Goode recalled first arising with the thought for “American Dragon: Jake Lengthy” across the 12 months 2000 as a pitch for the folks at Fox, who have been in search of “a present that would seem to the ‘Harry Potter’ viewers.” Initially, the present was going to be live-action and aimed toward older audiences, with Jake being 18 in the beginning of the present.
“Within the pilot, his mother and father are murdered by dragon hunters, and so the story was him adventuring throughout the nation looking for one other dragon, and making an attempt to satisfy magical creatures that lived in several elements of the U.S.,” Goode defined. We might meet the trolls below the Brooklyn Bridge one episode, and discover the Sasquatch in Idaho in one other. Goode described the tone as just like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” And a giant departure from what the cartoon turned was that the Huntsman was not a villain, however Jake’s mentor, coaching him in his dragon-slaying methods whereas they discovered a dragon that might train Jake to be an precise dragon.
As tends to occur, nonetheless, the present was not picked up by Fox, and Goode spent a 12 months pitching it round to different studios — together with Henson, who Goode stated beloved the premise however did not determine methods to make it work with puppets. Finally, it landed at Disney, however not earlier than a number of modifications needed to be made, beginning with turning the live-action thought into animation and reversing the choice to kill the mother and father within the pilot. And relatively than a highway journey format, Jake needed to be house each night time, so the story was moved to New York Metropolis, a spot sufficiently big to deal with many alternative cultures and creatures.
A part of what made the present cool was its expansive mythology, which mixed folklore from all around the world. Jake would encounter all the things from leprechauns to djinn and ultimately meet the Dragon Council, comprised of dragons from world wide. This allowed “American Dragon: Jake Lengthy” to enchantment to children regardless of the place they have been from, as a result of they might see fantastical creatures from their cultures both instantly represented within the cartoon, or think about them present and completely becoming this world.
Rapidly, the world of the present turned larger, which made for a few of the greatest episodes of the present in addition to a number of headscratchers for the Disney execs. “Disney wasn’t actually within the World Dragons actually in any respect,” Goode defined. “They needed it to be a couple of child in class and faculty points. And so each time we had one thing on the Dragon Council, they’d form of roll their eyes and inform us, ‘We actually should not be doing — there’s too many characters.’ However on the identical time, they did not cease us.”