The mythical world of dragons is set to ignite the silver screen once again, but this time with a touch of live-action magic. Fans of the beloved "How To Train Your Dragon" franchise are buzzing with excitement as the much-anticipated live-action adaptation takes shape. But who will make up the all-star cast? What can we expect from this thrilling new plot? In this article, we dive into the world of dragons, uncovering all the details about the cast, the production, and the release. So grab your saddle and get ready to embark on a fantastical journey as we explore the upcoming live-action adaptation of "How To Train Your Dragon.

Who’s in the cast of the live-action adaptation of How To Train Your Dragon?

There have been only two major cast members confirmed so far. Mason Thames, known for his role in The Black Phone, will play Hiccup, while Nico Parker, from The Last of Us, will portray Astrid.

It remains uncertain whether Jay Baruchel, the original voice of Hiccup, will make an appearance in the new movie. Other actors from the trilogy include Jonah Hill as Snotlout, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs, T.J. Miler as Tuffnut, Kristen Wiig as Ruffnut, and Gerard Butler as Stoick, Hiccup’s father.

However, it has been confirmed that the writer-director of the franchise, Dean DeBlois, will return to write and direct the live-action film.

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Unlike Disney’s remakes, some of which were successful and others not so much, this marks the first time that the original filmmaker has been chosen to give his animated creation a live-action makeover.

In this case, DeBlois, who has no experience directing live-action films, will be supported by producer Marc Platt, known for his work on Legally Blonde, La La Land, and the highly anticipated two-part adaptation of Wicked by Universal Pictures.

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What is the plot of the live-action How To Train Your Dragon movie?

While it has not been officially confirmed, it is expected that the live-action adaptation will follow the storyline of the first film, although it is unclear if there are plans to remake the entire trilogy.

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The first movie introduces Hiccup, the son of a Viking chieftain, who forms a bond with Toothless, a playful dragon. However, Vikings have a deep-rooted animosity towards dragons and consider them enemies.

Throughout the trilogy, Hiccup's connection with Toothless grows stronger as they face off against dragon warlords, experience the loss of their parents, and search for the Hidden World.

A still from How To Train Your DragonParamount PicturesIn a previous interview with Deadline, DeBlois discussed the pressure of concluding the trilogy in a satisfying manner. "It's a mix of relief, satisfaction, and pride because it's mostly the same group of people that worked on all three films," he shared.

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"It's a rare opportunity to tell a story in three acts and bring it to a definitive end without going off track or creating unwanted sequels. We stayed true to the characters and it's bittersweet now that it's done because we're not working together anymore, but it's a feather in our cap. It was worth the decade."

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DeBlois also expressed his desire to explore different worlds but admitted, "I love animation and I don't want to leave it behind. However, I've wanted to tackle live-action for a while now, and it feels like the right time. If I don't do it now, I probably never will. It's an exciting phase for me creatively because everything is possible. It's a fun place to be."

The voice cast

  • Jay Baruchel – Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the socially awkward son of Stoick the Vast.[6]
  • America Ferrera – Astrid Hofferson, Hiccup's fellow dragon training student and love interest.
  • Gerard Butler – Stoick the Vast, the chieftain of Berk and Hiccup's father.[6]
  • Craig Ferguson – Gobber the Belch, Berk's blacksmith, loyal friend of Stoick, and teacher of the young dragon-training recruits.[7][6]
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse – Fishlegs Ingerman, an enthusiastic young character knowledgeable about dragons, often sharing information through role-playing games.[8][6]
  • Jonah Hill – Snotlout Jorgenson, one of Hiccup's classmates in dragon training. Snotlout is confident, brash, and not particularly bright, but he can be relied upon.
  • T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig – Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston, a pair of contentious twins.
  • David Tennant – Spitelout, Snotlout's father.[9]
  • Robin Atkin Downes – Ack, a blond-bearded Viking.
  • Philip McGrade – Starkard.
  • Kieron Elliott – Hoark the Haggard, a Viking with a tangled beard.
  • Ashley Jensen – Phlegma the Fierce, a female Viking.
  • Randy Thom – vocal effects for Toothless the Night Fury.

