1. The Original Film and Its Success
The first movie in the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise was released in 2010 and directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders. The film is based on the book of the same name by Cressida Cowell, and it tells the story of a young Viking named Hiccup who befriends a dragon named Toothless. The movie was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $494 million worldwide and receiving widespread acclaim for its storytelling, animation, and emotional depth.
The success of the original film led to two sequels and a spin-off TV series, making the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise one of the most beloved animated properties of the past decade. Despite its popularity, however, the franchise has remained true to its roots, with each new installment building on the themes and characters introduced in the original movie. As a result, the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise has become a shining example of how to create a successful and enduring animated franchise.
2. Sequels and Spin-Offs: How the Franchise Expanded
Following the success of the first movie, DreamWorks Animation released two sequels to the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise: “How to Train Your Dragon 2” in 2014 and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” in 2019. Both films were directed by Dean DeBlois and continued the story of Hiccup and Toothless as they navigate their relationship with each other and with the other dragons and humans in their world.
In addition to the sequels, the franchise has also spawned a successful spin-off TV series called “Dragons: Race to the Edge,” which aired on Netflix from 2015 to 2018. The show followed Hiccup and his friends as they explore new territories and encounter new dragons, adding depth and richness to the franchise’s worldbuilding.
Together, the sequels and spin-off series have expanded the “How to Train Your Dragon” universe and solidified its place in popular culture. The franchise has become a favorite among children and adults alike, and its engaging storytelling and memorable characters have made it a staple of the animated film genre.
3. Storylines and Characters Across the Movies
The “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise features a rich cast of characters, each with their own unique personalities, motivations, and backstories. At the center of the story is Hiccup, a young Viking who defies tradition by befriending a dragon and working to create a peaceful coexistence between humans and dragons.
Throughout the movies, Hiccup is joined by a colorful cast of characters, including his love interest Astrid, his mentor Gobber, and his best friend Fishlegs, among others. Each character plays a vital role in the story, adding humor, heart, and depth to the franchise’s worldbuilding.
The dragons themselves are also major players in the franchise, each with their own distinct personalities and abilities. From Toothless, Hiccup’s loyal companion and the last of his kind, to the powerful Bewilderbeast, the dragons of the “How to Train Your Dragon” universe are as beloved as the human characters.
Across the movies, the storylines of the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise have evolved and deepened, exploring themes of friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice. Through it all, the franchise’s characters have remained relatable and endearing, making the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies a fan favorite for years to come.
4. Critical and Commercial Reception of the Franchise
The “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise has been widely praised by critics and audiences alike for its engaging storytelling, stunning animation, and memorable characters. The first movie in the franchise received a 98% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics hailing it as a “thrilling and emotionally resonant animated adventure.”
The sequels and spin-off series have also received positive reviews, with “How to Train Your Dragon 2” holding a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” receiving an 89% approval rating.
Commercially, the franchise has been a major success, grossing over $1.6 billion at the box office worldwide. The first movie alone grossed over $494 million, making it one of the highest-grossing animated movies of all time.
The success of the franchise has also translated to merchandise sales, with the “How to Train Your Dragon” brand extending beyond the movies and TV series to include toys, clothing, books, and more.
Overall, the critical and commercial reception of the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise is a testament to its enduring popularity and success as a beloved animated property.
5. Future of the Franchise: What’s Next for ‘How to Train Your Dragon’?
As of 2023, there are currently no new movies or TV series announced for the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise. However, the franchise remains popular among fans, and there is speculation that there may be future installments in the works.
In a 2019 interview with Collider, director Dean DeBlois hinted that there may be more stories to tell in the “How to Train Your Dragon” universe, saying, “There are all sorts of possibilities. We’re leaving the door open.”
In the meantime, fans of the franchise can continue to enjoy the original movies and TV series, as well as the many books and other merchandise inspired by the franchise.
Overall, the future of the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise remains uncertain, but fans can rest assured that the beloved characters and world of the franchise will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of fans around the world.