When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.
Another strong sequel in a year showing good promise for second box office outings, with the critical and commercial successes of ‘22 Jump Street‘ and ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘ and the likely success on both fronts from ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘. ‘How To Train Your Dragon‘ was the first film in a while from Dreamworks that threatened to challenge Pixar as the kings of animation, and the sequel picks up where the first film left off with another terrific movie. We begin the story 5 years after the events of the first film, where everyone on Berk is living in harmony with dragons, and Hiccup is being lined up to replace his father as the new chief. Hiccup is still an adventurer, and he spends most of his time flying around with Toothless exploring the world nearby, and its this adventurous nature that leads to an encounter with the film’s antagonists.
The story itself is perfectly balanced throughout, and it takes a welcome darker turn towards the end of the movie which challenges the main characters to step up and fight for their people and dragons alike. The excellent voice cast from the first film are joined by Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou as primary antagonist Drago, a vicious enemy who had a previous encounter with Stoick (Gerard Butler). Blanchett’s Scottish accent is a little wonky, but other than that it’s another terrific showing on the voicefront, and Harington and Hounsou are good additions to the excellent cast. The direction and quality of animation is superb, and the balance between the darker elements and the humour that is imbued throughout is perfectly done. This is a terrific sequel that maintains the fun and energy from the first film, whilst deepening the mythology and world these characters live in – I’m looking forward to the third instalment already.
Directed By: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, America Ferrara, Kristen Wiig, T.J. Miller, Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou