‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Writer/Director Dean DeBlois on the Adult Themes in the Trilogy

Collider | 2/20/2019 | Drew Grant
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And while the first How to Train Your Dragon film in 2010 didn’t dive headfirst into trauma, nor did it skirt around the issue. We began the films with Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) as a gawky teen in a Viking village whose fondness for dragons make him a reluctant heir to his father, the village Chieftain, Stoick (Gerald Butler). After bonding with a crippled dragon named Toothless, Hiccup is forced to adapt to brutal realities: in the first film, he loses his leg; in the sequel, his father.

How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World approaches the idea of loss very differently as Toothless meets a potential mate and discovers a new world that is free from the human threat. Sometimes a loss isn’t something being taken from you, it’s something you learn to let go of. It’s a tough theme, and one that the trilogy’s director and writer Dean DeBlois has been grappling with as he closes the book on his part in the franchise.

Dean - Weeks - Premiere - Film - Cinematographer

We sat down with Dean two weeks before the premiere of the film to discuss working with famed cinematographer Roger Deakins, the franchise’s dragon-identifying fans and his bittersweet farewell to the world of Toothless and Hiccup.

Collider: This movie was just stunning to look at it. What was it like working again with Roger Deakins as a visual consultant?

DeBLOIS - Guy - Wisdom - Masterclass - Time

DeBLOIS: It was so great. He’s such a soft-spoken and mild-mannered guy but so full of wisdom, it’s like a Masterclass every time he spends time with us. He’s been working remotely, but when he is in town he’ll spend an entire day and meet with every department. Once again, he was involved with every department, creating these mood boards of photo references; everything from a sense of mist or atmosphere to pallets. Then working with...
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