A Viking named Hiccup. A dragon named Toothless. Their adventures have so far spanned ten books by British author Cressida Cowell. DreamWorks produced a film version of How to Train Your Dragon, directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, which turned into a box office blockbuster in 2010.
A trio of shorts followed: Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010), Book of Dragons (2011) and Gift of the Night Fury (2011).
[The original post featured videos, since removed from YouTube.]
Then, the inevitable TV spinoff, Dragons: Riders of Berk, broadcast on Cartoon Network.
Two back-to-back episodes premiered on August 7, 2012: “How to Start a Dragon Academy” and “Viking for Hire.”
The series began its regular showings on September 4.
A stage show, How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular, features 23 enormous animatronic dragons, from the creators of the Walking With Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular.
An advance preview was given to the Australian press in August 2011:
This $20 million production began its tour in Melbourne in March 2012, played in New Zealand in April and, beginning in June, began traveling through North America. See the website for details.
The Today Show provided behind-the-scenes coverage on May 11, 2012. See here.
Meanwhile, production continues on a motion picture sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2, directed by Dean DeBlois, set for release June 20, 2014. Number 3 is also in the works.
There’s no doubt about it. Jeffrey Katzenberg knows how to ignite a franchise.