Three months before Toy Story 3, Dreamworks released an animated film called How to Train Your Dragon. It follows a teenage Viking named Hiccup (an admittedly odd name) becoming friends with a dragon. The movie set new grounds in computer animation. In an era where hand-drawn animation is being replaced by CGI animation, there wouldn’t be one from Dreamworks that is as gorgeous, imaginative and heartfelt as How to Train Your Dragon. There was an emotional depth that I didn’t expect at all. During the sequences where Hiccup flies with Toothless, it made me have the same feeling when I saw Avatar in 3D. It made me feel like I was flying on Toothless with Hiccup. I think it’s the best animated movie that Dreamworks has ever done since the first Shrek movie. It’s rare for a sequel to be better than its predecessor.
With How to Train Your Dragon 2, continues the pattern of having the perfect blend of comedy and drama, gorgeous animation, likeable characters, and thrilling action sequences. However, I think it takes that advantage of being bigger and better than the first movie.
Five years after the events of the first film, the Isle of Berk has made peace with the dragons. Dragons are now living as companions to the villagers and taking part in sporting events. For Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless, they decide to spend time exploring new worlds. One of their adventures leads to an ice cave where he learns about an evil dragon hunter named Drago Bludvist (voiced by Djimon Honsou, a great addition to the franchise) starting a war on Berk to capture every dragon.
Later, Hiccup discovers a dragon rider who is his long lost mother Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett, another great addition to the franchise) who lives in a haven that is home to hundreds of dragons. Together, they must protect the peace of Berk by Drago in one of the absolute best action sequences of the year.
You can tell how much the characters have changed since the last film, especially the main character Hiccup. Although being pressed by his father Stoick (even though he begins to pay attention to his son), he’s at an age where he has what it takes to be brave as a dragon rider and chief of Berk. I appreciated the emotional relationship between Hiccup and his parents. When Hiccup meets his mother, he wonders why she left the family a long time ago. He’s also at a point where he can marry Astrid, and live a wonderful life. Their love doesn’t consist of appearance, but rather than the gifted respect they have for one another. I guess it makes sense that earning enough respect would help save the day.