Latinas Can Play Vikings! How To Train Your Dragon 2

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My tween son LOVES the first How to Train Your Dragon film.  Hiccup, Toothless, and Astrid have gone beyond the movie and drive his imagination.  We recently bought him a Toothless toy and he has spent much of the first weeks of summer running around the house playing with it.  (I’m thrilled that he’s face is not stuck in a video game!) So, I was skeptical if the second film could match the wonder and adventure the first movie had.

I’m thrilled to say that How to Train Your Dragon 2 exceeded it.  Picking up on the story five years later, the film goes on an adventure when someone is threatening to destroy the peaceful relationship that Hiccup has established between the Vikings and humans.  My entire family laughed, cried and gasped in certain parts of the film – really a great movie.

I was thrilled to sit down with America Ferrera (the voice of Astrid), Jay Beruchel (the voice of Hiccup) and director Dean DeBlois to discuss the making of How to Train Your Dragon 2 and a bit more.  Here goes:

Jay Beruchel on How Tween/Teen Characters can Relate the Film

“What my character is dealing with now is how do I reconcile who I think I want to be with what my parents expect of me and what my culture expects of me.  Is there a means of connecting the two and can can I find my way of reconciling them?  It’s a struggle that is very well known.”

America Ferrera on How a Latina can play a Viking

“I think that’s what is so awesome about animation.  Latinas can play a Viking.  It’s about creating a world that requires the suspension of our beliefs.  It’s so much fun and I’m so glad they were looking for the essence of the character instead of looking for someone that looked like her.

Dean DeBlois on How they prepared for How To Train Your Dragon 2

“We actually took a trip to Norway and then to the deep Arctic and rode around on snow mobiles,avoided polar bears and took incredible photographs of the light there.  That was filtered in to the movie.”

Jay Beruchel on Voicing Characters

“I actually prefer it.  Even though I’ve been acting since I was 12, it’s still unnatural for me to have all these people watching me.  This, I am so much more comfortable.  It’s just me in my own skin and at the end you are rewarded with this treat. You have no idea what it is going to look like.  When they draw the curtains, we get to watch it as fans whose voices are in it.  There’s no parallel for that.  It’s absolutely incredible.”


America Ferrera on Great Messages in the Film

“You can read into the film a ton of social and personal messages but a ton of out layers live in this world and its not a big deal.  Women are dragon tamers and it’s just normal. I believe we are all more the same than different.   I’ve been able to be in the industry in a time where those opportunities are more and more.  There are so many great stories to tell, especially in our Latino community.  ”

America Ferrera on an Ugly Betty reunion

“Anything is possible.”


How to Train Your Dragon 2 is now playing in theaters.

**Disclaimer: As I said before, this film made my entire family cry.  I wasn’t lying – everyone was in tears!  My 12 year old even turned to me and needed a big hug.  Be ready!**

Did you see How To Train a Dragon 2 yet?  Did your family love the first film?  What are your thoughts?





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