How to Train Your Dragon 2 Review

This has been a pretty good year for animated films. While there have been a few misfires here and there, the majority were pretty good. I did not see the first Dragon film, but I heard many good things about it, so I decided to watch it before this one. I thought it was good, but nothing extraordinary. I enjoyed the characters, and thought the plot was heartfelt, but I did think the comedy was lacking a bit. With the sequel, I think it expands on the first and definitely improves it. It is funnier, more emotional, more action packed, and even more visually stunning.
Exploring the World
The filmmakers made a wise move by making all the characters older. I think it really helped to strengthen my attachment to them, and it works for their development. I really enjoyed the progress with Hiccup. He has become wiser since the last film, and much more courageous. He was faced with many obstacles, but he did not let them overtake him. I hope them make a third film mainly so I can see his continued progress. As for Toothless, he even had development which was most prominently seen in his relationship with Hiccup. The two of them share a strengthened bond that certainly got tested throughout this latest installment. I also enjoyed the relationship between Hiccup with Astrid, but the film does not spend enough time with it. They did not have significant progress in their relationship, nor did they share too much time together. The only other person I will examine is Stoick. I thought he was good in the movie once more, and even had some good development. My only problem with him is that he did not learn much from the first film. He seemed to be back to his old self in the beginning, but quickly learned from his past mistakes. The supporting cast was fine, but there was a particular newcomer who was truly great. I hope she has an even larger role in the (hopefully) upcoming sequels. The plot of the film was also very good. I thought the first one had a slightly stronger plot, but for the purposes of character development, this plot worked just fine. With this plot, a new villain was introduced in the form of Drago. I found him to be a fairly weak villain. While his motivations were somewhat revealed, they still remained weak. The film did such a great job developing the heroes, I was a bit disappointed with the villain. He could have been much better, but he was not terrible.
Soaring up in the sky
I should mention that I despise 3D films. They are solely used for profit, and rarely enhance the movie experience. To this day, the best 3D in a film (for me) has been Avatar. While this film does not handle 3D better than Avatar, it was an absolute delight. The filmmakers used the 3D technology in a smart way, which ultimately enhanced the film. The dragon flying never looked better, and I felt completely immersed in the film. It is also worth noting that the animation is top notch. The entire world the filmmakers built was so beautifully animated, which makes this the best animated film of the year.
Closing Remarks
This is by no means a perfect film, but it is a fantastic children’s film. There are lessons to be learned, fun to be had, and characters to enjoy. While there were several missteps, it did not detract from my overall experience. It is fun for all ages, and a I hope more people go and see it.


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