DreamWorks Dragons

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DreamWorks Dragons
Dragons Riders of Berk logo.png
Genre Adventure
Comedy-drama
Fantasy
Based on How to Train Your Dragon
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 Powell
Composer(s) John Paesano[1]
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 105 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Linda Teverbaugh
Mike Teverbaugh
Producer(s) Art Brown
Douglas Sloan
Editor(s) John Laus
Lynn Hobson
Peter Tomaszewicz
Joel Fisher
Jay Fox
Ernesto Matamoros
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) DreamWorks Animation
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution
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.[2][3][4]

Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and David Tennant reprise their voice-acting roles from How to Train Your Dragon. New cast members include 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).

DreamWorks Dragons was announced by Cartoon Network on October 12, 2010.[5] 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.[6]

A one-hour preview consisting of two episodes aired on August 7, 2012, on Cartoon Network,[7] with the official premiere of the series on September 5, 2012.[8] A total of 40 episodes aired on Cartoon Network during the first two seasons, subtitled Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk respectively. Afterwards, the series was named Race to the Edge, the first season of which 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.[9][10] The fourth season was released on February 17, 2017.[11] The series was renewed for a fifth season, which was released on Netflix on August 25, 2017. The series (alongside the Netflix exclusive, All Hail King Julien) are syndicated as part of the newly rebranded, Universal Kids on September 9, 2017.

Plot[edit]

Taking place between How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2, DreamWorks Dragons 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[12]) – 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.
  • Astrid Hofferson (voiced by America Ferrera[12]) – Hiccup's close friend and the unofficial second-in-command of the dragon training academy. She has a strong character, is one of the most courageous of the Dragon Riders, and is very competitive. She has a strong bond with her dragon, Stormfly.
  • Fishlegs Ingerman (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) – One of Hiccup's close friends; has a great encyclopedic knowledge of dragons. He is not as courageous as the other Dragon Riders, but is a loyal friend, especially to Hiccup and Astrid. 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 often seen mocking or annoying the other riders. He has a complicated relationship with his dragon, Hookfang.
  • Tuffnut Thorston (voiced by T. J. Miller[12]) and Ruffnut Thorston (voiced by Julie Marcus[13] in Season 1, Andree Vermeulen afterward) – Male and female fraternal twins and followers of Hiccup. They constantly quarrel and disobey commands.

Notable inhabitants of Berk[edit]

  • Stoick the Vast (voiced by Nolan North[14]) – The Chief of Berk and father to Hiccup; immensely strong, fearless, fierce, and possessed of shrewd judgement and compassion.
  • Gobber the Belch (voiced by Chris Edgerly[8]) – The blacksmith of Berk, Stoick's closest friend, and Hiccup's mentor.
  • Spitelout Jorgenson (voiced by David Tennant) – Snotlout's father. Spitelout takes pride in his son's achievements, but seldom forgives his failures.
  • Gustav Larson (voiced by Lucas Grabeel[15]) – Gustav is a teenager who aspires to be a Dragon Rider. He takes Snotlout as his model and hero, especially in the first two seasons. He rides a Monstrous Nightmare named Fanghook, based on Hookfang's name.
  • Gothi (voiced by Angela Bartys) – The village's shaman. As a mute, she communicates by gesturing or drawing lines and hieroglyphic-like pictures, translated by Gobber or Fishlegs.
  • Mildew (voiced by Stephen Root) – Mildew is a cantankerous, spiteful, aged and generally disliked Berk local. He is a cabbage farmer and retains a strong hatred of dragons.

Villains[edit]

  • Savage (voiced by Paul Rugg) – Alvin's right-hand man and later that of Dagur before he goes on his own in Netflix Season 4.
  • Viggo Grimborn (voiced by Alfred Molina) – The main antagonist for the majority of Netflix Season 2 onward. He is the leader of the Dragon Hunters and is usually accompanied by his older brother, Ryker Grimborn. Viggo is less strong than his brother, but for what he lacks in build he makes up for in intellect, frequently tricking and outsmarting the Dragon Riders.
  • Ryker Grimborn (voiced by JB Blanc) – One of the main villains of Netflix Season 2 through Season 4. He is the second-in-command of the Dragon Hunters and the elder brother of Viggo Grimborn. Ryker is physically stronger and more stubborn than his younger brother.
  • Krogan (voiced by Hakeem Kae-Kazim) – One of the main antagonists for Netflix Season 5. He is stealthy yet ruthless in his goals. He is implied to be working for Drago Bludvist, the antagonist of the second movie[citation needed].
  • Johann (voiced by Michael Goldstrom[16]) – A seafaring merchant who occasionally visits Berk and trades mostly in curiosities. Prior to Netflix Season 5, he was thought to be an ally to Berk. However, in the finale of Season 5, it is revealed that he has been undercover and is secretly working with the Dragon Hunters.

