How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the English 2003 book of the same name. Some fun facts about How to Train Your Dragon:
- The appearance and personality of Toothless was inspired by cats, dogs, and horses. The face also bears some resemblance to the giant salamander, largest amphibian in the world.
- When Hiccup reads the Dragon Manual, the writings in it are actually in plain English cryptographed into runes. With a small effort, you can read what Hiccup is saying, e.g. “Speed Unknown”.
- In the book of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, Hiccup doesn’t have a love interest. Furthermore, Toothless the dragon in the book is about the size of the Terrible Terror breed, and he is also green and red, not black. Toothless also got his name because when Hiccup first found him he had no teeth. He grew one tooth, only to lose it shortly later. The producers decided, with the approval of author Cressida Cowell, that it would be more cinematic to make Toothless large enough to be ridden as a flying mount. As such, Toothless was completely redesigned as a rare Night Fury, a highly intelligent breed of dragon evolved for speed and stealth. His personal name in the film derives from Hiccup’s observation about how his teeth are normally retracted into his jaws so they don’t interfere with his fire breathing, which is typically projected as an explosive pulse.
- David Tennant, who narrated the ‘How To Train Your…’ Audio Books, also narrates some features on the film’s website and voices a cameo role, though his character is not identified within the film.
- The creature sounds and audio effects in the film were mostly created at Skywalker Sound.
- The sounds of Toothless (the Night Fury) are a combination of various sounds, including the voice of Supervising Sound Designer Randy Thom, elephant seals, elephants, horses, tigers, and even domestic cats. The elephant seal sounds used were recordings of elephant seal pups at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, a marine mammal hospital that rescues, rehabilitates and releases sick and injured seals, sea lions, whales, and dolphins.
- The sounds the Terrible Terrors make, including growling, are actually based upon a purebred Chihuahua named Paco from Cottage Grove, Oregon. Nia Hansen, a sound designer at Skywalker Sound, contacted his owners after seeing a video of Paco on YouTube, and Paco was paid $100 for his voice work.
- The hammer used by Stoick bears a strong resemblance to the mythological hammer Mjolnir wielded by Thor.
- The Night Fury dragon species was originally going to be more wolf like in appearance. Instead, a Dreamworks employee’s computer screen saver of a black leopard inspired the film’s creators to make Toothless more feline in appearance.
- The name of the village, Berk, is a British derogatory term derived from the cockney rhyming slang “Berkshire Hunt”. “Berk” is commonly used as an affectionate put down for a fool by people unaware of its true origins.
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