The How to Train Your Dragon franchise is a bit of an anomaly in the DreamWorks Animation filmography. Jeffrey Katzenberg’s company carved out its signature style with Shrek, a sweet yet slightly cynical, self-aware family film with a handful of jokes that only the adults may understand. But 2009’s How to Train Your Dragon was an unabashedly cynicism-free feature that was deeply compassionate in nature and epic in scope. That tone continued in this summer’s How to Train Your Dragon 2, once again under the direction of Dean DeBlois, and the Dragon films have enjoyed not only critical but also commercial success at the box office.
It was announced shortly after the first film’s release that there would be a trilogy of Dragon films, and when I spoke with composer John Powell this summer he said that Katzenberg had recently brought up the prospect of a How to Train Your Dragon 4. I recently spoke with DeBlois in anticipation of the Blu-ray release of Dragon 2, and he took some time to talk about the story for How to Train Your Dragon 3, saying it will be more Tootheless-centric, and he said he thinks he’s talked Katzenberg down from expanding the franchise to a fourth film, though he doesn’t rule out the possibility of spinoffs. Much more after the jump.