How to Dance With Your Animatronic Dragon


To keep fans satisfied until How to Train Your Dragon 2 comes out in 2014, DreamWorks has created How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular, a live-action stage show featuring massive animatronic dragons. The show just finished touring in Australia in New Zealand, and now it's heading to the US. Tour dates haven't been confirmed yet, but it looks like it took about two weeks between the Australia and New England runs, so I imagine we'll be seeing it this summer.

One might imagine a collection of horrible-looking puppets dancing around on stage, but that couldn't be further from the case. DreamWorks enlisted the assistance of Global Creatures, the company that created Walking with Dinosaurs, and the production cost about $20 million. While a few of the smaller dragons are human-sized and filled with an obvious puppeteer, the larger dragons are all spectacular animatronics, and are much more life-like than one would imagine. Most of them walk by means of a support beam underneath them, but there are a few that don't need that beam. That's right: they fly. The show knows exactly what its selling point is, and gives the dragons full focus with minimalisitic sets that rely on wall and floor projections for scene changes.

The story is lifted directly from the movie, and it doesn't seem like the dialogue has changed much, if at all. The acting doesn't look fantastic, but that could partially be the nature of unprofessionally recorded theatre. Having such expensive animatronics means that they can't sell the action of battle, since hitting those things would probably cost a few years of salary to repair the damages. Even then, this still looks like it could keep an audience enthralled with the dragons alone. Hit the jump for some footage of the on-stage action and interviews with some of the cast, as well as a closer look at some of those awesome dragons.

[Via /Film]

In favor of saving the best for last, this video probably gives the best view of the dragons and the kind of motion they're capable of.

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Jenika Katz
Jenika KatzFormer Editor   gamer profile

Jenika is a mystery. Who is she? What is she? Where is she? Most likely, she's smelling your hair when you're not looking. more + disclosures



Filed under... #adaptation #animation #DreamWorks #puppets #video



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