‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Proves How to Finish a Trilogy

While not exactly a golden rule, it is known fact that if a movie does well in the box office, chances are good that it will be followed by sequel and more often than not, we’ve come to expect that the sequel won’t measure up to the original. Add a third movie to the mix and you’re just asking for trouble. With animated movies, the expectations are often even lower. (Is anyone really surprised that the Ice Age movies keep getting worse?) But sometimes, as is the case with the Disney/Pixar Toy Story movies, we’re pleasantly surprised. Now you can add How to Train Your Dragon to that short list too.

One thing that DreamWorks Animation has understood about this series is that the story comes first, the hijinks come later. The very first Dragon movie proved that way back in 2010 with a strong story and with each chapter that has come after it, that story just keeps getting better. What started out as a cute kid’s story has become a powerful trilogy. We've seen these chara…

‘American Ninja Warrior’ Special #3

Back Row (l-r) Kenji Takahashi, Masashi Hioki, Yusuke Morimoto, Ryo Matachi, Tomo Kawaguchi, Sean McColl, Alexander Mars, Tim Shieff, Stefano Ghisolfi, Tim Champion; Front Row (l-r) Kevin Bull, Drew Drechsel, Geoff Britten, Isaac Caldiero, Ian Dory  (Photo by: David Becker/NBC)
American Ninja Warrior: USA vs the World #3, a title that sounds more important than it is, will air this Sunday, January 31 at 8:00 p.m. on NBC. It’s the American franchise’s third international competition pitting USA “warriors” against Team Japan and Team Europe. It’s sort of the Olympics for people who ca do things that you and I will never do. It’s the ultimate obstacle course and even though you are pulling for your team to be victorious, you still want everyone to win.

Kevin Bull
Kevin Bull (Photo by: David Becker/NBC)
When the first AMW special aired two years ago, USA vs Japan, the Japanese team was expected to win. American Ninja Warrior is actually based on Sasuke, the Japanese version of the show which has been airing on TV for 30 seasons, so they have a lot more practice. But Team USA won and Team Japan was devastated. Last year, Team Japan was invited back and NBC added Team Europe who ended up taking home the trophy.

This year’s team include:

Team USA: Joe Morasvsky, Kevin Bull, Drew Drechsel and Isaac Caldiero (the first $1 million dollar winner of seven season)

Team Japan: Ryo Matachi and Yusuke Morimoto (who were in last year’s competition), Kenji Takahashi, Massashi Hioki and Tomohiro Kawaguchi.

Team Europe: Returning champs Sean McColl (France), Stefano Ghisolfi (Italy) and Tim Shieff (England) along with Tim Champion (England) and Alexander Mars (Sweden)

Drew Drechsel
Drew Drechsel (Photo by: David Becker/NBC)
As always, American Ninja Warrior: USA vs the World will be hosted by Matt Iseman and the man with the last name that nobody can pronounce, Akbar Gbajabiamila along with Kristine Leahy who will interview the competitors who fall into the drink below. The special was filmed in Las Vegas and highlights the first three stages of “Mr. Midoriyama” course featured in the regular show.

American Ninja Warrior is expected to air another full season in late spring.


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