I tend to give American animation the short shrift on this blog. But that doesn’t mean I don’t admire it. Pixar has made some genuine classics, and Dreamworks has given us a couple really fun and exciting films. In fact I reviewed How to Train Your Dragon for DVD Verdict and really enjoyed it. I was looking forward to seeing where the crew could take the story for the sequel, and if the quality would match the 2010 original.
Things have changed a bit since we last joined the Vikings on the island of Berk. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is now exploring the wide world with his dragon companion Toothless. During one of his adventures he runs into a group of men who are actually hunting dragons and capturing them for an overlord calling himself Drago (Djimon Hounsou). These men claim that Drago can tame and control any dragon and is slowly taking over the world with his dragon army.
Hiccup and Toothless attempt to warn the people of Berk but along the way they run into another group of dragons! This group is lead by the mysterious Valka (Cate Blanchett) who actually knows who Hiccup is, and has a history with his father Stoick (Gerard Butler). Will the combined forces of Berk’s dragon riding teens and Valka’s dragons be enough to stop the onslaught?
- Aging all the characters giving them more depth
- Feels like a natural thematic and story follow-up to the original
- An amazing musical score by John Powell
- Some of the freshness has worn of the concept and characters
- A few of the plot twists won’t be a surprise
- If you didn’t like the previous entry, you probably won’t like this one
But honestly, how could you not find something to enjoy about the previous film. This sequel is exactly what you want it to be. It builds on the characters, world and themes of the original. It gives us new characters and settings to visually dazzle. It adds some gravitas to the plot with older characters and more of a coming of age reckoning for Hiccup. It also retains its amazing visual splendor and wonderful music. Fans of the original will be very happy with this film.
Scores (out of 5)
Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.