I know I'm not alone in this. I can list tons of movies over the last several years which started off strong, brilliant, even, but were tarnished by unnecessary, sub-par sequels. Shrek, anyone? Or, how about Pirates of the Caribbean? So it's no surprise that I am profoundly unhappy to learn that Dreamworks Animation is calling How to Train Your Dragon their "next franchise."
Please, NO! I can understand making a sequel if the purpose is to continue the book series on which the original was based (a la Harry Potter or Twilight), but if it's just for the big bucks? If the second movie isn't called How to be a Pirate (the second of Cressida Cowell's books), I may abstain from watching. This has me trembling with sadness.
A few days ago, I was worried that HTTYD would leave theaters prematurely, and wanted everyone I'd ever known to go see it. Now that I know it's doing so well that Dreamworks has hoisted it up to relieve the dwindling Shrek, I almost want to recant and say, "Just wait for DVD," so that it will stop making money and no longer hold a cash-cow potential. For all of its flaws (and I'll admit, it has some), it's far too honest, too sweet, too emotional-- to good, even!-- for that. I mean, I haven't seen a better movie in theaters in the past five years (or, at least, not one that made me so irrepressibly happy), and the LAST thing I want is to see these beloved characters get sucked into the Dreamworks whirlpool.
Can you imagine how heartbroken I would be to show up to a movie theater in 2013, and hear Toothless voiced by Chris Rock, or something like that? Surely this is NOT the direction they would go. Surely they will be able to retain the heart and depth of the original... I hear there is even going to be a television series. Oh... I can only hope that the original directors stay with the project. And, even if the next five to seven years of the proposed Dragon franchise are dotted with horrendous additional storylines, uncharacteristic pop-culture references, and a slew of hokey merchandise...
at least we will still have the original.