How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

howtotrainyourdragon2_2014_poster
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
  • Time: 105 min
  • Genre: Animation | Action | Adventure
  • Director: Dean DeBlois
  • Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, T.J. Miller, Djimon Hounsou

Storyline:

It’s been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.

2 reviews

  • Believe every bit of hype you hear about this film. You will be hard pressed to see a better animated feature not only the rest of this year, but in the next few to come. It does something that not only animation films strive to do; But it does something that sequels strive to do as well. That is expanding their world even further with more excitement, more lovable characters, more emotion, and an overall more enthralling story. ‘HTTYD2’ does that and then some. It takes off with majesty and flair, leaving all other recent animated films in the dust (Yes including ‘Frozen’ and ‘The Lego Movie”). This isn’t a kids film. This is a film for everyone that’s dying to be engulfed into what it feels like to be a kid.

    What makes this film so wonderful is it’s emotional grip, interwoven with it’s immersive visuals. There are some very real themes here about the strength of friendship, courage, and family. I was amazed at how touched by the film I was. There was at least twice in this film I was really holding back the tears. It’s been quite some time, probably since “Finding Nemo” that I’ve had that type of connect with an animated feature. I think one reason for this is how strong the voice cast is. It’s not easy capturing personality and being expressive while doing voice over work. And this cast does as it as well as any I’ve ever heard.

    And my oh my; The animation. It’s incredibly to me what can be done with this realm of filmmaking. It’s almost as if we shouldn’t connect to the characters at all, because we know going in that they’re 100% not real, and they can’t be real. They’re a cartoon. Yet we connect better with them than most human characters we meet. It’s a sense of wonder. Animation also allows the ‘camera’ if you will, to travel to places that you could never shoot in live action. Shots soaring with dragons above the clouds, practically bringing you along for the ride. The textures of clothing, depths of colors, expressions of every character and creature; It all works perfectly. There were landscapes shots in this where the CGI totally felt gone, and I was looking at a real countryside or ocean view. It’s that good.

    Parents take your kids to see this now. Let them be absorbed into this beautifully crafted world. This isn’t a film; It’s a cinematic experience. An experience fit for ALL ages. The reason we go to the movies. Can you tell I loved it? I loved it.

  • In 2010, DreamWorks Animation released How To Train Your Dragon, which was set to be their next trilogy. The results? The fifth highest grossing film that DreamWorks Animation has ever released. The film also went on to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. But can I say that I’m surprised? Not really. Dean DeBlois is not only the director of this film but he is also the writer. His past works consist of Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and more which are all animated films that have succeeded and I have personally enjoyed. With another film in the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy in the works already, DreamWorks Animation might finally have made another franchise that can compete with their most successful Shrek.

    It’s been 5 years since How To Train Your Dragon and the Vikings continue to live in harmony with the dragons. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) continues to do things to the beat of his own drum as he journeys uncharted areas with Toothless while Astrid (America Ferrera), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and the rest of the gang are competing in dragon races. One of Hiccup and Toothless’ journey leads them to dragon trappers who are working for Drago (Djimon Hounsou) who is planning a dragon war. Now Hiccup and Toothless must unite with the people and dragons of Berk and a mysterious dragon rider to take down Drago before it is too late.

    The things that made How To Train Your Dragon amazing is back in the sequel with better animation and visuals. Directors tend to try to change things for a sequel and the elements that made the original work so well finds themselves out the window but DeBlois stays faithful to what made the first film so successful. Due to the sequel being 5 years after the first film, a lot of the characters have matured and no longer have the little kid attitude but that doesn’t stop the film from giving you a joyful, feel-good time for not only the children but the parents as well. The film is also a little darker than it’s predecessor.

    Besides fire breathing, flying is a huge skill that dragons have and it is beautifully displayed throughout the film. As soon as the film begins it starts off with Astrid, Snotlout, Fishlegs and the rest of Hiccup’s classmates participating in a dragon race. The computer generated animation was executed exquisitely and you even grow jealous of Hiccup’s ability to fly on his own.

    As for the characters, none shine out as much as Jay Baruchel’s Hiccup and Toothless, with Toothless being the life of the film. The chemistry between the two characters is as great as it was in the first film. Ferrera’s Astrid shined in the earlier parts of the film when she had more dialogue with Hiccup resulting in some heart warming moments. The comedy part of the film was delivered from Ruffnut who was voiced by Kristen Wiig and Gobber who was voiced by Craig Ferguson.

    Overall, Dean DeBlois delivers a nearly flawless sequel that all kids are going to love. It is fast paced, well told and beautifully made – a film that should be truly appreciated. You should take your young ones out on a trip to the theaters to actually see this film but you should save some cash and pass on the 3D experience. With only two other animated films set to hit theaters this summer, How To Train Your Dragon 2 should also be a huge hit in the box office and will have a shot in dethroning one of the Shrek films and move into the top 4 most successful DreamWorks Animation film.

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