Prepare yourselves, because the PROTECT theme for Loot Wear this February has How to Train Your Dragon! So, grab your best tooth-deficient bestest dragon pal and saddle up for some trivia that you’re not even going to have to train for!
1. Toothless, the adorable dragon with no teefers, was inspired by your favorite pet friends! Cats, dogs, horses and salamanders were used to develop the friendly and expressive face of the current face of cute dragons. The Giant Salamander is also inspiration for Toothless and it’s the largest living amphibian — so pretty easy to smooth it from real-life to mythical while still bringing the cuteness.
2. During the ‘touch’ (trying not to spoil too much here) scene, it’s an animation error that gives it such a unique feel to Toothless’ expression. Sure, you may think it was written as a hesitant moment but it was more about a quirk of animating than anything else.
3. That Dragon Manual that Hiccup reads is actually a clever trick where English was twisted about to turn the characters of the alphabet into runes. If you squint, you can make out exactly what it says!
4. The Terrible Terrors unique voice comes directly from a sweet little purebred Chihuahua named Paco. The pup was found by a sound designer over at Skywalker Sound via a YouTube video of Paco and his cute self. So, there you go. Those ‘terrors‘ are actually from an ankle-high terror named Paco.
5. It was one of the lead animator’s children that inspired the scene where Toothless learns to smile. They took it directly from their own infant son’s first little quirk of a grin and found a way to bring that to our sweet lil’ dragon!
6. The movie was so incredibly popular that animal shelters said record numbers of black cats were adopted and named Toothless!
7. Skywalker Sound is responsible for the bulk of the voice work, music production and sound design within How to Train Your Dragon. Not familiar? I bet people in a galaxy far, far away are.
8. For the most part, character designs in computer-generated films are meant to be easy to design so that complications are kept to a minimum. Several moving parts to a character’s design outside of basic anatomy are flinch-inducing to an animator but in some cases it can’t be avoided. Gobber, for example, has fourteen different hand attachments thus definitely making him a bit more weighty design-wise but so very worth it.
9. In the book for How to Train Your Dragon, Toothless was not black but actually green with red hues. Not to mention, the book describes Toothless as far smaller than he is in the film. This was meant to kind of blow-up the concept for a more visually enticing look for not just films but merchandise.
10. Originally, the Night Fury species of dragons was meant to resemble closer to the wolf family of animals. It wasn’t until a screensaver featuring a leopard made designers contemplate a sleeker look to the dragons. Cuter and more approachable to children was definitely something that was put into thought.