Since it first hit theaters nine years ago, the How to Train Your Dragon franchise has been huge for Hollywood, with a bunch of short films, TV series, and now a third and final feature film set to open nationwide this week.
Many young people have grown up with the characters, but star Jay Baruchel, the Canadian comic actor who voices the Viking misfit-turned-hero Hiccup, told BuzzFeed News that young fans of the film often find meeting him in real life "terribly underwhelming."
"There's a whole bunch of friends of mine being like, 'Oh, my kids love the Dragon movies. Here, here, they want to meet you. This is Hiccup!'" he said in an interview on BuzzFeed News' Twitter morning show AM to DM on Wednesday. "And you watch them just go, '...that's not Hiccup.'
"Terribly underwhelming. Terribly underwhelming," he laughed. "Ten years of disappointing children in person."
Baruchel, who's also known for the raunchy comedies This Is the End, Tropic Thunder, Knocked Up, and She's Out of My League, did say he does get recognized through his voice as a result of the Dragon films.
"One old fella said to me in Los Angeles, 'When you're getting recognized by just you speaking, you know you fucking did it!'" he said.
He also helps out teachers when he can by recording messages for their students. "My friend's mom's a teacher in Nova Scotia," he said. "I was like, 'What do you want me to say?' and she said, 'Just tell them to do what Mrs. McPherson says,' so I did that and she uses it a lot."
The third film in the blockbuster franchise, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, hits theaters on Friday, and Baruchel said he hasn't quite processed what his life will be like without Hiccup.
"Since I started my first recording session was summer of '07, so from that point until now there hasn't been a time where I've stopped playing him," Baruchel said. "So, yeah, I'm adjusting to a life without Hiccup."
He said he hopes the films leave young fans feeling empowered to try to effect change in the world.
"Believing in yourself is all fine and good, but I think that these movies are about believing in more than yourself," he said.
"I think you have to believe in stuff bigger than you, and just not accepting that just because things are a certain way means that's how they have to be."