The second installment of the Vikings-and-dragons trilogy hit theaters this June and DreamWorks seems to have another winner on its hands. How to Train your Dragon 2 has memorable characters, exciting animation and loads of heart. But then you already knew that. So here are 5 interesting facts you might like to know about Hiccup, Toothless and the motley crew of adventurers that comprise the blockbuster flick.
- Toothless’ sounds – The Night Fury plays a prominent role in How to Train your Dragon and part of his popularity with audiences is due to his behavior and personality. The filmmakers made audio recordings of elephants, tigers, cats, horses and elephant seals and the voice of Supervising Sound Designer, Randy Thorn. All of these were put together to create the unique sounds made by Toothless. His personality was inspired by dogs, cats and horses; all of which happen to be extremely popular pets with children.
- Astrid’s Character was Created for the Movie – The refreshing romance between the two young Vikings – Hiccup and Astrid – is one of the highlights of the movie. But Astrid’s character (voiced by America Ferrara) does not exist in the books that inspired the movie. The producers felt the need for a strong female character that female viewers could identify with and Astrid fits the bill perfectly. Astrid’s is a strong and compelling personality that commands as much respect and importance as Hiccup’s.
- While the movie is based in the fictional location of Berk, the makers scoured several real-life locations to bring it to life. The Pacific coast inspired How to Train your Dragon 2’s water-based locations, while the wind-blown cliffs and raging seas owe much to the director’s memories of Iceland. All in all, the movie’s locations are a nicely judged combination of awe-inspiring locales and vibrant touristy places that will make you yearn to visit them.
- Gloria, the calm-tempered hippo of Madagascar appears in a surprising cameo role in How to Train your Dragon. Sharp-eyed audiences can spot her astride one of the dragons that surround Hiccup, Toothless and Astrid as they fly to Dragon Island. Gloria is one of the main characters in the Madagascar series, along with Alex the lion, Marty the zebra and Melman the giraffe.
- The movie’s original ending was changed to make it more realistic. Hiccup was supposed to survive the finale mostly unhurt but the directors felt that it would have tested audiences’ credulity too much. Since a Viking would never be able to beat the Red Death Dragon without getting battle-scarred, Hiccup loses part of his left leg, just like Toothless was parted from his left tail fin earlier in the movie.