Posted on Monday, January 17th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Last year, How to Train Your Dragon seemed like a move in the right direction for DreamWorks Animation: a character-oriented film that had great action and, contrary to some of the studio’s work, didn’t seem to be pandering to the audience. We know that there will be at least one sequel, with several films tentatively planned overall, and that a spin-off TV show is also in the works. But until now we didn’t know much at all about the plans for that material.
We still don’t know a lot, but producer Tim Johnson has gone on the record about the first sequel and the vague plans for the show. And fortunately, they’re right in line with the original film.
SPeaking to BadTaste.it the producer said of the first sequel to How to Train Your Dragon:
I can tell you that Dean DeBlois has signed on — one of the original directors — and he’s going to write and direct the second. I can tell you it’s a much bigger movie. Everybody’s already terrified of pulling it off. we had a big pitch two weeks ago… and now everybody’s trying to figure out how we’ll pull off that story.
I think that we’re talking about fall of 2013. So we have about about two and a half years, a little less than three years. For animation, that’s fast, although for a sequel it’s not that bad. We usually take four years or more for an original movie, and a lot of that is just discovery: finding the world, the design, the look of it, how light and color works. Obviously, when you’ve done a first movie you’ve solved a lot of those problems and you can go faster.
Not a lot of hard and fast info there, but it’s good to know for certain that Mr. DeBlois is on board to guide the film as a creative force. And what of the TV series, which has been an unknown quantity since it was first announced? All we’ve really known is that it would be on Cartoon Network in the US. Here’s some info that should keep fans happy:
We’ve just embarked on it. We have a partner in Nickelodeon for doing the Kung Fu Panda series, and that’s a show that’s appropriate for Nickelodeon. It’s a little bit younger, it’s the fun, sort of outrageous adventures of Po. With Dragon we’re not going to be doing Nickelodeon, we’ll be doing a little darker and more dramatic, much like the fim. The goal is not to change it or lighten it in order to make a TV series. The goal is to stay true to it and try to make a TV series that is actually fairly challenging and fairly dense. It’s really in the early going. We have a sort of plan for it, but the scripts are just starting. It would I believe be ahead of the second film by about a year, so I believe the TV series goal is for 2012.
The producer goes on to explain that the goal is to “explore this world” with different stories between the films and TV series. His comment is a bit ambiguous as to whether there will be different time periods used as settings within that fictional world, or only if they’re looking to stagger the presentation of film and TV series so that they’re not stealing each other’s thunder.