Secondary characters[edit]

  • Alvin the Treacherous (voiced by Mark Hamill[13]) – The main antagonist of season one and an antihero in season two. Exiled from Berk for unspecified treachery (later revealed to be catching innocent bystanders in the crossfire of a dragon attack), he plots to displace Stoick. He later becomes an ally of Berk at the end of Season 2.
  • 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 3, bonding 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. She soon returns, showing romantic feelings for Fishlegs and joins the Dragon Riders. After being with the Dragon Riders for a while, she decides to leave for Berserker Island with her brother, Dagur.
  • Defenders of the Wing – A tribe of warriors who first appear in the episode "Defenders of the Wing: Part 1". They worship dragons as holy beings and are led by Queen Mala. They are at war with the Dragon Hunters and are therefore extremely distrusting of outsiders. Prior to encountering the Dragon Riders, they know nothing of riding or training dragons, as their culture forbids it. They live on a volcanic island home to an enormous dragon called the Eruptodon. They worship and protect the Eruptodon at all cost, as it feeds on the volcano's lava and prevents their village from being destroyed.
  • Dagur the Deranged[17] (voiced by David Faustino[13]) – A villain-turned-ally and leader of the Berserker Tribe. He becomes obsessed with plotting to hunt and capture Toothless. He is later revealed to be the long-lost brother of Heather. After Netflix Season Two, he begins to acknowledge the aims of the Dragon Riders and starts to help them, along with his sister, Heather. Later, Dagur becomes a Dragon Rider with Shattermaster, a Gronkle dragon, and later on, Sleuther, a Triple Stryke dragon the Dragon Riders had previously rescued.

Dragons[edit]

  • Toothless – An extremely rare, male Night Fury befriended by Hiccup, and the only dragon that cannot fly without his rider, having lost his left tail fin in the first feature film. Toothless has dark black scales, retractable teeth, and the ability to shoot plasma bolts. Toothless also has the unique ability to navigate in dark places using animal echolocation.
  • Stormfly – A blue, female Deadly Nadder befriended by Astrid. Like Hiccup and Toothless, Astrid and Stormfly display exceptional teamwork. Stormfly 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 valuable 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 on fire, 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 riding the dragon's right head, named Barf (which can exhale explosive gas), and Tuffnut riding 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 quarrel as a result.

Episodes[edit]

Cartoon Network episodes
Season Subtitle Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 Riders of Berk 20 August 7, 2012 (2012-08-07) March 20, 2013 (2013-03-20)
2 Defenders of Berk 20 September 19, 2013 (2013-09-19) March 5, 2014 (2014-03-05)
Netflix episodes
Season Subtitle Episodes Originally released
1 Race to the Edge 13 June 26, 2015 (2015-06-26)
2 13 January 8, 2016 (2016-01-08)
3 13 June 24, 2016 (2016-06-24)
4 13 February 17, 2017 (2017-02-17)
5 13 August 25, 2017 (2017-08-25)

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.[5] 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. Dreamworks Dragons 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.[6]

Although it was initially announced that the series would be called Dragons: The Series,[12] the Comic Con schedule announced in June 2012 revealed the new title to be Dragons: Riders of Berk.[18] The second season of the show was titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk.[19] 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".[20] 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."[21] According to Nielsen Media Research, episodes of the first season ranked on average #1 in their timeslot among boys 2-14.[22]

Accolades[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee Result
2012 Annie Awards[23][24] 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[25] Outstanding Individual Achievement In Animation – Character Design Andy Bialk Won
Annie Awards[26] 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[27] Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Ernesto Matamoros Nominated
2016 Annie Awards[28] Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Television/Broadcast Production Chi-Ho Chan Won
Daytime Emmy Awards[29][30] 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[31] Best New Media Television Series DreamWorks Dragons Nominated

Video game[edit]

