While I was watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 in IMAX 3D, I kept thinking to myself about how beautiful the film was. The original had a wonderful concept: vikings fighting dragons that eventually ended up working together for a greater good. Don't get me wrong, the first movie had great animation and the character designs were all superb. But something about this sequel made my jaw drop like no other DreamWorks animated film had before. If you are looking for a beautiful animated film that has a nice enough story and wonderful character animations, then How to Train Your Dragon 2 is most definitely for you.
As I previously said, this movie has some of the best looks I have ever seen in a DreamWorks animated film. The dragons fly freely around the Viking village of Berk this time around, and look better than ever, and it isn't every year that we get to see characters that have grown older and have changed so much in between sequels. How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes place several years after the original movie and its television series, and the animators did excellent work in making the characters look naturally older. Toothless and Hiccup have grown leaps and bounds in their relationship and have developed new ways of flying, fighting, and mapping out the entire world outside of Berk.
This is where the story comes in, as Hiccup learns he must grow up much sooner than he thought. In the opening scene of the movie, we learn that Hiccups father, the chief of Berk, propositioned him to become chief soon. Hiccup goes through a lot in this film, but ultimately grows for the better. I will be honest here, the story did not captivate me as the previous film did, and it felt like it was about 15-20 minutes too long, but overall, it was a great story and one that many viewers will enjoy.
Here is where I will warn you: this movie is quite dark for a children's movie. The theme of death is apparent throughout the entire film as the main antagonist, Drago Bloodfist, seeks to capture all dragons and use them in order to conquer the world. Drago has no qualms with killing any of his men and orders the dragons to kill anything they possibly can in one fight scene. This movie can be a bit intense for younger viewers, and I was quite surprised at how dark the film truly was.
Although the film can get quite dark at times, there is an overarching theme of the value of family within this film, one that takes precedence over death. I wont spoil anything for you all here, but there are many heartwarming moments within the film and the characters alone will melt your heart all over again.
Overall, How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a great children's film, one that I enjoyed and would enjoy seeing again. Do notice my warnings though, as the film can get a bit dark in places and death is a common theme throughout the film. I am giving How to Train Your Dragon 2 a whopping 4.5/5 stars as I feel that it had a beautiful environment, wonderful characters, and a world that I didn't want to leave.
Until next time, feel free to check out our latest video podcast all about Maleficent and Scott Pilgrim vs The World! Thanks for reading and be sure to check back periodically for new articles on our website!
-David "Macks" Mackay