DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon (Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, 2010), which sees a boy from a tribe of dragon-hating Vikings rebel against his elders once he realizes the fiery lizards may be misunderstood, represents the studio’s first foray into high fantasy, a genre defined by its texts’ ability to create, maintain and expand a fully fleshed-out alternative world. According to Alec Worley, such settings should reflect “a world furthest from our own, free of perceptual clutter.” 1 It is for this reason that the fantasy epic “almost invariably takes place in archaic worlds,” and “refers to the real world at its peril, since even the slightest twang of an inappropriate accent or a chance remark about ‘dwarf-tossing’ can break the spell and yank the audience back to earth.” 2 Conversely, DreamWorks—creators of such time, space and genre-bending fare as Shrek (Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, 2001), Shark Tale (Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron and Rob Letterman, 2004), and Kung Fu Panda (Mark Osborne and John Stevenson, 2008)—are a studio whose most successful franchises thrive on the cartoonal instability of their diegeses. This instability emanates from the inclusion of anachronisms, pop culture references and meta-humor, and places 228DreamWorks in a long tradition of animation that shies away from internal consistency within the construction of its worlds. With the relatively realistic approach found in Walt Disney’s popular features standing in contrast to the looser style of his contemporaries at Warner Bros., Fleischer and MGM, Paul Wells writes that cartoons and other animated films “look to create this unstable notion of time and space in order to interrogate and refute the logic imposed by time and space.” 3