Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dragons: Riders of Berk - now on DVD

We loved Dreamworks' "How to Train Your Dragon," so we were thrilled to see that they have now developed a TV series based on the film - "Dragons: Riders of Berk." I was even more thrilled when I was offered the chance to receive and review an advance copy of the first four episodes on DVD, which released January 1.

Here is the official synopsis for the DVD:

Buckle up for more high-flying action and fire-breathing fun with this thrilling debut of the animated TV series based on the Academy Award®-nominated hit movie How To Train Your Dragon! The epic story of Hiccup, Toothless and his fearless friends continues with 4 explosive episodes filled with all-new adventures and exciting, never-before-seen dragons.

Included in the DVD are 5 Collectible Dragon Training Cards featuring an augmented reality mobile experience. The augmented reality app can be downloaded at dreamworksanimation.com/ar. Use it to bring the Dragon cards to life! Collect them all!
The story takes place, of course, in Berk, and it follows the trials, tribulations, and joys of the Vikings and dragons learning to live together. The dragons are having some difficulty integrating into society, and each episode focuses on the two parties learning just a little more about each other, and how they can help each other in daily life.

A new character, Mildew, joins the cast for this series. He is a grumpy old Viking living on the edge of the village, who always has a complaint about everything. He does not approve of the dragons living in Berk and would like nothing more than to see them gone. Having Mildew as a sort of foil to the ever-optimistic Hiccup helps to bring some conflict into the stories and keep things interesting.

The writing in these 4 episodes is just as good as in the movie. The dragons really show unique personalities and we learn about their characters along with the residents of Berk.

The DVD comes with 5 dragon cards, each depicting one of the main dragons in the story. One side of the card contains a description, stats, and training tips, while the other shows the name and an AR enabled image.  The free Dreamworks AR app can be downloaded from their website, or through APP store or Google Play. When activated, the AR app brings the dragons to life in a brief fly-by.

He was there a second ago!
Overall, an enjoyable series that is now a regular viewing for 7 year-old Little Boo and for me. The show airs on Teletoon (check your local listings), or pick up the DVD for viewing on your own schedule.

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