Production details

Early concept art of Toothless and Hiccup

The book series by Cressida Cowell captured the attention of DreamWorks Animation executives in 2004. Producer Bonnie Arnold, who had recently found success with Over the Hedge, quickly became interested in the newly acquired property. As time went on, she remained dedicated to the project, and when Bill Damaschke, DreamWorks Animation's co-president of production, asked her what she wanted to work on, she chose "How to Train Your Dragon."[10]

During the early stages of development, the plot closely followed the original novel. However, Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, previously known for their work on Disney's Lilo & Stitch, took over as co-directors midway through production, resulting in significant changes. DeBlois has described the original plot as "faithful to the book," but it was considered too "whimsical" and targeted at a younger audience.[11] In the book, Toothless is believed to be a Common or Garden Dragon, a smaller breed. In the film, Toothless is a wounded Night Fury, the rarest and most powerful species of dragon, capable of carrying both Hiccup and Astrid during flight. The filmmakers brought in cinematographer Roger Deakins, known for collaborating with the Coen brothers, as a visual consultant to enhance the film's lighting and overall appearance and provide a more live-action feel.[11] Extensive research was conducted to realistically portray flight and fire, taking advantage of animation's ability to surpass the limitations of live-action films, where propane flames are typically used due to safety concerns. The design of the dragons aimed to be both comedic and innovative compared to other dragon depictions. In particular, Toothless sought to combine various dragon characteristics with a black panther-inspired design, featuring large ears and expressive eyes to convey emotions better.[12]

The directors capitalised on the improvisation skills of the supporting cast, including Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, and T.J Miller, by frequently bringing them together for recording sessions.[6]


John Powell came back to DreamWorks Animation to compose the music for How to Train Your Dragon, marking his sixth collaboration with the studio, after Antz, The Road to El Dorado, Chicken Run, Shrek, and his previous score for Kung Fu Panda, all of which he composed with either Harry Gregson-Williams and/or Hans Zimmer. Powell created an orchestral score, blending grand brass with powerful percussion and soothing strings, while also incorporating distinct Scottish and Irish tones using instruments like the penny whistle and bagpipes. Furthermore, Icelandic vocalist Jónsi composed and performed the track "Sticks & Stones" for the movie. The music was released by Varèse Sarabande on March 23, 2010.

Overall, the music was warmly received by film score critics. Powell received his first Academy Award nomination for his work on the film, ultimately losing to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for their score for The Social Network.



How to Train Your Dragon had its premiere in the United States on March 21, 2010 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California,[3] and was released in theaters on March 26, 2010 in the United States.[13] Its original release date was November 20, 2009, but it was postponed to avoid competing with other family films released in November.[14] The film was remastered into IMAX 3D, and shown in 186 North American IMAX theaters, as well as around 80 IMAX theaters outside of North America.[13]

One month prior to the release, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg objected to Warner Bros.' decision to convert Clash of the Titans from 2D to 3D, and release it one week after How to Train Your Dragon.[15] Entertainment reporter Kim Masters characterized the 3D release schedule around March 2010 as a "traffic jam", and speculated that the scarcity of 3D screens could compromise Katzenberg's efforts, despite his endorsement of the 3D format.[16] During that same month, theater industry executives accused Paramount Pictures (who distributed the film on behalf of DreamWorks) of using coercive tactics to pressure theaters into showing How to Train Your Dragon instead of competing 3D releases like Clash of the Titans and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Since many theaters only had one 3D screen, they were unable to accommodate more than one 3D movie at a time.[17]

Home media[edit]

How to Train Your Dragon was made available on single-disc DVD, two-disc double DVD pack, and Blu-ray/DVD combo pack editions in Canada and the United States on October 15, 2010. The two-disc DVD edition and Blu-ray included an original sequel short film, Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon. As of February 2012, the film had sold 9.7 million home entertainment units worldwide.[18] The film was reissued on Blu-ray on May 27, 2014, with the addition of the short film Book of Dragons and an episode of DreamWorks Dragons as extra bonus features.[19]

In July 2014, DreamWorks Animation acquired the distribution rights to the film from Paramount Pictures and transferred them to 20th Century Fox[20]. However, the rights reverted back to Universal Studios in 2018. Consequently, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of the film on January 22, 2019, along with the sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2. These releases marked the first time that DreamWorks Animation catalog titles were made available in that format, in preparation for the release of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World in the following month.[21][22]


Box office[edit]

How to Train Your Dragon debuted at the top of the North American box office, earning $43.7 million in its opening weekend.[23] The film grossed $217.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $277.3 million in international markets, resulting in a worldwide total of $494.9 million.[2] With the exception of the Shrek films, How to Train Your Dragon is the highest-grossing film by DreamWorks Animation in the American and Canadian box office.[24] It is the fifth-highest-grossing animated film of 2010, behind Toy Story 3 with $1,063.2 million, Shrek Forever After with 2.6 million, Tangled with $576.6 million, and Despicable Me with $543.1 million. It also ranks as the 10th highest-grossing movie of 2010.[25] As of 2019[update], the How to Train Your Dragon series has earned more than $1 billion globally.[26]

Critical response[edit]

Upon its release, How to Train Your Dragon received widespread acclaim. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 99% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 214 reviews from professional critics, with an average rating of 7.9/10.[27] The website's critical consensus states that the film "soars" with its stunning animation, well-crafted script with surprising depth, and thrilling 3D sequences.[27] It remains DreamWorks Animation's highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes.[28] On Metacritic, the film holds a weighted average score of 75 out of 100 based on 37 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews" from critics.[29] CinemaScore surveyed audiences, who gave the film an average grade of "A" on a scale from A to F.[30]

Matt Risley from Variety delivered a highly positive review, declaring it as "undoubtedly Dreamworks' finest film yet, and possibly the greatest dragon movie of all time".[31]James Berardinelli of ReelViews awarded it 3.5 out of 4 stars, praising the "technically accomplished" animation and the "clever, insightful, and surprisingly profound" script.[32] Claudia Puig from USA Today noted that the film possessed "unexpected depth" and praised its "touching, bittersweet tale of friendship between man and creature".[33]Entertainment Weekly's film critic Owen Gleiberman lauded the film's use of 3D, commending its ability to capture both the spatial and emotional elements in breathtaking ways; he gave it an A− rating.[34]

Both Roger Ebert from The Chicago Sun-Times and A. O. Scott from At The Movies felt that the development of characters and plot took a backseat to the visual spectacle. Ebert criticized the extensive "dogfights between trained and evil dragons," but recognized that the film was visually appealing, well-crafted, and energetic.[35] Similarly, Scott praised the cinematography and marveled at the film's ability to create thrilling aerial sequences; he wrote that it was worth watching for the breathtaking visual experience.[36] Rolling Stone's film critic Peter Travers, awarding the film three out of four stars, described it as "charmingly animated in 3D, creating captivating spatial and emotional portraits that will win your heart".[37]

Roger Moore from The Orlando Sentinel, rating the film 2½ out of 4 stars, believed that the inclusion of more serious themes instead of focusing on comedic elements was a detriment to the film, resulting in a "waste of a clever book, a talented voice cast, and some brilliantly humorous animation."[38]Village Voice's film critic Ella Taylor also expressed a more negative opinion, characterizing the film as "satisfactory yet unremarkable" in its narrative.[39]Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film two out of four stars, labeling it as "Avatar for simple minds."[40]


Sequels and Franchise[edit]

The movie was succeeded by two sequels, How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019). Five short films released after the movie: Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010), Book of Dragons (2011), Gift of the Night Fury (2011),[94]Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014)[95], and How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming (2019).

A cartoon series based on the movie premiered on Cartoon Network in the Autumn of 2012. Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and T. J. Miller reprise their roles as Hiccup, Astrid, Fishlegs, and Tuffnut. The series, set between the first and second film, follows Hiccup and his friends as they learn more about dragons, discover new ones, teach others to feel comfortable around them, adapt traditions within the village to fit their new friends, and confront enemies as they embark on adventures in new realms.[96]

An exciting adventure video game released by Activision, titled How to Train Your Dragon, became available for the Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo DS gaming consoles. The game is loosely based on the movie and was launched on March 23, 2010. Furthermore, School of Dragons, an immersive free-to-play MMO, debuted on July 17, 2013, at the San Diego Comic-Con. [97][98] The game can be enjoyed on PC, Android, and iOS devices.[99]

A storybook adaptation of the film was published by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2010. The story was retold by Rennie Brown, while Michael Koelsch created the illustrations.[100]

The How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular is an adaptation of the first film transformed into a live show, featuring 24 animatronic dragons, acrobats, and projections. The spectacle premiered on March 2, 2012, in Melbourne, Australia.[101]

A live-action reboot has been announced and is currently in development. It will be produced by Marc Platt Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures, with DeBlois set to return as the writer and director. The scheduled release date is March 14, 2025.[102][103]

Alternative Titles

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Main Themes

The epic journeys of heroes canine companions, endearing, children, animals or charming fantastical realms, imagination, sorcery, fables or bewitched holiday festivities, heartwarming moments, family bonds or delight animated antics, comical cartoons, jovial humor or youthful entertainment mystical monsters, extraordinary creatures, prehistoric beasts, scientific discoveries or fierce hunters View All…

In a stunning blend of fantasy and adventure, the live-action adaptation of "How To Train Your Dragon" takes flight, captivating audiences with its all-star cast and enthralling plot. From the exhilarating voice performances to the seamless production and breathtaking music, this film surpasses all expectations. As it soars into the hearts of viewers across the globe, it's clear that this beloved franchise has found new wings with this remarkable incarnation. With its blend of heart-pounding action, heartfelt themes, and unforgettable characters, "How To Train Your Dragon" is a must-see for fans old and new alike. Prepare to be swept away on an epic journey unlike any other.