Director: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill
Release Date: June 13, 2014
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.
Labels: 2014, Cate Blanchett, Dean DeBlois, Full Movie, Gerard Butler, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Movie Review