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Behind the Scenes at "How to Train Your Dragon"
Dragons Just Wanna Be Friends
By Krystal Ralston
A parent’s job today is so prosaic. We potty-train our toddlers, teach them how to tie their shoelaces, help them learn to ride a bike and to distinguish the di" erence between right and wrong.
Life is a little more exciting in the latest world unveiled by Dreamworks Animation, where any father worthy of the name “dad” has only one responsibility: to teach his kid how to fight and slay dragons.
How to Train Your Dragon, which opens in theaters March 26, is a story set in a mythical world where fighting dragons is a way of life and children are raised to be Vikings. Based on the children’s novel that became a series in the UK, it is an action and adventure film with stunning 3D graphics that bring the images to life for children, while cracking inbetween- the-lines jokes that only their parents will catch.
Here, Gerald Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera and Jay Baruchel discuss the everyday challenges, mishaps and enjoyment that come with starring in an animated feature.
Baruchel, who has starred in Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder, says he embraced the idea of playing his usual coming-of-age kid persona with the role of Hiccup, a teenager looking to prove himself afe ghter – but can barely lifian ax. And when he finally captures a dragon, he cannot bring himself to end its life, and decides to set it free, only to find that it is fairly harmless and takes a liking to him.
Inspired by Sword in the Stone
The awkward, youthful nature of Hiccup allowed Baruchel to see himself within the character.
“I relate to him, because he is real skinny and childlike.
And his dad wants him to be more athletic and physical than he wants to be,” Baruchel says.
This " lm draws comparisons to the Sword in the Stone, the 1963 Disney animation about Ward, a young boy who is pushed by his elders to become a warrior while still moving through the awkward stage of young adulthood – only to get help from an outside source. That classic film had a strong impact on Baruchel and he used the memory to interpret his character in the new movie.