Dragons: Race to the Edge

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Dragons: Race to the Edge TV Poster Image
 Popular with kidsParents recommend
Superb, slightly darker addition to series still great fun.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 21 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

This series illustrates the value in fighting for a worthy cause and persevering even when the journey is difficult. 

Positive Messages

Themes include courage, perseverance, and teamwork. Fighting the good fight isn't always easy, but it's important to stand up for those who can't do so for themselves. Friendship can see you through most challenges. There's a clear difference between right and wrong in this story, which makes it easy to root for the heroes' efforts. Hiccup learns that even as his life changes and his friends' focus extends beyond their little group, loved ones are there to support and help you. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Hiccup and his friends have very different personalities, but they're all courageous, unyielding, and unselfish in their quest to protect the dragons and each other. Villains are motivated by greed and revenge, which starkly contrasts the Riders' cause. 

Violence & Scariness

Many tense moments that show characters in danger of drowning, being shot by arrows, and otherwise threatened. Scary scenes of sea monsters (giant eels attack them in a few cases), and they're pursued by a vengeful prison escapee. Characters fight with clubs, crossbows, and their dragons' ability to breathe fire. Dragon bones hint at the animals' demise at the hands of a villain. 

Sexy Stuff
Language

Some rude language (e.g. butt). Infrequent use of "hell."

Consumerism

This show joins full-length movies, multiple previous series and specials, and an extensive marketing line of toys, games, and accessories in the Dragons franchise. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragons: Race to the Edge precedes the tale told in How to Train Your Dragon 2, following Hiccup, Toothless, and their friends as they battle a vengeful villain and try to solve a mystery about dragons in the process. There are many close calls for the story's heroes and numerous points at which characters shoot arrows at or wield clubs against each other. These and other tense moments may upset young viewers, but tweens and even teens will enjoy the constant action and adventure. As Hiccup wrestles with the uncertainties of adulthood, viewers see how strong family connections and friendships help him find his place. As with every other installment in the Dragons franchise, this story celebrates not only human relationships but also the special bonds between people and their pets. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byzonarocks22 February 23, 2019

Pretty good show - with some caveats

In general, this is a family-friendly, kid-friendly show that typically centers around positive values of hard work, team work, and family. There is violence -... Continue reading
Adult Written bywandasherald July 20, 2018

Characters are Mean

Although it is a great show for its animation, complexity of character, and sense of adventure, the main characters (especially Hiccup and Astrid) are very mean... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byaquasumak December 19, 2019

SO GOOD

This episode series takes place between the first and second movie, so Hiccup's mom is not in it. It can be a little scary at some parts. The characters ar... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byRy Rose July 1, 2019

Not a huge fan

I think it was good at first but then (around season 2) the episodes started being more like a repetitive plot of "Dragon/Dragon Rider is in trouble we nee... Continue reading

What's the story?

DRAGONS: RACE TO THE EDGE is set between the stories of How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2, with the Riders crew edging toward adulthood and beginning to pursue their individual interests. With Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera) headed off to the Berk Guard, Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) instructing the island's youngsters, Snotlout (Zack Pearlman) keeping busy in weapons manufacturing, and Teffnut (T.J. Miller) and Ruffnut (Andree Vermeulen) up to their usual antics, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is left to wonder where his destiny lies. But when Dagur the Deranged (David Faustino) escapes from Outcast Island and vows revenge on Hiccup, his friends and their dragons join his far-flung quest to capture his archenemy and make sense of the mysterious Dragon Eye they discover in the process.   

Is it any good?

This is another exceptionally crafted and beautifully animated installment in the saga of Hiccup, Toothless, and their human and dragon friends. Faithful fans will find the time line somewhat disjointed, given that its story occurs prior to that of the 2014 movie sequel, but overall it's a welcome retrospective that offers further insight into Hiccup's transition to adulthood and his state of mind prior to his life-altering experiences in How to Train Your Dragon 2.

Even so, Dragons: Race to the Edge has a dark, slightly ominous tone that's a concern for younger viewers more accustomed to happy endings with their cartoons. Not only is there a complex mystery that's unraveled slowly, leaving many cliffhangers and tense moments, there's also a villain who's quite cruel and vindictive. The story isn't without its levity and comical mishaps, but it's geared more toward tweens who can handle its caliber of suspense.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why creators told this story out of order. If you've seen How to Train Your Dragon 2, is Dragons: Race to the Edge's impact lessened by knowing what comes later in Hiccup's life? 

  • What makes Hiccup's relationship with Toothless so special? In what ways does it inspire the characters around them? Does a hero have to be someone famous, or can everyday actions make someone a hero? 

  • Did the violent sequences surprise you in any way? Were any of them too scary for your liking? 

  • What is this story's message about change? How do different characters react differently to growing up and accepting change? Can you relate to any of their experiences? 

  • How do the characters in Dragons: Race to the Edge demonstrate courage, perseverance, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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