Even more WonderCon details have emerged about DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge, only this time we’re getting it straight from the source.
A lucky writer for Fangirlish was able to grab an exclusive interview with executive producers/showrunners Art Brown and Douglas Sloan right after the conclusion of the DreamWorks TV panel at WonderCon.
There’s lots and lots of good stuff here, including new information on new dragons, new characters, and how Race to the Edge will differ tonally from previous seasons! Once again, I advise caution to anyone who doesn’t want anything that could be a spoiler.
With that out the way, let’s jump right in:
When asked about the Dragon Eye and its purpose, Art and Doug simply reiterated that the object will open up a whole new world for Hiccup and the gang when they use it to discover previously unknown species of dragons. “In the good hands, it’s awesome. In the bad hands, it’s no good,” Art said. It’s also been confirmed elsewhere that Art and Doug shot down rumors of the Dragon Eye being supernatural.
- When asked about where they get the overall inspiration for the various dragons: “We–our writers and us–get inspiration all the time from animals, both in land and sea.” Art said.
While cognizant of the fact that the dragons are mythical beings by principal, Art and Doug told Fangirlish that they try to draw from reality as much as they can, even going so far as to look to the animal kingdom as inspiration for the physical elements of the dragons: “We try to take from the physiology of the animal kingdom that exists now and translate that into dragons. Because there’s so much amazing stuff animals can do, just animals that are in our ecosystem,” Doug said. Art added that this “allows the show to have that basis grounded in reality.”
As far as the new dragons are concerned, we already know about the Deathsong and the Snow Wraith, and we’ll reportedly see some dragons from the mobile game Dragons: Rise of Berk show up in the new season. But those won’t be the only new additions to the world of Dragons. Art Brown first talked about a new species called the Catastrophic Quake, which “rolls like a boulder, so you think it’s a boulder. But then it rolls back uphill, and then the thing just comes [at you].”
Another new dragon that they mentioned was the Night Terror. These are small dragons that live in large packs and come together to form the shape of a larger dragon in order to scare off its predators.
We will also see dragons from previous seasons return in Race to the Edge. One such type of dragon are the Fireworms from Defenders of Berk, who will migrate to the ‘Edge’ and cause trouble (presumably for Hiccup and his crew).
Voice Actors/New and Returning Characters
As far as voice actors are concerned, Jay Baruchel (Hiccup), America Ferrera (Astrid), T.J. Miller (Tuffnut), and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs) are all on board once again.
- When asked about Ruffnut and Snotlout, Doug said this: “the girl who does [Ruffnut] is fantastic, and the guy who does Snotlout is amazing.” In previous seasons, Ruffnut was portrayed by two voice actors: Julie Marcus (Riders of Berk) and Andree Vermeulen (Defenders of Berk). Zack Pearlman was the TV voice of Snotlout for both seasons. It’s unclear at this time if Doug had referred to Andree and Zack or a pair of new voice actors for those characters.
They have also nabbed some new additions to the voice cast. Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Rango) will lend his voice to an unnamed villain “who’s really cool.”
Australian actress Adelaide Kane, best known for her lead role in the CW’s Reign, will provide the voice for a new female character. She will be the head of a new tribe that will be friendly to the Dragon Riders. They also happen to have their own worship of dragons.
With any luck, Dave Faustino might be reprising his role as Dagur the Deranged, who has been confirmed as a returning character.
Rumors seem to point very strongly at the return of Heather (Mae Whitman). So far, those rumors remain unconfirmed for now.
- As for the villains, we already mentioned the bad guy who will be voiced by Alfred Molina. We also know that Dagur will be back. Aside from them, we can also expect to meet “a nasty brother team.”
- They also noted that, with the villains of this season, we will start to see something of a progression towards Drago. As Art explains: “in a very subtle way, you start to see the tie to Drago [HTTYD2‘s villain]. You start to see the through-line of bad guys that they meet.” “Sort of going up the ladder,” Doug added.
Stoick and Gobber
- Don’t expect Stoick and Gobber to have as big a presence in Race to the Edge, even though there will be episodes that will reveal how they got their dragons (Skullcrusher and Grump). “It’s almost like the kids are at college, in a weird sort of way,” said Doug. “So you won’t deal with Stoick and Gobber as much.”
- The interactions between Stoick and Hiccup will be especially meaningful due to the former’s fate in How to Train Your Dragon 2: “You really see the difference between the relationship with Hiccup and his dad developing from father/son, from having to ask for permission to being peers. And also because Stoic passes away in the sequel, all the stuff with Hiccup and him is that much more meaningful because you know what’s going to happen,” Art said.
A Brand New Tone
According to the creators, developing the show for Netflix as opposed to Cartoon Network has been “awesome.” They’ve also asserted that Race to the Edge will feel very different from previous seasons: “They’ve really pushed us to do something brand new, so that’s what we really want to do for them,” Art said. “It feels like a brand new show. They’re out of Berk, they’re older…” “The look of the show is very different. The music is different. It really is a different, different show, and that’s what Netflix wanted and what we wanted to do for them,” Doug added.
- The humor of the show will also get a big revamp: “We’ve really tried to ramp up the comedy, and we’re very, very excited to see how people respond to that,” Doug said.
The show will also put more emphasis on the relationships between the dragons and their riders: “You saw even how funny and animated Toothless is–we took the lead from Dean [DeBlois, HTTYD2‘s director] with that opening scene where [Hiccup] is playing with Toothless, and we really just said, ‘let’s build that. Let’s build that relationship.’ Toothless is always the biggest, baddest dragon. But he’s really funny, and the other dragons, too. Hookfang, Fishlegs and Meatlug… Really to amp up those relationships [between dragons and Riders] is really cool.”
Designing the Story Arc
- Because Race to the Edge is 26 episodes long, this has allowed the creators to carefully construct the overall arc of the Dragon Riders’ travels on the Edge and the mystery behind the Dragon Eye, while leaving room for standalone episodes that showcase new areas and new dragons: “We want to be able to have enough episodes in every season so that if someone turns it on, they’ll know they can just jump right in, not having to know the backstory,” Doug said.
And that did it for the WonderCon interview with Art Brown and Douglas Sloan. Now, we wait for any further trailers, clips, and anything else that we can analyze and speculate on before the premiere.
Dragons: Race to the Edge will premiere on June 26, exclusively for Netflix.
What do you think? Any thoughts on what was revealed so far? What else would you like to know more about? Does this make you look forward to Dragons: Race to the Edge?
Edited by: Kelly Conley