Here we are again! Can't believe it was 2010 that Dragon 1 was released or that it was almost 10 years ago that I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to explore this amazingly fun world of vikings and dragons.
In the summer of 2011, luck shined my way again and I was happy to revisit Hiccup, Toothless and the inhabitants of Berk. A lot had changed for Hiccup, they were all 5 years older, dragons were an everyday thing and Hiccup's mom was found. WHAT!?!?!?!
Valka, Hiccup's long lost mother was going to be reintroduced to her Dragon Rider son as the core of Dragon 2's story. Valka is basically the Jane Goodall of the dragon world, a fierce environmentalist determined to save ALL dragons.
Now as ever, these films go through change after change, as is the process. Frustrating though it can be. But, with the right creative leadership in place those changes count and make the film better with each passing year, as is the case with Dragon 2.
Valka changed A LOT! As did the villian of the film, Drago. (- We'll get into him in a later post.)
But for the time I was storyboarding on the film, Valka was actually the villian of Dragon 2. She was crazy. Batshit crazy. She went nuts when she found out Hiccup was the reason Toothless lost part of his tail, furious when Astrid and the gang showed up and eventually attacked Berk to free the dragons! Very different than what's in the final film.
But, again all films change. These changes were very much for the better.
So, in this first version of Drago's attack on Valka's ice fortress, you'll see that she was way less sympathetic.
In part 1, Hiccup, Stoick, Gobber, Valka have their reunion interrupted by the attack. She's going to blame Hiccup and Stoick for bringing all these outsiders to her doorstep, friend or foe, she's gonna kill them all. YIKES! Relax, Valka.
What's nice is that even though characters personalities changed quite a bit of my cinematography remained in the final film.
Valka slipping on the ice while she ran was my little addition too and it made it into the finished animation. (;^P
(- The first 7 panels drawn by the fabulously talented Rodolphe Guenoden!!!)