The How to Train Your Dragon franchise has become a beloved part of the animated lexicon — and it looks like it's about to head into a new era. On Wednesday, DreamWorks Animation announced Dragons: The Nine Realms, a new animated series that will be debuting on both Hulu and Peacock later this year. The series is the third to draw inspiration from the original How to Train Your Dragon films following DreamWorks Dragons and DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders, and — most surprisingly — is set in the present day. The announcement included a teaser trailer and a new image for the series, both of which you can check out below.
In Dragons: The Nine Realms, which is 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 voice cast of Dragons: The Nine Realms is led by Jeremy Shada, who previously voiced Finn on Adventure Time and appeared on the Netflix fan-favorite series Julie and the Phantoms. The series is executive produced and showrun by John Tellegen. Executive producers on the series include Chuck Asten and Henry Gilroy, with Ben Sleven serving as supervising producer.
The news of Dragons: The Nine Realms comes just a few years after the debut of the final film in the flagship series, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. As that film's director, Dean DeBlois, explained in 2019, the ideal way to continue the franchise would be to set it in a wildly different era.
"We definitely wanted it to feel hopeful but also conclusive," DeBlois said at the time. "And I think what we tried to do was deliver a satisfying ending that ultimately meant that Hiccup and Toothless would go their separate ways, but also reassure the audience it was for the best, that we see them thrive in their adulthood. For me it's a satisfying end, and that was the intention, to really kind of bring it back to the disappearance of dragons and having them kind of fall away into legend, but we the audience kind of know they're still around. And beyond that, I don't own the franchise, so I think if Dreamworks wanted to open it up again at some point, I would hope that it a different timeline, different characters, with the Hiccup/Toothless story remained intact."
What do you think of the first look at Dragons: The Nine Realms? Will you be checking out the series when it debuts later this year? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Dragons: The Nine Realms will debut on Hulu and Peacock on Thursday, December 23rd.