The Making of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

Published on Aug 31 2013 // Behind The Scenes, Movies

This year we are getting the sequel to one of the most loved animated movies outside of the Pixar tentpoles. ‘How to Train your Dragon’ (HTYD) was a huge surprise winner coming out of DreamWorks Animations in the year 2010. Although they have had many successes since their first animated film, the 1998 hit ANTZ followed by Shrek, Madagaskar, Kungfu Panda and Monsters Vs. Aliens, they were never able to match Pixar’s relationship with audiences’ worldwide. For me this changed with HTYD and I’m super exited to see how they build on that in the 2nd installment, 5 years after the events of the first movie with Hiccup and his friends in their teens now.


HTYD brought together a hugely talented team at Dreamworks, led by Directors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois to bring us the most endearing father-son relationship in movie history. The memorable characters and their interactions with the misunderstood Dragons made for some very entertaining and heart touching scenes in an animated movie, that gave Pixar’s ‘Toy Story 3′ a run for their money, even  though it lost to ‘Toy Story 3′ at the Oscars.

How to Train Your Dragon character01

There are two separate, full-length Documentaries for this movie. What I love about the first one is that it was shot using a hand held camera thru the entire process of making the movie. The Directors shot and put together this doc. while in the midst of creating the concept, working with animators, screening previews with producers, sound recording and screenings for audiences. They elaborate more on the importance of the father and son relationship and how all the elements of the story were developed around that idea.

The second one is a more traditional making-of video, polished and edited by professionals. Here the two Directors along with Producer, Bonnie Arnold, are giving a live commentary over the footage of the movie, brought to us by Animator’s Corner. They breakdown the entire movie scene by scene and talk about everything that went into making each one – The opening scene, Animation Techniques, Weapons, Costumes, Voice Recording, Dragons, Kids, Vikings, the Voice Cast, involvement of veteran Cinematographer Roger Deakins, technical difficulties for character effects, like Viking beards, fire, cloud etc. and a ton more.

Author – Abhijit Roy, India

Source – HTYD Website (

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