Trivia for How to Train Your Dragon 2
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- The only film in the "How to Train Your Dragon" series to be distributed by Twentieth Century Fox, since the end of DreamWorks Animation's deal with Paramount Pictures in 2012, and with Universal taking over in 2018, a year before the third film's release.
- Chris Sanders, co-writer and co-director of How to Train Your Dragon (2010) and Dean DeBlois' collaborator since Lilo & Stitch (2002), did not write and direct the sequel, due to his involvement with The Croods (2013), although he helped executive-produce HTTYD 2.
- The first DreamWorks Animation film to use its new animation and lighting software through the entire production. Programs named "Premo" and "Torch" will allow much more "subtlety, in facial animation, the sense of fat, jiggle, loose skin, the sensation of skin moving over muscle instead of masses moving together." Dean DeBlois said, "I think the film looks a lot better than the first. In addition, our film is the first to showcase a whole new generation of software that has been developed at DreamWorks called Apollo. In past versions, if you wanted to do something as simple as arch an eyebrow, you would have to select the eyebrow from a menu and input what degree of arch you would want, enter that numerical amount, and wait for that to render," whereas the new system allows them to work in a much more intuitive way, using a stylus and touch-sensitive Cyntiq monitor to grab and manipulate the characters, which now render in real-time. "It allows animators to go back to working with their hands."
- The music in the teaser trailer is "Beyond the Clouds," written and conducted by Audiomachine.
- Dean DeBlois asked Cate Blanchett to play the role of Valka during the 2011 awards season where How to Train Your Dragon (2010) was being campaigned for Academy Award recognition. "I told her that I had written the part for her in How To Train Your Dragon 2. And she smiled, saying that the (original) movie was 'a big hit in her household with her three boys,'" said DeBlois. "I told her about the character, and I could see it blossoming in her mind." DeBlois wanted Blanchett to play Valka because he knew she could strike the right balance of "rich and commanding," mixed with a sense of "regret and vulnerability" that the part called for.
- Hiccup is left-handed.
- According to the movie's official website, Hiccup is meant to be around 6 feet tall. This is something he shares in common with his voice actor, Jay Baruchel, who is known for his tall, slender build.
- Reached a peak of second position at the U.S. box office and held it for only one week, on the weekend of June 13-15, 2014, with takings on that weekend of $49,451,322.
- Stoick the Vast has some experience and lines in common with another Gerard Butler character, Creedy in Reign of Fire (2002), which was also about dragons.
- The first Dreamworks Animation film to win a Golden Globe award for Best Animated Film.
- The song "Into a Fantasy," which is heard during the end credits, was written and performed by Alexander Rybak, who also provides the voice for Hiccup in the Norwegian version.
- Djimon Hounsou would often do vocal exercises to prepare for his voice acting. One of these was a loud, terrible scream. Dean DeBlois liked it so much that he decided to use it as Drago's cry to summon his dragons.
- Hiccup wears the same outfit throughout the entire film.
- Unlike the first movie (which takes place over the course of several weeks), the time-line for this movie is only about a few days.
- When Astrid says to Eret, "Don't you know anything." That is a reference to when Ygritte says to Jon Snow, "You know nothing, Jon Snow." Kit Harrington plays both Eret and Jon Snow from Game of Thrones.
- This movie is the only film that in the franchise to not be released the same year as a Toy Story film. On the other hand, the first How To Train Your Dragon came out in 2010, the same year Toy Story 3 was released. And How To Train Your Dragon 3 will be released in 2019, the same year Toy Story 4 will be released. However, the movie was released in 2014, the same year as the Christmas Toy Story short, Toy Story That Time Forgot.
- With a running time of 102 minutes, this is Dreamworks Animations longest film.
- The drawings on the wall in the Dragon stables in Berk were actual drawings done by the children of the crew who worked on the film.
- Was the frontrunner for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Big Hero 6 (2014).
- Valka recognizes Hiccup by the scar on his chin. This scar can be clearly seen on the baby when Stoick picks him up.
- The second non-Disney/Pixar film to win the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, the first was The Adventures of Tintin (2011).
- The second film to win the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature over what ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the first was Cars (2006).
- Craig Ferguson's fourth theatrically released animated movie, after How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Winnie the Pooh (2011), and Brave (2012).
- This is the only film in the trilogy to not be released in theaters in March.
- Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon are the only Dreamworks franchises to be based on children's books.
- When offered the sequel, Dean DeBlois accepted it on condition he can turn it into a trilogy. For the sequel, he intends to revisit the films of his youth, with Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) having the pivotal inspiration for the film. "What I loved especially about Empire is that it expanded Star Wars in every direction: emotionally, its scope, characters, fun. It felt like an embellishment and that's the goal." Dean further explained, "I find it dangerous to second-guess the audience. I want to make the movie which I want to see. As a kid, I loved films that had a darker side and were emotionally challenging.... 'The Empire Strikes Back' was a big influence. It offered a heightened sense of emotion. It really served as a tonal model." Dean DeBlois admitted in an interview at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival about the improper use of making animated motion picture sequels. "I think too often animation sequels seem unnecessary. They turn the same five or six characters into another adventure." Upon accepting the task to write and direct the sequel, DeBlois went to DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and pitched a completely different approach: "I told him I was interested if he would consider the idea of a trilogy, because then the first film could serve as a first act in a larger narrative on the way to an overall coming-of-age story where Hiccup would become a wise Viking chief, and we could end on roughly the same concept as Cressida Cowell's book, explaining why the dragons disappeared." With the decision to set the sequel five years after the events, it would work best for the story and DeBlois' ambition. "That way, we could avoid the problem that is often faced by sequels where you start with a character who had all his problems seemingly solved in the first film."
- Valka was originally written as the villain, but this idea was dropped in later drafts. Also, Drago was intended to appear in the third film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019), but was bumped up to the second one.
- Gobber is the first character to "come out" in a DreamWorks Animation film. This is evidenced when he says the reason he never married was because of the arguing. He then adds, "Well, this and another reason." Writer-director Dean DeBlois told E! News, "When we were recording Craig Ferguson, I had written the line, 'This is why I never got married,' and he, as he often does, added it as an ad lib and he said, 'Yup, Gobber is coming out of the closet.'"
- Hiccup and Stoick are separated from Valka for twenty years. They are only reunited for twenty minutes before Stoick dies.
- Originally, Gobber was the one who was meant to be killed by the brainwashed Toothless. But when Guillermo del Toro read the draft, he suggested that Stoick should be killed instead, as it would have a bigger impact.
- Hiccup calls Valka "Mom" only twice in the entire film: once during the battle at the dragon sanctuary and again after the battle at Berk.
- During the final battle when toothless challenges the alpha, right after Toothless shoots a fireball you can hear part of Godzilla's roar coming from the alpha.
- Drago's Bewilderbeast loses its left tusk, just as Drago also lost his left arm to a dragon. This is similar to a situation in the first film, where Hiccup loses his left leg, as a parallel to Toothless losing his left tail fin.
- In the first movie, the last line of dialog before Hiccup's closing narration, is Gobber saying "Welcome home" to Hiccup. The last line spoken before Hiccup's closing narration is again spoken by Gobber, welcoming Hiccup home. Gobber announces "The Chief has come home!"
- When Stoick first gives Hiccup his helmet in the first "How to Train Your Dragon", he explains it is half of the breastplate Hiccup's mother wore, but when we finally meet Hiccups mother, we see it really couldn't have been.