A 3D Unity-based in-browser game, titled Dragons: Wild Skies, was launched on August 27, 2012, on CartoonNetwork.com.[32] 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...[33]

Home media[edit]

A DVD collection of the first four episodes, titled Dragons: Riders of Berk, was released on November 20, 2012.[34] 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,[35] and Dragons: Riders of Berk: Part 2, episodes from 12 to 20.[36] In December 2013, Walmart released an exclusive pack containing the Complete 1st Season in a special edition "Toothless" plastic package.[37] 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.[38] The second part, titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk: Part 2, was later released on May 27, 2014.[39]

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. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b Trumbore, Dave (August 9, 2012). "First Clip from DREAMWORKS DRAGONS: RIDERS OF BERK Animated Series". Collider.com. Retrieved December 17, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive Dragons: Race to the Edge Season 2 Trailer". ComingSoon.net. January 6, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  10. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (June 20, 2016). "Exclusive Clip: 'Dragons: Race to the Edge' Season 3 Debuts Friday". Animation Magazine. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  11. ^ Trumbore, Dave (February 8, 2017). "Exclusive: First Trailer for Season 4 of DreamWorks' 'Dragons: Race to the Edge' Soars!". Collider. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  12. ^ 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. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c Carp, Jesse (July 12, 2012). "Dragons: Riders of Berk Comic-Con 2012 Live Blog". Cinema Blend. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Dragons: Defenders of Berk (2013) | TV Series | DreamWorks Animation". www.howtotrainyourdragon.com. Retrieved 2017-09-02. 
  16. ^ IcelandicEel (July 27, 2012). "A New Character: Trader Johann". Berk's Grapevine. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  17. ^ del Carmen, Louie (February 3, 2013). "It's Dagur the Deranged, not Dagus". Twitter. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  18. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 13, 2012). "Comic-Con 2012: The Complete TV Lineu". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  19. ^ Zahed, Ramin (August 27, 2013). "'Defenders of Berk' Flies Back to CN on Sept. 19". Animation Magazine. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  20. ^ Lowry, Brian (September 3, 2012). "DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk". Variety. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  21. ^ McNamara, Mary (September 4, 2012). "Review: 'Dragons: Riders of Berk' is TV with big-screen quality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  22. ^ "DreamWorks Dragons Second Season to Premiere on September 19". ComingSoon.net. August 27, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Annie Award Nominations Unveiled". Deadline. December 3, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ Beck, Jerry (February 2, 2013). "Annie Award Winners". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved February 3, 2013. 
  25. ^ Weisman, Jon (August 14, 2013). "Emmy Wins Come Early for 'Adventure Time,' 'Portlandia,' 'Simpsons'". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  26. ^ Amidi, Amid (December 2, 2013). "Complete List of 2013 Annie Award Nominations". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  27. ^ Amidi, Amid (December 1, 2014). "42nd Annie Award Nominations Announced: Complete List". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ Flores, Terry (February 6, 2016). "Pixar's 'Inside Out' Wins Top Prize at Annie Awards". Variety. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  29. ^ "The 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations" (PDF). New York City: emmyonline.org and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. March 24, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2016. 
  30. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (May 2, 2016). "'Tumble Leaf' Leads Animated Daytime Emmy Creative Winners". Animation Magazine. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  31. ^ Bryant, Jacob (February 24, 2016). "'Star Wars,' 'Mad Max,' 'Walking Dead' Lead Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  32. ^ "WHAT'S UP: DRAGONS SOAR AND BEN 10 GOES BIG". Cartoon Network. August 27, 2012. Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  33. ^ "NEW DRAGONS GAME IS ONE WILD RIDE!". Cartoon Network. August 23, 2012. Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  34. ^ Nolan, Kyle (October 9, 2012). "DRAGONS: RIDERS OF BERK Flies Onto DVD November 20". NoReruns.net. Retrieved October 10, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Dragons: Riders of Berk Part 1". Fox Connect. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Dragons: Riders of Berk Part 2". Fox Connect. Retrieved June 2, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Dragons: Riders Of Berk - The Complete First Season (Walmart Exclusive) (Widescreen): TV Shows". Walmart.com. December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  38. ^ Truitt, Brian (February 3, 2014). "'Dragons: Defenders of Berk' debuts on DVD March 25". USA Today. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  39. ^ "'Dragons: Defenders of Berk - Part 2' is Available in May!". Fanlala. April 30, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]