The How to Train Your Dragon saga is an incredibly successful world of movies, books and TV for kids. So you might be surprised to hear the third film in the series, The Hidden World, is inspired by a very child-unfriendly source: The Revenant, a dark and violent western.
That doesn't mean you'll be seeing dragons ripping and biting bloody chunks of flesh off the heroes, as a marauding bear did to Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2015 movie that earned him an Oscar for Best Actor. But although The Hidden World continues the Dragon saga's heartwarming blend of family-friendly comedy and breathless animated action, the creators did aim to emulate some of the cinematic techniques used in Alejandro Iñárritu's revenge movie.
So The Hidden World opens with a couple of lengthy, complex shots introducing the island of Berk, where Vikings and dragons now live side-by-side following the events of the first two movies. Filled with movement and stuffed with characters, these long-take shots are described as some of the most complex in the series by writer and director Dean DeBlois. While showing footage of these scenes to journalists in London earlier this year, DeBlois laughed when he named The Revenant as the surprising inspiration for these ambitious shots.
While the movie is set to be perfectly safe for little 'uns, DeBlois said it doesn't shy away from charged emotional moments. "I want people to have the full spectrum," he said. "I want them to laugh in the funny moments, and I want to bring them to tears as well. I constantly say I'm most disappointed when someone comes up and says 'I almost cried in your movie' -- well, I failed then."
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is set for release on 3 January 2019 in Australia, 1 February in the UK and 22 February in the US.
Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.
Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers.