How To Train Your Dragon 2 director, from Aylmer, excited for Oscars
'I was very aware of the curse of sequels,' Dean DeBlois says of working on 2nd franchise instalment
The director and writer behind the successful How To Train Your Dragon film franchise, who hails from Aylmer, Que., says finding out the second instalment was nominated for the best animated feature Oscar was like Christmas all over again.
During the live broadcast of the nominee announcements, Dean DeBlois was in bed at his Los Angeles home.
"It's like Christmas morning, I just don't sleep. I'm like a kid at Christmas. I was in bed, pointlessly trying to fall asleep, and then they did a live broadcast of the announcement of the nominees, and so I was watching that ... and it was very exciting to hear How To Train Your Dragon 2 mentioned in the mix," DeBlois said.
DeBlois counts some of the filmmakers behind this year's other nominated films (Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) as friends, and he said it's nice to be able to cheer each other on, regardless of who wins.
It won't be DeBlois's first time at bat at the Oscars. The first instalment of the series, released in 2010, was also nominated for best animated feature but lost to Toy Story 3.
It's also the second time the films have been up for best animated feature at the Golden Globes. The first instalment lost in 2010, but the second won this year.
The history of second films in film franchise history is littered with duds, and DeBlois said he was very conscious of that while working on the film.
"I would never be as presumptuous as to think that I had an Oscar movie, but I was very aware of the curse of sequels and the disappointing nature of them in general. So from the outset we were trying to tell a story that actually takes place at a completely different time period and rite of passage in our main character's life," he said.
"It was a question I asked the crew constantly. Is this as good? Is this as good or better than the first? Or are we re-treading or falling short of that mark?"
As for this year's Oscars, DeBlois said he plans to take his mother — again — as well as his husband.
"I don't know how many tickets I get. ... I would love to be able to bring the whole family if I could."
DeBlois is currently writing the script for the third film, which is slated for release in 2017.
To hear an All in a Day interview from several years ago, when the first film was nominated for an Academy Award, click the Soundcloud link below.
On mobile? Click here to hear the archival interview.