. This is the first DreamWorks Animation series to air on Cartoon Network; DreamWorks Animation's previous television series, including The Penguins of Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, and Monsters vs. Aliens, had aired on Nickelodeon.[8]

Although it was initially announced that the series would be called Dragons: The Series,[9] the Comic Con schedule announced in June 2012 revealed the new title to be Dragons: Riders of Berk.[14] The second season of the show was titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk.[15] At the end of May 2014, DreamWorks Animation announced that in spring 2015 the series would move to Netflix instead of premiering on Cartoon Network.[3]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

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 noted the initial episodes' "lack of actual villains" and "not-particularly-stirring array of characters".[16] 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."[17] According to Nielsen Media Research, episodes of the first season ranked on average #1 in their timeslot among boys 2-14.[18]

Accolades[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee Result
2012 Annie Awards[19][20] Best Animated Television Production For Children Episode: "How to Pick Your Dragon" Won
Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Shi Zimu Nominated
Teri Yam
Yan Jiazhuang
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[21] Outstanding Individual Achievement In Animation – Character Design Andy Bialk Won
Annie Awards[22] 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
2015 Annie Awards[23] Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Ernesto Matamoros Nominated
2016 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Television/Broadcast Production Chi-Ho Chan Won
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children’s Animated Program Art Brown, Douglas Sloan, Chad Hammes and Lawrence Jonas Nominated
Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program Art Brown, Douglas Sloan
Outstanding Sound Editing - Animation Otis Van Osten, Joshua Aaron Johnson, Roger Pallan and Jason Oliver Won
Saturn Awards Best New Media Television Series Dreamworks Dragons Nominated

Video game[edit]

Screenshot from Dragons: Wild Skies

A 3D Unity-based in-browser game, titled Dragons: Wild Skies, was launched on August 27, 2012, on CartoonNetwork.com.[24] 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...[25]

Home media[edit]

A DVD collection of the first four episodes, titled Dragons: Riders of Berk, was released on November 20, 2012.[26] 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,[27] and Dragons: Riders of Berk: Part 2, episodes from 12 to 20.[28] In December 2013, Walmart released an exclusive pack containing the Complete 1st Season in a special edition "Toothless" plastic package.[29] 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.[30] The second part, titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk: Part 2, was later released on May 27, 2014.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Paesano to Score ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ TV Series". Film Music Reporter. May 12, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ Ito, Robert (September 8, 2012). "'Dragons: Riders of Berk' spreads its wings on Cartoon Network". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "New Seasons of DreamWorks Dragons to Take Flight on Netflix in 2015". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ Icelandiceel (May 22, 2015). "Interview with Race to the Edge Executive Producers". Berk's Grapevine. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (August 6, 2012). "This Week's TV: One of our favorite animated movies of all time gets a TV show!". io9. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk Brings High-Flying, Fire-Breathing Fun to Cartoon Network Tuesday, Sept. 4". DreamWorks Animation. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Cartoon Network Soars With Worldwide Broadcast Rights To DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon Television Series". Cartoon Network via Business Wire. October 12, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Fischer, Russ (January 17, 2011). "‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Producer Offers Details on First Sequel and TV Series". Slash Film. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Cartoon Network Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Ratings Growth and a New Generation of Content for a New Generation of Kids". Reuters. March 28, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Carp, Jesse (July 12, 2012). "Dragons: Riders of Berk Comic-Con 2012 Live Blog". Cinema Blend. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ JEFF B (July 12, 2012). "Dragons of Berk will retain most of the movie cast, Nolan North takes over for Gerard Butler & Chris Edgerly replaces Craig Ferguson.". Twitter. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ del Carmen, Louie (February 3, 2013). "It's Dagur the Deranged, not Dagus". Twitter. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ IcelandicEel (July 27, 2012). "A New Character: Trader Johann". Berk's Grapevine. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 13, 2012). "Comic-Con 2012: The Complete TV Lineu". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  15. ^ Zahed, Ramin (August 27, 2013). "‘Defenders of Berk’ Flies Back to CN on Sept. 19". Animation Magazine. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  16. ^ Lowry, Brian (September 3, 2012). "DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk". Variety. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  17. ^ McNamara, Mary (September 4, 2012). "Review: 'Dragons: Riders of Berk' is TV with big-screen quality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  18. ^ "DreamWorks Dragons Second Season to Premiere on September 19". ComingSoon.net. August 27, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Annie Award Nominations Unveiled". Deadline. December 3, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  20. ^ Beck, Jerry (February 2, 2013). "Annie Award Winners". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  21. ^ Weisman, Jon (August 14, 2013). "Emmy Wins Come Early for ‘Adventure Time,’ ‘Portlandia,’ ‘Simpsons’". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  22. ^ Amidi, Amid (December 2, 2013). "Complete List of 2013 Annie Award Nominations". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ Amidi, Amid (December 1, 2014). "42nd Annie Award Nominations Announced: Complete List". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  24. ^ "WHAT’S UP: DRAGONS SOAR AND BEN 10 GOES BIG". Cartoon Network. August 27, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  25. ^ "NEW DRAGONS GAME IS ONE WILD RIDE!". Cartoon Network. August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  26. ^ Nolan, Kyle (October 9, 2012). "DRAGONS: RIDERS OF BERK Flies Onto DVD November 20". NoReruns.net. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Dragons: Riders of Berk Part 1". Fox Connect. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Dragons: Riders of Berk Part 2". Fox Connect. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Dragons: Riders Of Berk - The Complete First Season (Walmart Exclusive) (Widescreen): TV Shows". Walmart.com. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  30. ^ Truitt, Brian (February 3, 2014). "'Dragons: Defenders of Berk' debuts on DVD March 25". USA Today. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  31. ^ "'Dragons: Defenders of Berk - Part 2' is Available in May!". Fanlala. April 30, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]