As Disney showed earlier this week with the purchase Lucasfilm, it’s all about branding, merchandising and leveraging properties so they keep generating revenue as long as possible. And that’s no less true at the other major studios that continue to pursue tentpoles that can be sequelized, spun off, packaged in Happy Meals and more. All of which brings us to “How To Train Your Dragon.”
DreamWorks Animation honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg recently told analysts that licensed merchandise will become “a bigger part of DreamWorks Animation going forward than it had been” so to that end, it’s important to keep properties in front of audience. So, while the company’s very successful 2010 hit “How To Train Your Dragon” has a sequel coming in 2014, they are already talking about getting a third movie going. Right now it’s just at the “looking at” phase, but frankly, it seems like an inevitability.
But four years between ‘Dragon’ and ‘Dragon 2’ is a pretty long time these days, so until they decide on a third entry and to make sure no one forgets who these characters, a holiday special is on its way. “DreamWorks Dragons: Gift Of The Night Fury” will air on December 17th on Fox at 8 p.m. While it might seem new, it’s actually a short that was released last year on DVD and Blu-ray along with “Book Of Dragons.” But hey, it might get those kids to quiet down for thirty mintues. Here’s the synopsis:
GIFT OF THE NIGHT FURY is a story of faith, love and friendship that takes viewers on an adventure of dragon-sized proportions as the villagers of Berk prepare for the winter holidays. As the festivities approach, the dragons make a sudden mass exodus, leaving HICCUP (Jay Baruchel), ASTRID (America Ferrera), STOICK (Gerard Butler) and the rest of the gang saddened by the loss of their winged friends. A wild turn of events leads Hiccup to discover a mysterious, never-before-seen island and learn the true reason why the dragons left the village. Friendship and loyalty abound in this touching holiday tale of spreading one’s wings, but always staying close to home. As Hiccup says, “The only real comfort against the cold are those you keep close to your heart.”