Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Published On June 29, 2014 » 1620 Views» By admin »

mst 29JUN2014 - 6Might be the best Animated Film of the Year

Star Ratings

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is currently performing at number 2 in the box office. DreamWorks has done it again, so expect them to remain on the top of the list for some time.

In How to Train Your Dragon 2 we meet up with the same characters several years after the first installment. The Vikings have changed and are now embracing their dragon residents, going as far as to give them their own specially constructed stable. Stoick (voice of Gerard Butler) is still running things, but he is attempting to convince son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), to take over the roll of chief. Hiccup has no desire to lead and instead spends most of his time riding around on his dragon, Toothless, much to the frustration of his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera). At one point, Hiccup discovers a group of “dragon catchers”. He learns that a warlord by the name of Drago (Djimon Hounsou) is assembling an army of dragons. He attempts to work things out peacefully, but things don’t go as planned and he is waylaid by the fierce dragon rider Valka (Cate Blanchett).

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a bit darker than the original and really focuses on things like loyalty, family and taking responsibility. Carefree Hiccup is a great foil to his responsibility laden father Stoick. This time around, there isn’t really a feeling that everything is going to work out and you’re left wondering if there will be a happily ever after.

There are plenty of action scenes and those scenes are suspenseful and heart pounding. Fabulous animation makes this movie visually stunning and appealing to younger viewers and older viewers alike. While the 3D is well done, it feels unnecessary.

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This movie doesn’t seem as well suited to younger viewers as the original was, considering that it contains both war and death, which is some pretty heavy subject matter for an under 12 audience.

The actors in this film really give great personalities to their characters and no one falls flat. Cate Blanchett was an excellent edition to the cast and seems to know her way around voicing a character. Butler and Baruchel both manage to keep their characters true to life and charismatic.

The movie has a socially conscious message, which is pretty rare for animated films. In a way it reminded me a bit of Fern Gully, which also had a heavy message portrayed in a light way. Sometimes it gets a bit too heavy and I wish they’d managed to keep this movie as light as the original, but that’s just me. Maybe the transition into a more dramatic movie was a necessary part of the character development.

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In a year of disappointing sequels, How to Train Your Dragon 2 manages to outdo the original. I doubt the trend will continue when the inevitable 3rd installment comes out, but for now, I’m just enjoying the ride. DreamWorks has a winner in this film and will find an audience of fans in both young and old viewers. Aside from the Lego Movie, this movie might actually be the best animated movie to come out this year.  Watch the official trailer below:

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