How to Train Your Dragon is different than your typical animated franchise. While there have been more-successful blockbusters that yielded sequels—like Toy Story or Shrek—Dragon was slightly more ambitious from the outset because it almost immediately mapped out a heroic multi-picture arc for its main character, Hiccup, treating him like Harry Potter or Luke Skywalker.
In the second film, which arrives as a digital download on Oct. 21 and on DVD on Nov. 11, Hiccup is five years older than when he first met Toothless, his jet-black Night Fury dragon, and director Dean DeBlois and his team of animators spent lots of time working on their hero’s physical transformation. In a behind-the-scenes documentary on the Blu-ray, Where No One Goes (see an exclusive clip below), DeBlois talks about resisting the temptation to turn Hiccup into a six-pack-abs Viking warrior. “Even though he is the hero of our story, so much of his charm lies in how gangly and awkward and dorky he is,” he says.
The documentary features animators toying with the characters’ aging process, DeBlois’ script and character notes, and additional storyboards and early sketches that became crucial elements of the sequel’s adventure. In the film, Hiccup meets a mysterious dragon-whisperer named Valka, voiced by Cate Blanchett, who says, “It really is the best entry I think a character’s ever had in cinema history.”
And like Potter and Skywalker, Hiccup’s odyssey isn’t finished. With the death of his father, Stoick, Hiccup is now the leader of the viking clan. And DeBlois is hard at work on the story for the third film. “This story is heading towards a very finite conclusion, in which dragons go away forever,” the director told EW earlier this year. “We end where Cressida Cowell’s book starts, which is Hiccup as an older man reflecting back on a time in his youth when there were dragons. I love that. I think it’s really powerful, and it’s emotional and bittersweet. But how we get there, and the whole mystery as to where [the dragons] went and what happened, that’s the meat of the story, and I’m really excited to delve into it.”
How to Train Your Dragon 3 is scheduled for release in summer 2017.