This summer, How to Train Your Dragon 2 will continue the story of the excellent 2010 fantasy adventure How to Train Your Dragon, picking up five years later and documenting the further adventures of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) - now in his last teens - and his friendly dragon, Toothless.
Five years is a long time, however, and fans of the franchise may be curious as to what happened to Hiccup, his friends, and their home island of Berk in the interim time. To answer that question, DreamWorks Animation launched a TV series based on the movie called DreamWorks Dragons, which premiered on Cartoon Network in 2012 and has run for two seasons so far.
DreamWorks Dragons has received positive reviews and won several Annie Awards, but now it's ready to move home. Netflix has announced that, as of spring 2015, both past and new episodes of Dreamworks Dragons will be available on the on-demand streaming site as part of Netflix's growing selection of original series. Obviously the claim to originality is a little fuzzy, but the press release states that Netflix will produce multiple new seasons of DreamWorks Dragons, with showrunners Art Brown and Douglas Sloan continuing to helm the series.
This isn't the first time that Netflix has picked up and continued an existing series; the sixth and final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was released exclusively on Netflix, along with the previous five seasons earlier this year. It's a smart way of drawing in new customers who may have enjoyed watching these animated series on TV and want to know what happens next. Netflix's competitor Hulu is currently considering doing something similar in reviving the recently-cancelled NBC comedy Community for a sixth season. (... And a movie?)
Several principal cast members from the first movie - including Baruchel, America Ferrera, T.J. Miller and Christopher Mintz-Plasse - will continue to reprise their roles as the young dragon riders of Berk. The series doesn't quite have the budget for Gerard Butler, however, so veteran video game voice actor Nolan North plays Hiccup's father, Stoick the Vast, and Zack Pearlman (The Inbetweeners) voices Jonah Hill's character, Snotlout.
The first two seasons of DreamWorks Dragons were subtitled Riders of Berk and Defenders of Berk, respectively, so it's likely that Netflix's new episodes will also get their own subtitles. The series explains how the harmonic co-existence between the Vikings and dragons of Berk came to be established, and includes the origins of the Dragon Training Academy and Hiccup's flight suit. Depending on how well How to Train Your Dragon 2 performs this summer, DreamWorks Dragons could easily end up drawing new crowds to Netflix.
DreamWorks Dragons will arrive on Netflix in spring 2015.