How to Train Your Dragon 3 Trailer

Hiccup and Toothless’s “boy and his dragon” friendship has formed the backbone of this series, and it was continually tested throughout the movies — like in the second How to Train Your Dragon, when the Alpha takes control of Toothless, for example, and he accidentally kills Stoic. Will they be tested again in The Hidden World?

Yes, but in a completely different way. The narrative of this story is one of the courage to face the unknown and to achieve the wisdom of learning to let go, learning to realize that you’re holding someone back. The Light Fury in our story is an agent of change. She comes into the story in innocence, but she is actually forcing Hiccup to confront his own insecurities, realizing that, or having the conviction that, he is incapable and kind of worthless without Toothless. And should this Light Fury lead Toothless away — really what she represents is kind of Call of the Wild — where does that leave Hiccup? It’s an engine of growth, and it does test the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless, their loyalty to one another, and also their love for one another and how that manifests in terms of being possessive versus having the more enlightened and selfless path of setting someone free.

So I’m assuming at this point, they won’t have their literally codependent relationship anymore, in which Toothless could only fly through Hiccup’s technology?

There’s a development within the story where Hiccup realizes that he has to enable this relationship between Toothless and the Light Fury in order to continue with their own problems and the quest they’ve embarked on. So in order to do so, he fashions a method by which Toothless can fly independently that allows him to pursue the Light Fury without the involvement of a human being. She is very wild and distrusting of humans, for good reason. So Hiccup realizes that in order to seal this deal [chuckles] he has to let Toothless take over on his own.

What else can you tell us about the Light Fury?

The Light Fury is a variation of Toothless’ species, the Night Fury. She is not the last of her kind, unlike Toothless. And her story is one that’s a bit mysterious. We intentionally try to keep her wild and elusive, to kind of represent something that is pure dragon, that hasn’t been tainted by human beings by domestication. She has a unique ability of her own: she’s able to cloak. She blasts a fireball, she flies through it, and by heating up her skin and her scales they turn mirror-like, reflecting their environment. So she effectively disappears against the sky or disappears against foliage.

You reference Call of The Wild in the themes of this movie. Were there any other themes that the Hidden World has — maybe along the lines of the political themes running throughout the series like colonization, or discrimination against ostracized populations?

What I love about Hiccup is he has this idealistic, if not someone naïve notion, that co-existence is possible. It’s wonderful that he’s managed to convince all his fellow Vikings that the dragons are not their enemy, that they’re largely misunderstood, and that they can all befriend one another and live together. It’s just the larger world isn’t going to accept that. The larger world still sees dragons as enemies and villains that must be snuffed out.

So we have introduced into this story a new villain played by F. Murray Abraham, who goes by the name of Grimmel the Grisly. And his claim to fame is that he’s the big prize hunter who wiped out Night Furies. And they were considered the most dangerous and most feared, and he did the world a service in his mind by doing away with them. His attitude is the only good dragon is a dead dragon, and that they’re vermin that should be eradicated. He’s a very intolerant character. And knowing what we know about dragons, it makes him seem especially rigid and unwilling to change. The ugliness of intolerance is brought to life by him.

We know that Roger Deakins consulted on the cinematography for the first two films. Does Deakins consult with this sequel’s cinematography as well?

Yes, Roger Deakins is back and working with us as we speak. It’s like a master class every time we get to sit down with him. His wealth of experience and degree of subtlety and refined taste when it comes to use of light and composition inspires our lighting team and our camera team to come up with bold, and interesting, and memorable takes on each and every scene.

And did you find that the process working with him over the past 10 years has changed?

It actually has changed over the past 10 years because as technology continues to improve, it also becomes much more artist-friendly. So the idea of being able to iterate has been vastly improved. Roger will sit down with one of our lighting artists and actually try out different ideas and get immediate results, which is not something we were able to do 5, 7, 10 years ago.

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