Exploring Dragons: Race to Edge on Netflix

While awaiting How to Train Your Dragon 3 in 2018, there’s a whole new world to explore in DreamWorks Animation’s new Netflix series, Dragons: Race to the Edge (with all 13 episodes premiering Friday and a total of 52 in the works). Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera return to provide the voices of Hiccup and Astrid, along with Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs, and T.J. Miller as Tuffnut.

In the first two episodes, “Dragon Eye of the Beholder,” Hiccup and Toothless discover a mysterious artifact known as the Dragon Eye, a remarkable relic that contains new information about undiscovered dragons and islands far beyond the borders of Berk.  This Dragon Eye, therefore, becomes the catalyst for Hiccup and the Dragon Riders to leave Berk for the first time and takes place nearly two years before How to Train Your Dragon 2. They encounter the escaped Dagur the Deranged journey to Glacier Island in search of the Snow Wraith, a fearsome dragon with infrared vision and creates snow as camouflage, which holds the key to the Dragon Eye’s mysteries.

Inspired by The Da Vinci Code Cryptex, the Dragon Eye, aided by Toothless shooting blue plasma bolts, creates a light beam and casts mysterious patterns on a wall like a primitive projector. And as the series progresses, the discovery of new lenses provides new info about the dragons while opening up new horizons.

Showrunners Art Brown and Douglas Sloan call this the kids in college years. “When the show starts, Berk is not as developed as it is in the second movie, and Hiccup is still trying to figure out how he wants to explore and push the boundaries,” Brown explained. “We are able to tell the genesis of that desire. And we’re also able to tell you how [some of the kids] got their dragons, how the Dragon blade came into being, how Fishlegs and Snotlout end up fighting over Ruffnut. What we found is that the audience loves new dragons, they love new characters interacting with our characters, which we have a lot of in the new show.”

But because the Netflix model is predicated on “propulsive serialization” or “binge watching,” Race to the Edge will have expanded story arcs complemented by standalones every four or five episodes, introducing new characters, dragons and islands. “In the third episode, they use the Dragon Eye and start to look for a suitable location for themselves [Dragons Edge] and wind up building their own huts,” added Sloan.”

“There’s a big argument in the episode of what the Dragons Edge should look like and Hiccup and solves it by saying, do whatever you want,” Brown suggested.

Read the rest at Animation Scoop/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, previs, Tech, Trailers, TV, VFX, Virtual Production

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