'Dragons: Race to the Edge:' 5 Things to Know About the Netflix Series

Dragons: Race to the Edge Still - H 2015

Dragons: Race to the Edge Still - H 2015

Hiccup and Toothless are back. DreamWorks Animation is expanding its How To Train Your Dragon franchise with the first 13-episode season of Netflix original series, Dragons: Race To The Edge, which premieres on Friday.

Here are THR's 5 things to know about the new series.

The series plays off the successful film franchise.

2010’s How To Train Your Dragon  and 2014’s How To Train Your Dragon 2, based on the books of Cressida Cowell, both earned Academy Award nominations for best animated feature. Combined, the films have grossed more than $1 billion at the box office.

The final film in the trilogy is in the works and scheduled for a 2018 release. DWA also produced two seasons of a TV series based on the franchise: Dragons: Riders of Berk and Dragons: Defenders of Berk.

For the new Netflix series, the films' Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera return to provide the voices of Hiccup and Astrid.

The series takes place in the period between the first two How To Train Your Dragon films.

In the series, Hiccup and his best friend, the dragon Toothless, discover an artifact known as the Dragon Eye, and this will take Hiccup, Toothless and the dragon riders from their home in Berk to a lush island know as Dragon's Edge, where the story is set.

This is described as the "college years" of these characters. “The experiences [Hiccup] has in this series shape him into becoming a leader and ultimately chief,” said executive producer Art Brown.

The series also broadens the How To Train Your Dragon story by revealing new information including how Stoick met his Rumblehorn dragon, Skullcrusher; and where villain Drago Bludvist came from.

There will be new dragons in the series.

Night Terrors are nocturnal bat-like dragons that travel in packs; Snow Wraiths walk on two hind legs and use claws on its wings to grip ice; and Razorwhips have barbed telescopic tails.

The Death Song lures dragons to its island with a hypnotic call, and it spits an amber-like substance at its prey to form a cocoon.

And the Catastrophic Quaken rolls up into a boulder-like ball, smashes into the ground and creates huge shock waves that can knock dragons out of air.

DWA says it took a "cinematic" approach to the animation.

“We want to come as close as possible to matching the look and feel of the movies,” says Gregg Goldin, executive in charge of production. “Viewers will see a lot of ship-to-air combat scenes, plus tidal waves, rainstorms, vast oceans — even underwater shots."

He added: "The Death Song shoots a liquid amber that is technically difficult to accomplish but looks amazing on screen. The Razorwhip has reflective, highly textured scales, filled with different colors.”

Race to the Edge is part of a multi-year deal through which Netflix will offer DWA-produced original series.

DWA previously created Netflix series Turbo F.A.S.T., VeggieTales in the House, All Hail King Julien and The Adventures of Puss in Boots.

Additional series are being planned as part of the DWA/Netflix deal.