20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Warning: This post contains spoilers for How to Train Your Dragon 2
Raking in a cool $50 million over the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon 2 proved to be huge success in a very crowded weekend of releases. But where does the franchise go from here? There's already a third film in the mix for the fantasy saga: How to Train Your Dragon 3 is set to release in 2016 with Dean Deblois returning to direct. Luckily, the second film of the series is littered with narrative threads that can be tugged at in the next chapter. Is there another five-year time jump in the cards? How will Hiccup handle being chief of Berk? Will Toothless ever find another Night Fury? We've decided to speculate on all the possible story lines that could surface in How to Train Your Dragon 3.
Toothless Finds Another Night FuryDuring the events of the second film, Hiccup and Toothless are dragged to a strangely constructed ice cave in the middle of the ocean by a mysterious dragon rider that is revealed to be Hiccup's mother, Valka. The cave is a sanctuary for dragons, and is home to thousands of dragons of all species, but even with the sheer number of creatures inhabiting the space, Valka tells Hiccup that she believes Toothless to be the last Night Fury in existence. The idea of Toothless being the last of his kind is brought up so frequently throughout How to Train Your Dragon 2, we figured a subplot featuring the lost species of dragon would materialize at some point during the film, but the credits rolled without a Night Fury in sight. We're guessing the filmmakers are saving the idea of another Night Fury for the third film.
Hiccup Struggles to Become a Good ChiefA major theme of How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the notion of responsibility, and Hiccup spends much of the movie dodging his responsibilities as heir to the throne of Berk. But after his father's untimely death (at the hands of Toothless, no less), the role of chief is thrust upon him and Hiccup has to step up and defend his people. Hiccup performs admirably in his battle against Bludvist and the alpha Dragon, but there's a lot more to being chief than just flying and fighting. There's so much responsibility involved with running and managing an entire village, and Hiccup definitely wouldn't have the time to leisurely fly around with Toothless. It would be cool to see the young leader struggle with his new duties as chief in a third film.
Too Many Dragons in BerkThe events of How to Train Your Dragon 2 introduces what looks to be thousands of extra dragons to Berk, a village where the inhabitants were already up to their eyeballs in the creatures. Is dragon overpopulation a thing? It would be interesting to see if the next film addresses the possibility that there might be too many dragons crawling around Berk for comfort. Maybe an expedition where Toothless finds a new home for all the extra dragons would be a cool little diversion for the sequel.
Toothless the Alpha DragonToothless bests Bludvist's alpha dragon and becomes the new alpha, but we're not sure what that means for Toothless and the other dragons in Berk. Does Toothless now have the ability to control the other dragons like the old alpha could? And could there be other contenders waiting in the wings to take the tittle away from our favorite dragon?
Hiccup's Relationship with His MotherDuring the film, Hiccup's mother Valka, thought to be long dead, is revealed to be alive and has spent the past 20 years rescuing and caring for lost Dragons. Once Valka is reunited with her family, she is prepared to go back to Berk, but she isn't keen on the idea right away. Valka has to be convinced to return to the village, thinking her place in the world is out on the skies, saving dragons. What if the next sequel deals with Valka wishing to return to her old life while Hiccup wants her to stay in Berk to support him as chief?
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has released its list of nominees for the annual BAFTA Awards, also known as the British Oscars or the only big awards show with a category just for British only. Surprise, surprise, the Brits have come out on top; the historical drama, The King’s Speech swept the noms with 14 in total. Close behind is Darren Aronofsky’s surprising thriller, Black Swan with 12 total nominations. The British Film category that comes in addition to the BAFTA’s “Best Film” category gives a second chance to 127 Hours, which doesn’t make the top five in the overall category but has the chance to take the top Brits-only honor. Also of note, 14 year old Hailee Steinfeld, who’s blowing audiences away in December’s True Grit, merits the grownup honor of a nomination for best lead actress for her role in the film (mini fist pump!).
While the awards will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One, sorry America, it’s still worth knowing which films made the cut.
