I still haven’t seen the original movie, How to Train Your Dragon, but I got a chance to check out the first two episodes of the second season of the spinoff TV show DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk. (The first season was titled DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, so responsibilities have been amped up. If you’d like to catch up, it’s available on DVD in two parts.)
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless
The show is notable for retaining much of the same voice cast as the original film, with lead Hiccup voiced by Jay Baruchel (This Is the End). Other original cast members include America Ferrera (Astrid), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs), and T.J. Miller (Tuffnut). Additional voices are done by the experienced Tim Conway (Mulch), Mark Hamill (Alvin the Treacherous), Stephen Root (Mildew), and Tom Wilson (Bucket).
Astrid (America Ferrera) and Stormfly
The first episode of season two, “Live and Let Fly”, opens with Hiccup’s dad, the chieftain, grounding the Viking kids and their dragons out of concern for their safety. Without being able to fly, the dragons become restless and resentful, so the kids form “Dragon Flight Club” to train secretly. The computer animation is impressive, particularly the fast-paced flying scenes and dragon battles. There’s also a nice theme about balancing obeying rules from over-protective parents with doing what you think is right.
Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Meatlug
Alvin and his Outcast Tribe continue trying to attack our heroes’ village, which makes for an underlying threat throughout the series, while each episode has its own story as well. In “The Iron Gronckle”, the second episode, Fishlegs retires from the group because Meatlug is slower than the other dragons. After attempting to eat their feelings, they discover that Meatlug’s lava results in a new kind of light-but-strong metal that makes great new weapons.
DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk airs on Cartoon Network Thursdays at 7:30 PM Eastern/Pacific, 6:30 PM Central/Mountain, so the next new episode will be on October 3. Here’s the season trailer: