Director Dean DeBlois Talks HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, Major Story Changes During Production, John Powell’s Score, DRAGON 3, and More

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DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon is one of my favorite animated films of the past decade, and so I came into this summer’s sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2, with some sky high expectations.  Luckily, director Dean DeBlois delivered a follow-up that maintained the sensibilities that made his 2009 film so great while also expanding the scope and raising the emotional stakes of the franchise with this follow-up.  What makes the Dragon films unique is that they are deeply compassionate in nature, which is sadly something that’s all too rare in film these days.  Throw in astounding visuals, an incredible score by composer John Powell, and organic, compelling character evolution, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 manages to be not only one of the best animated films of the year, but one of the best films of the year period.

In anticipation of the Blu-ray release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 on November 11th, I recently got the chance to hop on the phone with DeBlois.  After I gushed about his films and directorial talents for far too long, the filmmaker discussed his behind-the-scenes documentary that’s included on the Blu-ray, the major story changes that took place during production, the difficulty of telling a mother-son story, the fact that Powell one-upped himself with the score, where he’s at with How to Train Your Dragon 3, and much more.  If you’re a fan of animation and/or the Dragon movies, the interview is a fascinating read.  Take a look after the jump.

Dean DeBlois Talks HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 and Potential Spinoffs; Says He’s Talked Jeffrey Katzenberg Down from the Idea of DRAGON 4

by     Posted 65 days ago


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.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 Release Date Pushed to 2017

by     Posted 109 days ago


DreamWorks Animation has opted to delay the How to Train Your Dragon 3 release date by a full year.  Originally slated to open in theaters on June 17, 2016, the studio announced today that the third How to Train Your Dragon film is being delayed to June 9, 2017.  That moves it away from squaring off directly against Pixar’s Finding Dory on the 2016 weekend, but its new release date is two weeks after The LEGO Movie 2 and a week before an untitled Pixar film.  Hit the jump for more on this How to Train Your Dragon 3 release date change.

Composer John Powell Talks HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, the State of Film Scoring Today, His Career, Taking a Break, Hans Zimmer, and More

by     Posted 191 days ago


If you’ve seen DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon, you know that not only is it an incredible film, but the entire feature is elevated by a truly magnificent score from composer John Powell.  He imbues the compassionate story with a genuine sense of wonder and emotion, and Powell resumes his composing duties on the upcoming sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 to fantastic results.  I recently got the opportunity to speak with Powell for an extended conversation in anticipation of the release of How to Train Your Dragon 2 on June 13th and the soundtrack, which is available now, and we covered a wide range of topics.

During the interview, Powell discussed his approach to scoring the follow-up without repeating himself, working with Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi to craft original songs for the movie, whether the knowledge of another sequel (or sequels) impacted his work, looking back over his career, collaborating with Hans Zimmer, how working in animation differs to live-action, his thoughts on the state of film and TV scoring today, the evolution of DreamWorks Animation, his decision to take a break, and much more.  If you’re at all interested in the world and process of film scoring, Powell is full of great insights.  Read on after the jump.

DreamWorks Animation Announces Slew of Release Dates Including Seth Rogen-led B.O.O. in 2015 and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3 in 2016

by     Posted 2 years, 101 days ago


DreamWorks Animation is known for being prolific, but the studio has just announced a massive 12-picture slate that runs through 2016.  Here’s a brief look:

Hit the jump for more details on this ambitious line-up of animated films.

Storyboarding Underway for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

by     Posted 3 years, 201 days ago


The sequel to How to Train Your Dragon has over three years to plan for its June 20, 2014 release.  To match the heartwarming excellence of the original, DreamWorks Animation is going to enter into production right about… now.  Writer/director Dean DeBlois spoke a the dedication of USC’s new Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Center for Animation recently, and informed the audience that several drafts of the script have been completed and the filmmakers have just begun the storyboarding process.

Jay Baruchel, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, and Gerard Butler are all set to reprise their roles from the first movie.  Hit the jump for more on How to Train Your Dragon 2, including plot details and its place in a planned trilogy.

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