And the nominees are:
• Black Swan - Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin
• Inception - Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
• The King’s Speech - Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
• The Social Network - Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Céan Chaffin
• True Grit - Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Outstanding British Film
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, Christian Colson, John Smithson
• Another Year - Mike Leigh, Georgina Lowe
• Four Lions - Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Mark Herbert, Derrin Schlesinger
• The King’s Speech - Tom Hooper, David Seidler, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
• Made in Dagenham - Nigel Cole, William Ivory, Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
• The Arbor - Director, Producer - Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan
• Exit Through The Gift Shop - Director, Producer – Banksy, Jaimie D’Cruz
• Four Lions - Director/Writer - Chris Morris
• Monsters - Director/Writer – Gareth Edwards
• Skeletons - Director/Writer – Nick Whitfield
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle
• Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky
• Inception - Christopher Nolan
• The King’s Speech - Tom Hooper
• The Social Network - David Fincher
• Black Swan - Mark Heyman, Andrés Heinz, John McLaughlin
• The Fighter - Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson
• Inception - Christopher Nolan
• The Kids Are All Right - Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
• The King’s Speech - David Seidler
• 127 Hours - Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Rasmus Heisterberg, Nikolaj Arcel
• The Social Network - Aaron Sorkin
• Toy Story 3 - Michael Arndt
• True Grit - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Film Not In the English Language
• Biutiful - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik, Fernando Bovaira
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Søren Stærmose, Niels Arden Oplev
• I Am Love - Luca Guadagnino, Francesco Melzi D’Eril, Marco Morabito, Massimiliano Violante
• Of Gods And Men - Xavier Beauvois
• The Secrets In Their Eyes - Mariela Besuievsky, Juan José Campanella
• Despicable Me - Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
• How To Train Your Dragon - Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
• Toy Story 3 - Lee Unkrich
• Javier Bardem – Biutiful
• Jeff Bridges - True Grit
• Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
• Colin Firth - The King’s Speech
• James Franco - 127 Hours
• Annette Benning - The Kids Are All Right
• Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right
• Natalie Portman - Black Swan
• Noomi Rapace - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
• Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
• Christian Bale - The Fighter
• Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
• Pete Postlethwaite - The Town
• Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
• Geoffrey Rush - The King’s Speech
• Amy Adams - The Fighter
• Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech
• Barbara Hershey - Black Swan
• Lesley Manville - Another Year
• Miranda Richardson - Made in Dagenham
• 127 Hours - AR Rahman
• Alice In Wonderland - Danny Elfman
• How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
• Inception - Hans Zimmer
• The King’s Speech - Alexandre Desplat
• 127 Hours - Anthony Dod Mantle, Enrique Chediak
• Black Swan - Matthew Libatique
• Inception - Wally Pfister
• The King’s Speech - Danny Cohen
• True Grit - Roger Deakins
For the full list of nominees, visit the BAFTA site, here.
Oh how Pixar has spoiled us. After a decade and a half of the studio releasing one classic after another from 1995’s Toy Story to last year’s Up! we’ve grown accustomed to animated films both visually stunning and emotionally captivating. And when another studio’s animated offering however solidly-crafted falls short of these impossibly high expectations it’s inevitably damned with the faint praise of “It’s not Pixar but...” Such is the plight of Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon a movie only superior to say 65% of live-action films as opposed to 99% of them.
Based on the children’s novel by Cressida Cowell How to Train Your Dragon is set on the mythical island of Berk home to a tribe of macho stubborn Vikings who refuse to relocate despite near-constant attacks from fire-breathing dragons. The most macho and stubborn of the tribe is the their chief Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) a brave and burly ginger beast whose teenage son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) inherited virtually none of his father’s traits. Scrawny self-effacing and intellectually curious — making him pretty much the anti-Viking — he’s a constant source of shame to his mighty father.
Eager to win his dad’s approval — and by extension the respect of his tribe — he enrolls in Dragon Training where young Vikings learn to slay the winged demons that prey upon Berk. But Hiccup is ultimately a pacifist at heart and when he manages to wound a highly-prized Night Fury dragon he can’t bring himself to finish off the injured creature choosing instead to nurse it back to health. He names the creature Toothless develops a tight bond with it and evolves into a sort of Jane Goodall of dragons learning how to subdue and eventually domesticate them.
As 3D-animated experiences go How to Train Your Dragon ranks among the best of them surpassing recent entries like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and even Pixar’s last Oscar-winning release in its exploitation of the burgeoning format. An airborne sequence in which Hiccup pilots Toothless on their first test run together is truly exhilarating as is the film’s chaotic opening battle sequence between the Vikings and their dragon nemeses. But its story lacks the same energy its humor the same punch and its pace too often drags — a fatal flaw for a movie tasked with occupying the minds of fidgety pre-teens for 98 minutes.
Oh and don’t bother trying to figure out why all the child Vikings in How to Train Your Dragon have American accents while the adults have Scottish ones. Remember this is the same studio that gave us Shrek featuring another inexplicable Scottish brogue. The artists at Dreamworks just have a weird Scot fetish.
The Ugly Truth star portrays Viking father Stoick in the new DreamWorks movie, but he was shocked when he saw a preview of the film and realised how much his distinctive Scottish accent had changed since moving to Hollywood.
So Butler begged directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders to allow him back into the recording booth to rework his vocals.
He says, "I actually saw the movie and believe it or not, I actually thought my Scottish accent wasn't strong enough, so I went back in and redid a lot of it, trying to make it sound a little more Viking!"