Stars Trained on DreamWorks’ Dragon

DreamWorks Animation has signed a number of actors to lend their voices to the upcoming CG feature How to Train Your Dragon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gerard Butler (300), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Jonah Hill (Superbad), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) and Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up) will play characters in the fantasy toon, set for release on March 26, 2010.

Based on the first book in a series by author Cressida Cowell, How to Train Your Dragon is the story of a Viking boy named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third (Baruchel), who must prove his worthiness by capturing a fire-breathing beast. Buttler will portray the boy’s father, a Viking chief, while Ferrera plays Astrid, a fellow youngster who joins Hiccup on his quest. Hill takes on the role of village bully Snotlout, and Mintz-Plasse will voice Fishlegs, a small-minded oaf.

Attached to direct is Peter Hastings, who has helmed episodes of Nickelodeon’s animated series Catscratch and Disney’s One Saturday Morning. Produced by Bonnie Arnold, Dragon will follow Monsters vs. Aliens as DreamWorks Animations second film produced int its proprietary Ultimate 3D format. Monsters is slated for March 27, 2009.

Hill, Mintz-Plasse and Baruchel have all received screen notoriety under the wing of writer-director-producer Judd Apatow, who created the cult favorite TV series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared before putting his stamp on the hit comedy features The 40 Year Old Virgin, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Knocked Up and Superbad. The Apatow camp has become a popular pool for recruiting voice talent. Hill and Knocked Up co-star Seth Rogan can both be heard in 20th Century Fox Animation’s Horton Hears A Who! Rogan also voiced a CG-animated character in Paramount Pictures’ The Spiderwick Chronicles and was recently announced as part of the cast of Monsters vs. Aliens.