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Trivia / How to Train Your Dragon

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  • All-Star Cast: If you've taken a look at the character section, you will see why. Averted in that it's a lot of recognizable names, but no overwhelming star power, as apparently finding the perfect voice for each characters was more important than who to name-drop on the adverts.
  • Approval of God: Cressida Cowell, when asked, showed no offense or anger at the differences the movie had from the original novel (tone, setup, etc.) — she acknowledged that it worked better for the new medium, and that the story stood strong on its own despite not adapting the books' narrative more strictly. On her blog, she said that her favorite scene was when movie Hiccup first met movie Toothless.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Again, just check the character section for the film.
  • Channel Hop: With DreamWorks Animation jumping from studio to studio over the years, each film in the series will be handled by a different studio. The first movie was released by Paramount, and the second movie was released by 20th Century Fox. Universal (who bought DWA in 2016) handled distribution of the third movie.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: A whole series of them, concerning the giant dragon at the end of the movie. In-movie, it's only referred to as the Queen Dragon. Then the soundtrack names it the Green Death, obviously a Shout-Out to the original novel. Then the McDonald's toy referred to it simply as 'R.D.' A review subsequently named it the Red Death. The video game for the the Nintendo DS mentioned it as the Red Death. Wordof God (in the DVD commentary) officially named it the Red Death. Nonetheless, it's still commonly referred to as the Green Death by consensus in the entry, in honor of the original book. And yet, the dragon in question is blue in the movie... (though to be fair it has some amount of red coloring).
  • Fake Nationality: Astrid is voiced by America Ferrera, who is of Honduran descent.
  • Focus Group Ending: Notably averted; the producers were concerned how audiences would react to the idea of Hiccup losing a foot in the battle against the Red Death dragon, but test audiences went up to them on their own account saying that they loved this powerful and daring twist for a family film and asked them to keep it.
  • Follow the Leader: The Arena Spectacular was obviously made fresh off the heels of the Walking With Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular success, and opted to make their dragon animatronics in the style of the dinosaurs (i.e. with realism in mind).
  • Production Posse: All save one of the actors playing the young Vikings have worked with each other before through various Apatow and Follow the Leader-esque R-rated comedies and play similar archetypes in this film that they embodied in their previous works (dorky Jay Baruchel, uber-nerd Christopher Mintz-Plasse, brash horndog Jonah Hill etc.). Of the six actors making up the film's young troupe, only America Ferrera (Astrid) had not been in a film with another actor in that group before.
  • Reality Subtext: Cressida Cowell said in a few interviews that she based Hiccup's relationship with Stoick off hers with her father. She felt like he was disappointed in her when she was in her twenties and that he was godlike, a paragon that she could never match. It didn't help that before How to Train Your Dragon became a hit, Cressida had a few picture books that were modest successes.
  • Release Date Change: The film was originally slated for release on November 20, 2009, but was pushed back to March 26, 2010 in order to avoid competition with A Christmas Carol and Avatar.
  • Sleeper Hit: Even though the film debuted at #1 in the box office, its premiere weekend take was judged a disappointment and people hastily wrote it off as a de facto failure. However, the film developed such ecstatic word of mouth that the film just kept going and going until it arguably regained #1 in week 4 (the official grosses put Kick-Ass on top by a few hundred thousand dollars, but Lionsgate counted Thursday night grosses into its weekend total, therefore indicating the possibility that Dragon was the actual winner) and definitely in week 5; it's a box office performance path that almost never happens nowadays! So, the "disappointment" became the spring pop culture sensation in 2010, finishing a shade under half a billion dollars worldwide when all was said and done.
  • Throw It In:
    • Both the lines "dat da da, we're dead" and "thank you for nothing, you useless reptile" were ad-libbed by Jay Baruchel. Other lines were also improvised, including much of Snotlout's dialogue in the scene where Gobber tells the teens how he lost his limbs.
    • The shot of Toothless opening his eyes after his wing temporarily blocks them from view is actually an animation mistake, but was kept in because it lent an eerie quality to the rest of the scene.
    • Toothless' slight hesitation to accept Hiccup's hand is actually a glitch in the animation software; the animators decided to keep it in because they thought the timing fit perfectly.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Crossing over with Executive Meddling, the film was originally going to be very close to the book, considerably Lighter and Softer than the end result; concept art shows a much younger Hiccup, Snotlout as a girl, a much smaller Toothless, Astrid with huge braids giving her a Helga look, and a lot more gags. Hiccup's mom was going to be in the film and act as a voice of reason, but the directors thought she took away from Hiccup and Stoick's relationship so they made her a Missing Mom instead. She appears in the sequel as a dragon tamer in her own right. In line with this, they were going to adapt book one, albeit with Hiccup, Snotlout and the other boys in training vanished.

      However, Snotlout is male in the original books, meaning that in that case they averted using Gender Flip — most likely when they decided to create Ruffnut, thus giving the group more gender balance without making Snotlout a girl.
    • Toothless' design was originally meant to be more canine-based, but it was changed to be feline-based instead after one of the directors saw a screensaver of a black panther.
    • Originally, Hiccup would emerge from the battle with the Red Death completely unscathed. The directors changed their minds because they felt that the Red Death was too great and powerful a threat to defeat without some kind of sacrifice being made, and that Hiccup losing his left foot drew an interesting parallel to Toothless.
    • According to the DVD commentary, the Village Elder had a larger role and doubled as the village's mystic in an early version of the film that contained more prophesies and magic.
  • The Wiki Rule: Yup.