Dragons
Also known asDragons: Riders of Berk (season 1)
Dragons: Defenders of Berk (season 2)
Dragons: Race to the Edge (seasons 3–8)
GenreAction
Adventure
Fantasy
Based onHow to Train Your Dragon
Developed byLinda Teverbaugh
Mike Teverbaugh
Voices ofJay Baruchel
Chris Edgerly
America Ferrera
Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Julie Marcus
T.J. Miller
Nolan North
Zack Pearlman
Andrée Vermeulen
Theme music composerJohn Powell
ComposerJohn Paesano[1]
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes118 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersLinda Teverbaugh
Mike Teverbaugh (seasons 1 and 2)
Art Brown
Douglas Sloan (seasons 3–8)
ProducersArt Brown
Douglas Sloan
EditorsJohn Laus
Lynn Hobson
Peter Tomaszewicz
Joel Fisher
Jay Fox
Ernesto Matamoros
Running time22 minutes
Production companyDreamWorks Animation Television
DistributorDreamWorks Animation
20th Century Fox Television Distribution (season 2)
Netflix Streaming Services (seasons 3-6)
Release
Original networkCartoon Network (2011–14)
Netflix (2015–18)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original releaseAugust 7, 2012 (2012-08-07) –
February 16, 2018 (2018-02-16)[2]
Chronology
Preceded byHow to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Followed byHow to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
External links
Website

Dragons is an American computer-animated television series based on the 2010 film How to Train Your Dragon. The series serves as a bridge between the first film and its 2014 sequel.[3][4][5]

Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and David Tennant reprise their voice-acting roles from How to Train Your Dragon. Other cast members include Julie Marcus and Andree Vermeulen as Ruffnut (previously voiced by Kristen Wiig), Zack Pearlman as Snotlout (previously voiced by Jonah Hill), Chris Edgerly as Gobber the Belch (previously voiced by Craig Ferguson), and Nolan North as Stoick the Vast (previously voiced by Gerard Butler).

Dragons was announced by Cartoon Network on October 12, 2010.[6] According to Tim Johnson, executive producer for How to Train Your Dragon, the series was planned to be much darker and deeper than DreamWorks Animation's previous television series spin-offs, with a similar tone to the movie. Dragons was the first DreamWorks Animation series to air on Cartoon Network rather than Nickelodeon.[7]

A one-hour preview consisting of two episodes aired on August 7, 2012, on Cartoon Network,[8] with the official premiere of the series airing on September 5, 2012.[9] A total of 40 episodes aired on Cartoon Network during the first two seasons, subtitled Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk respectively.

Afterwards, the series was named Race to the Edge, the first season of which debuted on Netflix on June 26, 2015.[4] The second and third seasons of Dragons: Race to the Edge premiered on January 8 and June 24, 2016, respectively.[10][11] The fourth season was released on February 17, 2017.[12] The series was renewed for a fifth season, which was released on Netflix on August 25, 2017. The series (alongside the Netflix exclusive, All Hail King Julien) is syndicated as part of the newly rebranded Universal Kids on September 9, 2017. Dragons: Race to the Edge was renewed for a sixth and final[2] season which was released on February 16, 2018.

Plot

Taking place between How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2, Dragons follows Hiccup as he tries to keep balance within the new cohabitation of Dragons and Vikings. Alongside keeping up with Berk's newest installment—A Dragon Training Academy—Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the Viking Teens are put to the test when they are faced with new worlds harsher than Berk, new dragons that can't all be trained, and new enemies who are looking for every reason to destroy the harmony between Vikings and Dragons altogether.

