How to Train Your Dragon Can Avoid the Live-Action Disney Curse

It was recently announced that casting has begun for the live-action version of How to Train Your Dragon, with Gerard Butler reprising his role in the remake. The original film series, beloved by children and parents alike, has made a scandalous amount of money at the box office, and the live-action version is poised to do the same. The question is whether Dreamworks will be able to get it right where Disney has failed.

Turning an animated property into live-action is a dicey proposition for many reasons. However, it appears to be something that studios are currently pivoting towards in place of creating brand-new content. How to Train Your Dragon may be Dreamworks' attempt to dip their toes in and see if the proposition is worth their time. Before they find out, here are some things they need to consider before proceeding.

Proper Casting for How to Train Your Dragon

Right now, we're hearing a lot about casting. There are confirmations and rumors, but some of the good news is some of the best news. As previously mentioned, actor Gerard Butler has signed on to reprise his role of Stoick the Vast, the tribe leader and father to the main character, Hiccup. Butler is the perfect actor for the role he originated mainly because he seems to have no fear of making fun of himself. You can be sure he will be in a full Viking outfit, complete with a horned helmet and scraggly beard.

See also  Harry Potter Show Gets Promising Progress Update In New Report

Butler has begun taking roles that will make him happy, and that will bring joy to others. He does not come across as a particularly self-important individual, and his voice acting in the original film proves that. The other great star is Nick Frost, who is taking over the role of Gobber, originally voiced by Craig Ferguson. He's a huge source of comedy and good-natured fun. It is a perfect role for Frost as he has proven his jovial wit in various films, including the Cornetto Trilogy.

The other casting announcements show that the studio wants to bring new blood to star opposite seasoned actors. Mason Thames (The Black Phone) will star as Hiccup, the role originally voiced by Jay Baruchel. Baruchel's voice was perfect for the young dragon rider, but in reality, he cannot pull off the role of a young teenager while looking very much like his forty-one-year-old self. Thames is sixteen and can undoubtedly carry the role of a younger teenager. Baruchel laid the groundwork for the character to whom Mason will bring wide-eyed innocence and a desperate need to belong.

Nico Parker (The Last of Us) will be playing the role of Astrid, originally voiced by America Ferrera, one of the best How to Train Your Dragon characters. Astrid is Hiccup's main crush/love interest and a warrior in her own right. Where Hiccup is the foppish weirdo trying to fit in, Astrid is the cool-headed upstart willing to train and fight to get exactly what she wants. Their relationship evolves over the course of the animated films and will most likely follow the same arc through the live-action movie. So far, the film has not resorted to stunt-casting and is finding actors that fit their specific roles. These individuals come with their own filmographies that lend themselves to the prospects of a great film.

See also  John Krasinski’s IF Looks Eerily Similar to This Classic Cartoon

The Effects Are Important to How to Train Your Dragon

Special effects are critical to How to Train Your Dragon. We know from many shows (Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, etc.) that dragon effects are not terribly difficult to create. However, the sheer variety of dragons and their personalities must appear in these films.

Dreamworks has already been working on this type of concept with their in-person shows that feature full-sized animatronic dragons that interact with human actors in front of crowds. These are consistently fun and interesting to watch while keeping a sense of their cartoonish origins. These shows may have been a precursor to any possible movies that would come next, and audience responses may have been one of the key pieces that made the live-action How to Train Your Dragon film possible. However, How to Train Your Dragon cannot be bogged down in special effects. It must have great effects, but they should come second to a very important aspect that made the animated film so beloved.

Keep the Heart of How to Train Your Dragon

Hiccup and his group of cronies are an enormous dysfunctional family. It is a village of weirdos and heroes and everyone in between. For this live-action version to work, the director, Dean Deblois, must remember that audiences know this story inside and out. His job is to retell it in his own way.

A live-action film must differ from its source material in some ways because sometimes animation is allowed to go places that real people can't. Yet, this should not be a hindrance. It should be a challenge for the director and his actors to create something that can stand independently. Nobody is asking for a shot-for-shot remake. If that were the case, people would watch the original. Audiences want something fresh and interesting without a Disney remake feel. It has to be genuine and allow its actors to do something different enough that people will enjoy it for what it is.

See also  Boy Swallows Universe Ending Explained

In the end, if How to Train Your Dragon feels like a Disney live-action remake, such as The Little Mermaid or Pinnochio, people will be disappointed, and the Dreamworks live-action experiment will be over before it begins. But they have proven themselves wonderful storytellers who can go in very non-Disney directions. Hopefully, all of these things will work in their favor. How to Train Your Dragon is available to stream now on Netflix.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!

Related Posts

OG Jumanji Star Reveals Whether They’ve Been Approached For New Sequels

Original Jumanji star David Alan Grier reveals whether they've been approached for new sequels. The 1995 film, based on Chris Van Allsburg's classic children's novels, follows Judy and Peter…

Harry Potter Show Gets Promising Progress Update In New Report

Warner Bros.’s plans for a Harry Potter television reboot have gotten a promising update courtesy of a new report. First announced in April last year, Warner Bros.’s Max streaming…

“If You Force Something, Readers Will Pick Up on That”: Garfield Creator Jim Davis Disagrees with Pretty Much Every Author’s Favorite Writing Advice

Almost all successful writers are prone to giving the same advice: whether what they produce is good or bad, one must write every day, in order to…

Marvel Just Set Up a Shocking Hero to Replace Kang as the MCU’s Next Big Bad

Marvel has just opened the door for a surprising candidate to replace Kang the Conqueror as the next Big Bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the Master of Kung Fu…

The Holdovers 2 Gets The National Lampoon Treatment In Imaginative Poster Art

The Holdovers gets an imaginative poster for a hypothetical sequel parodying the style of National Lampoon's Vacation. Similar to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, The Holdovers has been labeled a Christmas classic. The…

Constantine’s Answer to the Batmobile Is Absolutely Perfect (& Needs to Be in Any Movie Reboot)

Usually, when John Constantine has to go somewhere, he simply calls upon his best friend Chas to drive him. Now that he's out of England and in a world…