I thought How To Train Your Dragon was not only a wonderful film, but one of 2010’s best (though I’m rooting for The Illusionist to win the Animated Feature Oscar; even though I know it won’t). Yet I have not been particularly keen on the idea of sequels. I liked the world and the characters, but I liked it as a enclosed story too. That said, if making more Dragon and Kung Fu Panda films keeps Dreamworks from making more Megamind caliber films, than I’m all for it.
At the recent Annie Awards, THR managed to grab a few words from Dragon co-director Dean DeBlois, who will write and solo direct the sequel, and now we’ve got a bit of info on the upcoming films. Namely that we’re talking plural. Jeffery Katzenberg gave an interview last year where he said as much, but he also said they were planning to do seven fucking Kung Fu Panda movies, so forgive me if I ignored his hyperbole at the time. Quoth DeBlois:
“I turned in the script before the holidays, and got some notes back and I’m working on a second draft. It’s going to be quite epic. We are treating How To Train Your Dragon as the first act in a much larger story. As we head into this one, the world expands. Everything is much bigger with still the heartfelt qualities that made the first one resonate so much with audiences. There are no longer restrictions to this tiny island in the North Sea. They have the entire Northern hemisphere within their grasp… The only way of tracing the story is to draw on elements that were in the first movie and set up elements for a third movie, so it doesn’t feel like a random adventure with the same five or six characters. This truly is a second chapter in a larger story.”
I am uneasy about the absence of Chris Sanders on the project (though he’ll exec produce), who is going to be tied up working on the Nicolas Cage animation adventure, The Croods. Sanders and DeBlois were a good team, and breaking up directing teams doesn’t often lead to the individual members having comparable solo success. Though I guess we’ll see.