Ladies and gentlemen, here we are! With only a few days left until the Netflix premiere of DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge, what started out as an idea in my head when the Netflix season were first announced last year has now grown into what will be an ambitious, three-week endeavor known as The DRAGONS TV Recap!
Ever since announcing the project back in April, I took the liberty of catching the readers up with my detailed summaries of Riders of Berk (Part 1/Part 2) and Defenders of Berk (Part 1/Part 2). Anybody who’s been on the website for a while would have also taken note of the fact that I did tons of coverage on Race to the Edge ever since its unveiling at this year’s WonderCon. I’m not going to lie when I say that all of it has been building up to this project.
So where does this article come in?
As you may have observed from the title, this article will serve two distinct purposes. From now until the series premiere on Friday, this article will serve as a place for pre-show discussion and speculation about Race to the Edge (there are some guidelines, but we’ll get to those in due time). It will also act as a general overview of what we know so far about Race to the Edge. Consider it something of a primer, in case you didn’t keep up with the website’s coverage of the show.
This article will be split into three parts. The first part will go over the hard details of how these recaps will be conducted (rules, schedule, expectations, so on). This is to make sure that we are absolutely clear on what to expect when the project starts up on July 6 (and yes, I’ll explain why I chose that date). The second part of the article will lay down everything that we know now going into this season (characters, dragons, plotlines, etc). This will also include all the clips that have been released so far. The third part will be guidelines of what to do and what not to do when talking about Race to the Edge in the comment section below. Along the way, there will also be a few new things I’ve added, but I won’t tell you about those until we get there.
So without further ado, let’s get right into it!
PART 1 – How The Recaps Will Work
The Game Plan
For those of you who aren’t familiar at this stage, The DRAGONS TV Recap is where I will be recapping and reviewing the Netflix seasons of the DreamWorks Dragons television series.
When The DRAGONS TV Recap begins on July 6, I will review and recap each of the thirteen episodes that make up the first half of the season. At least 3-4 recaps will be published on the website each week for a total of three weeks.
The reason why I chose July 6 was to give you, the readers, an opportunity to do what I’ll be doing: watching the show, letting it sink in, forming my thoughts, and then come in to fully discuss these episodes individually. If you have any problems with this, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. I’m more than willing to hear you out and discuss this with you. But at this stage, my mind is pretty well set on the July 6 start date.
One Important Rule
There will be one rule that I will be imposing very heavily on each recap article. Yes, you may talk about spoilers pertaining to Race to the Edge in the comment sections, but those spoilers should only be about the episode covered in the recap. While I realize that the Netflix model makes it very easy to discuss all the episodes in one swoop, that still doesn’t negate the fact that certain people watch a Netflix show at different speeds than others. Some choose to have all-night or weekend marathons while others will pace themselves out over the course of days or even weeks. Being a Netflix user myself, I’m personally and deliberately choosing to be mindful of those kinds of people.
Again, if you take issue with this rule, call me out and I will be more than happy to have a discussion about it. But in all honesty, it should be pretty simple: please be mindful of those who haven’t watched every episode.
Video Recaps from Morgan Stradling!
You won’t just have the pleasure of reading my words, though. Morgan Stradling will also be conducting her own series of video recaps that will accompany my written recaps. These video recaps will be posted on our official YouTube page and will be attached to my recap articles. Morgan’s official video announcement is posted below. While this is something that me and Morgan have coordinated on and discussed, the video recaps will stand on their own as they will simply run concurrent with what I’m doing. It will provide a totally different view and perspective on the series, so I’m super excited that Morgan has agreed to doing this.
Addressing a Serious Issue
While I did address this last time, I really feel like I have to bring this up again in case some of you missed it the first time.
Yes, I am completely and totally aware that not every Dragons fan (on our website or anywhere else) has access to Netflix. As I mentioned last time, it is either because of their economic situation, personal preference, or they just live in a part of the world that simply doesn’t carry it (or won’t carry it until a future date of availability).
As much as I hate to say this (and I really can’t stress this enough), this is a situation that is completely out of our control. As of current, DreamWorks has no plans to release Race to the Edge on DVD/Blu-Ray and if there were any other legal alternatives, I would tell you.
While I already know that people will try and find a way around this (I happen to know one person who will just read the recaps until a DVD is announced), I would say that my best suggestion is to get in touch with someone you know who has a Netflix account. There are also options to be found if you are involved with the Dragons fandom. I’m not exactly sure if they still do the ‘one-month free trial’ thing, but that’s something to take advantage of if they still have it.
I know that it sucks for those that don’t have it, but it’s an expected side-effect of taking a show to a different format (from basic cable to digital service). But I will make one promise: as soon as DreamWorks confirms a DVD release, it will be covered here on the website.
PART 2 – What You Need to Know About Race to The Edge
Characters and Cast
As far as the cast is concerned, all of our lead characters (and their respective voice actors) are back, this time with an expanded cast of secondary characters (both new and returning).
Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and T.J. Miller are back as Hiccup, Astrid, Fishlegs, and Tuffnut (respectively). Rounding them out is Zack Pearlman and Andree Vermuelen as the TV voices of Snotlout and Ruffnut. Also returning are Chris Edgerly and Nolan North as Gobber and Stoick (in a reduced capacity).
Also returning for Race to the Edge is David Faustino as Dagur the Deranged, Mae Whitman as Heather, David Tennant as Spitelout, and Lucas Grabeel as Gustav.
New to the cast are Alfred Molina and Adelaide Kane. Molina will play one of the major villains of Race to the Edge, while Kane will play the leader of a dragon-friendly tribe that the Riders come across.
There will also be other new characters in Race to the Edge, such as Fishlegs’ girlfriend (who isn’t Ruffnut) and a “nasty brother team”. We’ll probably know who these characters are when we watch the show.
As you will know by now, the plot of the season centers around the discovery of the Dragon Eye, a mysterious device that acts as an expanded directory of dragons. Using its secrets, Hiccup and the Dragon Riders begin their journey outside of Berk in search of new lands and new dragons, while facing off against villains that all want the Dragon Eye for their own purposes.
The “Edge” of the season refers to the Dragon’s Edge, an island that the Riders come across early in the season. This island will act as their home base of operations while they are exploring the world outside Berk. Keeping to the ‘college’ theme of the season, each of the riders have built themselves a distinctive dwelling that captures the personality of the rider and its dragon. They have also built an arena where they can train and learn the moves they need to confront new threats.
Race to the Edge will be building up certain themes and elements that we see in How to Train Your Dragon 2. For example, the villains will present something of an ‘escalation’ towards Drago. Also, elements like Hiccup’s Dragon Blade, his flight suit, and the love triangle between Ruffnut, Snotlout, and Fishlegs will have their origins explored in Race to the Edge. We may even find out where Drago Bludvist comes from!
Heather will have a huge role to play in Race to the Edge, as she becomes part of the Dragon Riders. She will also have an interesting storyline that will involve Dagur. Speaking of Dagur, his three years of prison time between Defenders and the start of Race to the Edge have not been kind to him (as you will see later).
There will be episodes dedicated to certain characters (Fishlegs, Astrid, the Thorston twins) as well as different character pairings (Astrid and Tuffnut, Fishlegs and Snotlout) that will serve to bring out different character dynamics and a more robust way of developing the other Riders.
Of course, you can’t have a show called DreamWorks Dragons without expecting a lot of… well, dragons. In that regard, Race to the Edge does not disappoint.
Of the new dragons appearing in Race to the Edge, we have: the Death Song (who uses a siren tune to attract and capture it’s victims), the Snow Wraith (who has infrared vision), the Catastrophic Quake (which uses a bolder-like attack move), the Night Terrors (small dragons that group up to form a large dragon figure) and the Razorwhip (a dragon with an armor-like appearance). We also have some returning favorites (Thunderdrums and Fireworms, for example) as well as dragons lifted from the Rise of Berk mobile game. So yes, they definitely haven’t skimped on the promise of new dragons (and those are just the ones I know of!).
PART 3 – The Comment Section
Now that I’ve given you a crash course on what to expect when you watch Race to the Edge, I will now prime you on how to discuss the show in the comment section. But first, there is one thing I must tell you.
I have seen Race to the Edge (the first five episodes of it) and it is simply awesome. Yes, I was one of the lucky screeners for the show. Even though the embargo has been lifted, I won’t go into too much detail here (I’ll save that for the recaps), but I can wholeheartedly say that Race to the Edge lives up to its promise of being a bolder, more sophisticated show than previous seasons. Improved visuals, tighter writing, and a sure-handed cinematic direction make Race to the Edge something of an event-level blockbuster for animated television. I mean no exaggeration by this when I say that you may find your new favorite Summer TV favorite with Dragons: Race to the Edge.
Morgan has also watched Race to the Edge and the article will be updated with her own thoughts as soon as I get them.
Guidelines for discussing Race to the Edge in the Comment Section
Now that I’ve told you this, let me set down the rules for this comment thread.
Yes, you may discuss your theories and predictions for Race to the Edge. I will even allow spoilers for Riders and Defenders. But please don’t post any actual spoilers for Race to the Edge. I say this because there are people out there who just know stuff, so this is a message for them. Please refrain from any real spoilers on the comment thread, or you will be dealt with accordingly.
You can also ask me anything about what I now know about Race to the Edge (now that the embargo has been lifted). Likewise, I’ll try my best not to spoil any surprises.
See you on July 6!
Thank you for taking the time to read this super-long article. I hope to see you on July 6 as we share in the madness, fun and hilarity that is The DRAGONS TV Recap!
Dragons: Race to the Edge premieres exclusively for Netflix on June 26. The DRAGONS TV Recap will begin on July 6. Stay tuned later today for Kajsa Rain Forden’s complete report from DWA’s press junket.
What do yo you think? Are you looking forward to watching Race to the Edge?
Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.