How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Animation: 9/10

Solid follow-up to the original film

Not quite as good as the original

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  How to Train Your Dragon 2

Studio:  DreamWorks Animation

Genre(s):  Animated/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  May 16, 2014 (Cannes Film Festival)/June 14, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

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How to Train Your Human…

Five years have passed since the people of Berk learned to train and ride dragons.  As Hiccup comes of age, his father encourages him to begin leading his people into the future.  Unfortunately, Hiccup just wants to explore and isn’t the leader he thinks he needs to be.  When he encounters a dragon capturer named Eret on a scouting mission, Hiccup’s life begins to change, and he discovers someone he thought he lost has returned.  Unfortunately, a warlord named Drago Bludvist is intent into turning the dragons into weapons and Hiccup and the people of Berk stand in his way!

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My giant toad dragon will kick your dragon’s ass!

Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the follow-up to the Academy Award winning How to Train Your Dragon from 2010.  The movie features the vocal talents of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harington, and Djimon Hounsou.  The movie was not as successful as the previous entry in the series, but did receive critical acclaim.  The movie received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature but lost to Big Hero 6.

How to Train Your Dragon kind of surprised me.  I’m a bigger fan of traditional animation, and the concept seemed a bit of pandering for likability.  Instead, I found How to Train Your Dragon quite enjoyable and fun.  With a TV series and multiple tie-ins since the first film’s release, I wasn’t sure how the second film would fair.  The movie does hold up on its own, but isn’t quite as good as the original movie.

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This is the best day ever! Nothing possibly could go wrong!

The movie’s success was met with some controversy.  It beat out the presumed favorite for Best Animated Film (The Lego Movie) at the Golden Globes, but then became one of the five films to keep The Lego Movie from being nominated for an Oscar.  Though I thought The Lego Movie wasn’t bad, I think I did enjoy How to Train Your Dragon 2 more, simply because it seemed to flow better and featured a better story.

The story revolves around Hiccup’s becoming an adult.  While the first movie was more about him leaving his teen years, this movie focus on his future.  It is filled with a nice blend of action and story that will keep younger viewers interested, but it doesn’t seem to cater to adults as much as many of the jokes in Pixar’s films.  I like this because I think it is alright for a kids’ movie to be for kids…and it can be smart without having to entertain adults with joke after joke.

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Who wants a piece of me!!!

The animation for the movie continues to be quite slick.  The wide variety of dragons allows for a lot of fun scenes.  The showcase of the movie has to be the showdown with the Alpha dragon.  It features some great battle scenes reminiscent of big live action films (but still kid friendly).

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a worthy follow-up to the first film.  The director only did the film if he was allowed to make it a trilogy and used Star Wars:  The Empire Strikes Back as his inspiration for this entry.  It is a good family film with lots action and jokes that will keep viewers entertained.  If you liked the first movie, you’ll want to follow-up with this film.  Toothless might be the star of How to Train Your Dragon 2, but the movie still has teeth.  The movie’s sequel How to Train Your Dragon 3 is scheduled for a 2017 release.

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Related Links:

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

How to Train Your Dragon:  Gift of the Night Fury (2011)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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