Dreamworks has done very, very well with its How to Train Your Dragon franchise. Three extremely well-received movies, two animated TV series that have been running concurrently since 2012, and a horde of other media tie-ins have made it one of the most beloved kids’ series of the 21st century. So it’s surprising to discover how much Dreamworks is willing to shake up the formula with its newest Dragons series.
Unlike all the other installments in the series, which take place in a fantasy Viking-era setting, the upcoming Dragons: The Nine Realms takes place… now. According to the press release:
“Set 1,300 years after the events of How to Train Your Dragon, dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens up an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth’s surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon a group of misfit kids, brought to the site by their parents, uncover the truth about dragons and where they’ve been hiding — a secret they must keep to themselves to protect what they’ve discovered.”
The first teaser trailer doesn’t hold any other clues, but it certainly sounds like Adventure Time’s Jeremy Shada voices the lead.
I never really considered the Dragons movies to have taken place on Earth — our Earth — given all the dragons flying about, so the discovery that they’re part of the real world is actually more jarring to me than the enormous time-skip. Although since the show is titled “The Nine Realms” there’s presumably some space for inter-dimensional Norse chicanery. Still, it’s very weird to realise the films’ stars Hiccup, Astrid, Fishlegs, and Snotlout are all going to be long-dead when the show takes place.
Dragons: The Nine Realms debuts on December 23 on both Hulu and Peacock streaming services.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.