For How to Train Your Dragon 3, that journey has spanned over a decade. The final installment finds protagonist Viking Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), while on a quest to find a mysterious dragon utopia known as The Hidden World, has to come to terms with dragon Toothless falling for a female Light Fury, and he must consider who he would be without his trusted friend by his side.
“The thematic controlling idea of this final installment of the trilogy is a parental one,” said writer and director Dean DeBlois during the studio’s presentation at Deadline Contenders New York. “It’s what every parent has to go through when their child reaches a certain age and that’s to fly free and follow their own destiny. It does kind of grow up with the audience over time.
Reflecting on the past 10-years, the two-time Oscar nominee expressed his pride for the trilogy.
“We painted ourselves a target and said we’re going to tell a bittersweet story of transformation, said DeBlois, who was joined onstage by voice actor F. Murray Abraham. “The dragons will go away at the end but our characters will finally come into fruition through all the changes that happen within the decade, including Dreamworks being sold, We managed to stick to that target. It’s a very different story. It’s different for Dreamworks and different within the world of animation. It takes consequence seriously and it’s, in some cases, a mature universal right of passage and its true to itself.”
Written and directed by Jill Culton and co-produced by DWA and Pearl Studio, Abominable centers around rebellious and intelligent young Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet), who meets a young Yeti on the roof of her Shanghai apartment building and heads to the Himalayas to reunite the creature with his family.
The female protagonist is nothing new in the animation space but Culton didn’t want to follow the traditional character archetype.
“I grew up watching princess movies and I would enjoy them but there was nothing in it that related to me. So for me writing this character, it was really important to have a tenacious character who is tough. She’s the one who’s not afraid to sleep in the woods,” said Culton.
“We did a little bit of role reversal in this movie and really gave her a tenacity and a leap before you look mentality that sometimes gets her into trouble which is great but she really has this faith that she can make this impossible journey and she has the personality to back it up.”