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.