Characters

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Dragon Riders

  • Toothless – An extremely rare, male Night Fury befriended by Hiccup, and the dragon that lost his left tail fin in the first feature film. Toothless has dark black scales, retractable teeth, and the ability to shoot plasma blasts. Toothless also has the unique ability to navigate in dark places using echolocation.
  • Stormfly – A blue, female Deadly Nadder befriended by Astrid. Like Hiccup and Toothless, Astrid and Stormfly display exceptional teamwork. Stormfly and Toothless share a friendly rivalry in most of the competitions Hiccup and Astrid devise. In addition to her magnesium-fueled fire bursts, Stormfly can launch spines from her tail.
  • Meatlug – A brown, female Gronckle who bonded with Fishlegs. Because of her husky size and short wingspan, she lacks the aerobatic maneuverability and speed of the other dragons. She and Fishlegs have a very close, nurturing relationship. She also can eat a particular combination of iron ore and rocks and regurgitate a valuable metal known as "Gronckle iron".
  • Hookfang – A red, male Monstrous Nightmare, ridden by Snotlout. Hookfang has a habit of attacking Snotlout or abandoning him when Snotlout tries to assert dominance, and does not always pay attention to Snotlout. In battle, Hookfang covers his skin with his flammable saliva and sets it on fire, without harming himself; this ability is almost never used when Snotlout is riding him.
  • Barf and Belch – A green, male, two-headed Hideous Zippleback jointly ridden by the twins, normally with Ruffnut riding the dragon's right head, named Barf (which can exhale explosive gas), and Tuffnut riding the dragon's left head, named Belch (which can ignite the gas). The heads are usually agreeable, but can have difficulty flying when their riders disagree, and sometimes quarrel as a result.

Notable inhabitants of Berk

Villains

Secondary characters

Episodes

Main article: List of Dragons episodes

SeasonSubtitleEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast releasedNetwork
1Riders of Berk20August 7, 2012 (2012-08-07)March 20, 2013 (2013-03-20)Cartoon Network
2 Defenders of Berk20September 19, 2013 (2013-09-19)March 5, 2014 (2014-03-05)
3Race to the Edge13June 26, 2015 (2015-06-26)Netflix
413January 8, 2016 (2016-01-08)
513June 24, 2016 (2016-06-24)
613February 17, 2017 (2017-02-17)
713August 25, 2017 (2017-08-25)
813February 16, 2018 (2018-02-16)

Production

On October 12, 2010, it was announced that Cartoon Network had acquired worldwide broadcast rights to a weekly animated series based on the movie.[6] According to Tim Johnson, executive producer for How to Train Your Dragon, the series was planned to be much darker and deeper than DreamWorks Animation's previous television series spin-offs, with a similar tone to the movie, and would follow after the events of the first movie. Dragons is the first DreamWorks Animation series to air on Cartoon Network; DreamWorks Animation's previous television series, including The Penguins of Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, and Monsters vs. Aliens, had aired on Nickelodeon.[7]

Although it was initially announced that the series would be called Dragons: The Series,[13] the Comic Con schedule announced in June 2012 revealed the new title to be Dragons: Riders of Berk.[19] The second season of the show was titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk.[20] At the end of May 2014, DreamWorks Animation announced that in spring 2015 the series would move to Netflix instead of premiering on Cartoon Network.[4]

Reception

Critical response

Dragons: Riders of Berk has received positive reviews. Brian Lowry of Variety reviewed the series: "The program is dazzling visually, and pretty effortlessly picks up where the narrative left off," although he noted the initial episodes' "lack of actual villains" and "not-particularly-stirring array of characters".[21] Mary McNamara of Los Angeles Times said that it "retains both the personality and production value of its progenitor. Dragons promise to be lively and entertaining, with great visuals of dragons swooping and soaring." She praised its look: "It looks pretty dang spectacular even by today's standards. It's so crisply drawn and fluid that a person of a certain age would be forgiven for wondering how on earth we survived with things like Scooby-Doo and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop."[22] According to Nielsen Media Research, episodes of the first season ranked on average #1 in their timeslot among boys 2-14.[23]

