While much of the big news at this year’s Annecy Film Festival focused on feature animation, there was also some attention payed to TV animation. This attention specifically focused on a high-profile project set to debut next Friday!
John Hopewell of Variety was one of the people to attend an exclusive screening of the first two episodes of DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge, followed by a Q&A with Margie Cohn, the current head of television for DreamWorks Animation.
From what he tells us, the impact of moving DreamWorks Dragons from Cartoon Network to Netflix can be felt from the get-go. Compared to the more episodic nature of Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk, Race to the Edge wastes no time in establishing its more serialized nature in the opening two-parter that screened for Annecy (collectively titled “Dragon Eye of the Beholder”).
Part One was written by F.M. De Marco, John Tellegen, Jack Thomas, and executive producers Art Brown and Douglas Sloan. Brown and Sloan solely take up writing duties in Part Two and Elaine Bogan directs both installments. Directors on further episodes include John Sanford (a holdover from Riders/Defenders), visual effects supervisor David Jones, Simon Otto (head of character animation for the How to Train Your Dragon films), Gil Zimmerman (head of layout at DreamWorks), and more.
Goodman goes on to label Race to the Edge as “A story of young adults aimed at young adults,” which depicts Hiccup and the gang on their journey to full adulthood.
As explained before, the “Edge” of the title is a geographic point far from Berk where the Riders set up an outpost. Cohn told the attending press that Race to the Edge will truly be a story about them figuring out their pace in the world without the adults to back them up.
Goodman describes Bogan’s directorial style as “muscular,” with scene shots staged at more dramatic diagonals.
The Dragon Eye will very much be at the center of Race to the Edge‘s storyline, as episode one shows Hiccup and his Dragon Riders the artifact in a gloomy, fog-shrouded graveyard of ships. In episode two, they are accompanied with Gothi as they go to collect the tooth of a Snow Wraith in order to unlock the Dragon Eye.
Lastly, Race to the Edge was designed for the Netflix viewer in mind, with a serialized format and a more sophisticated story structure. In Cohn’s words:
“Some things that happen are resolved at the end of each episode, but there’s a narrative line that goes through the series, so that you can have a richer experience while watching it.”
Dragons: Race to the Edge will premiere exclusively for Netflix on June 26. Be sure to follow Kajsa’s coverage of the DWA press junket for Race to the Edge and Dinotrux on our Twitter and Instagram (full report to follow). Stick around next Monday for our pre-show discussion article for The DRAGONS TV Recap.
Do you have any thoughts on this news? Stay tuned for more coverage from this year’s Annecy Film Festival.
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes