Sunday, June 8, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Releases June 13, 2014
1 hr 45 mins
Rated PG
Action/Adventure, Animated


Director: Dean DeBlois


Jay Baruchel as Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
Cate Blanchett as Valka
Gerard Butler as Stoick the Vast
Djimon Hounsou as Drago Bludvist
America Ferrera as Astrid Hofferson
Kit Harington as Eret
Craig Ferguson as Gobber the Belch
Jonah Hill as Snotlout Jorgenson
Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman
T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig as Tuffnut and Ruffnut Thorston

Review by Stephen M.

Hiccup and his friends are back for How to Train Your Dragon 2 by DreamWorks Animations.  I've never seen the first movie, and after seeing the sequel, I have to watch the first one.  HTTYD2 was pleasantly surprising as I was blown away by the quality animation, characters and plot of the film.  While you don't need to watch the first one to follow the second film, the sequel does refer at times to the first movie.  Such as when Hiccup first meets his dragon Toothless.

 Hiccup is a viking who in the first movie befriended a dragon of which his father Stoick and village of Berk was against.  The sequel takes place five years later with the village of Berk now advocates of Dragon, taking them in and living peacefully with them.  Hiccup adventurous, yearns to discover more of the land around his village flies off with his dragon Toothless a rare Night Fury.  This is in objection to his father's desire to groom him for the role of village chief replacing him.  On his journey to discover new places, Hiccup and his girlfriend Astrid comes across some dragon trappers that work for Drago of whom he learns is building a dragon army.  As the story goes on, Hiccup discovers a lost family member, loses a love one and must grow up to his role of whether to be village chief or not.

What I love about the film first and foremost is the beautiful animation of the characters, dragons and landscapes.  Each character and even dragon are all animated with such detail and uniqueness that brings life to each and every one.  Unlike other movies about dragons where you usually have one generic kind, there are literally hundreds of variety of appearances and abilities which I find very cool.  I love the whole concept of the Alpha and his abilities.  Secondly, I love the humor of the film.  Especially, Hiccup who is voiced by Jay Baruchel and his interaction with Toothless are hilarious.  Their use of sight gags especially among the dragons when Toothless meets new friends will have you laughing out loud.  The story is well written from beginning to end even though at times it seems a bit long.  Besides some points dragging a bit, Eret played by Kit Harrington who is the leader of the dragon trappers reminded me a bit too much of Flynn Rider, the stereotypical anti-hero.  Kit plays the role well, making his character shined a bit more than expected stealing the spotlight from Hiccup in my opinion.

Overall, I would highly recommend this film.  Most of the time animations are geared more toward young girls especially with the Disney movies.  While with the theme of Vikings and dragons are more geared toward boys, my eight year old daughter enjoyed the film as well.  The film has a great soundtrack and a touching funny story, which makes for a great family movie this weekend.  


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