Accolades

Year Association Category Nominee Result
2012 Annie Awards[24][25] Best Animated Television Production For Children Episode: "How to Pick Your Dragon" Won
Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Shi Zimu Nominated
Teri Yam
Yan Jiazhuang
Character Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Andy Bialk (for "Alvin and the Outcasts")
Directing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production John Eng (for "Animal House") Won
Music in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production John Paesano (for "How to Pick Your Dragon")
Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Doug Lovelace (for "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Man")
Writing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Mike Teverbaugh, Linda Teverbaugh (for "Animal House") Nominated
Editorial in an Animated Television Production Lynn Hobson (for "Animal House")
2013 Primetime Emmy Award[26] Outstanding Individual Achievement In Animation – Character Design Andy Bialk Won
Annie Awards[27] Animated Effects in an Animated Production David Jones Nominated
Directing in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Elaine Bogan
Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Douglas Lovelace
Editorial in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Lynn Hobson
2015 Annie Awards[28] Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Ernesto Matamoros Nominated
2016 Annie Awards[29] Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Television/Broadcast Production Chi-Ho Chan Won
Daytime Emmy Awards[30][31] Outstanding Children's Animated Program Art Brown, Douglas Sloan, Chad Hammes and Lawrence Jonas Nominated
Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program Art Brown, Douglas Sloan
Outstanding Sound Editing - Animation Otis Van Osten, Joshua Aaron Johnson, Roger Pallan and Jason Oliver Won
Saturn Awards[32] Best New Media Television Series Dragons Nominated

Video game

A 3D Unity-based in-browser game, titled Dragons: Wild Skies, was launched on August 27, 2012, on CartoonNetwork.com.[33] Players will go through a tutorial with Hiccup, and train a Deadly Nadder, before being able to free roam around the several islands in the Barbaric Archipelago, with dragons scattered around them. The player can choose to be a blonde/brunette male or female Viking, before setting off to explore the islands. To train a dragon, players must feed the dragons correct food before doing correct gestures to gain the dragon's trust. In the game, players do not die or otherwise fail. Players complete challenges to earn gold for buying tools to obtain food for training dragons. The overworld consists of six islands, each with a unique dragon to tame. The number of dragons and worlds to explore is set to expand over time, as the series introduces more and more places and dragons...[34]

Home media

A DVD collection of the first four episodes, titled Dragons: Riders of Berk, was released on November 20, 2012.[35] The first season of the series was released on DVD in two parts on July 23, 2013. Dragons: Riders of Berk: Part 1 contained episodes from 1 to 11,[36] and Dragons: Riders of Berk: Part 2, episodes from 12 to 20.[37] In December 2013, Walmart released an exclusive pack containing the Complete 1st Season in a special edition "Toothless" plastic package.[38] A DVD collection of the first 10 episodes of the second season, titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk: Part 1, was released on March 25, 2014.[39] The second part, titled Dragons: Defenders of Berk: Part 2, was later released on May 27, 2014.[40] On February 12, 2019, the first two seasons of Dragons: Race to the Edge was released on DVD in one set. Seasons three and four were released on DVD on March 5, 2019, and seasons five and six were released on DVD on March 26, 2019, albeit all only in Region 1 format.

References

  1. ^ "John Paesano to Score 'How to Train Your Dragon' TV Series". Film Music Reporter. May 12, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
  2. ^ a b Goldberg, Matt (September 14, 2018). "'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World' Will Conclude the Entire Franchise". Collider. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  3. ^ Ito, Robert (September 8, 2012). "'Dragons: Riders of Berk' spreads its wings on Cartoon Network". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "New Seasons of DreamWorks Dragons to Take Flight on Netflix in 2015". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  5. ^ Icelandiceel (May 22, 2015). "Interview with Race to the Edge Executive Producers". Berk's Grapevine. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
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  7. ^ a b Fischer, Russ (January 17, 2011). "'How to Train Your Dragon' Producer Offers Details on First Sequel and TV Series". Slash Film. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
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