How To Train Your Dragon 2
Return to Berk to check in with Hiccup, Toothless and the whole gang!
Every once in a while, an animated movie comes along from Dreamworks that everyone agrees is great. Whether they are cheapened by gradually less and less impressive sequels, the fact remains that for a lot of these franchises, their initial entry is great. Shrek did it, Despicable Me did it and, because you’ve read the title and know where I’m eventually going to be going with this, How To Train Your Dragon was an especially strong case for this. Almost universally loved, this film about compassion and understanding a force you’re afraid of has a colossal fan-base and when the sequel was announced, fans got very excited. I was among them and eagerly awaited the next installment.
But the wait proved to be long. Teased for months upon months with nothing but a very short teaser trailer featuring very little information other than showing Toothless and Hiccup flying, my interest began to wane. While I was still very much looking forward to it, the fact that I saw nothing leading up to it other than that one trailer meant it faded from memory reasonably quickly. But then I finally got to go see it.
Picking up five years after the first film, the island of Berk have completely embraced their scaly friends, re-modelling their island home to accommodate them. Hiccup and the kids of the first film are now seasoned dragon riders, with Hiccup more interested in venturing out and mapping the world and seeing its sights than his duties at home. However, his ventures lead him to new discoveries, forces of both good and great evil that threaten to turn his dragon-friendly upside down and destroy it forever.
To say I enjoyed this film would be an understatement. With powerful emotional scenes, thrilling action and battles, this is a worthy successor to the beloved first film. We get to see interesting new breeds of dragon and get to know them, along with learning more about their hierarchy and habitats. Because the first film was very self contained to the island of Berk, its good to see the characters spread out and to see non-Berkians from the world at large and their interactions with dragons.
The characters are a joy to watch, both human and scaly but lets face it, a lot of people paid admission for more Toothless. And they will not be disappointed. The terrible Night Fury is just a lovable and dopey as ever and Hiccups interactions with him still as priceless as ever. The film retains a lot of its predecessors charm and wit. Its antagonists are fierce and merciless, threatening everything Hiccup worked to create and forcing him to work out a solution.
If you’re a fan of the first film, likely you’re probably already on the way to the cinema and if you were on the fence about it, allow me to give you the proverbial boot to the backside to get you going, this film was great. Its charming, touching, hilarious and exciting all at the same time and I can only hope we’ll see further installments in the franchise.