Dean DeBlois’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) Movie Review

Cast: America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Djimon Hounsou, Gerard Butler, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Kit Harington, Kristen Wiig
Director: Dean DeBlois
Studio: Dreamworks Animation
Censor Certificate: U
Runtime: 102 Minutes
Watched at Prasadz (Screen 4), Hyderabad.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is the much anticipated follow up to Dreamworks’ 2010 original animated film. The dragons are back now!! So is Hiccup, the clumsy Viking boy who was a total stupe became the hero of his village and the best friend of dragons. His personal and totally lovely dragon, Toothless is as adorable as before. So, in this sequel to How to Train Your Dragon, what sort of adventure awaits for Hiccup & Toothless? Read on to find out.
Set five years after the first film, Hiccup, along with his Viking friends (the dragon riders’ gangs) Astrid (American Ferrera), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Rufnut (Kristen Wiig) are now 20 years old and dragons have been seamlessly integrated into life on Berk. Hiccup is choosing to ignore his responsibilities as future Chief and is spending his days mapping the archipelago, discovering new lands and new dragons. He’s obviously also spent a lot of time working on some sick new inventions. He runs into some unexpected new friends and the film’s Big Baddy, Drago (his name literally means a Dragon) who doesn’t live in peace with dragons but believes they are monsters, trying to capture as many as he can for an army.
The plot might be a tiny bit weak, but these types of films are all about the characters. You can’t help but become invested in them.
After watching Hiccup and his truehearted Night Fury dragon (Toothless) form an infrangible bond in the first film, it’s exciting to see where director and writer Dean DeBlois was going to take this story in the sequel. That’s notable too as a solon film maker in charge of such a huge enterprise, and it a good clue to the productions striking cohesion. Many points are explored, some of them requisite to Hiccup’s understanding of the adult world, but always through his charmingly erratic sensibility, action rather than homily its narrative is didactics tool.
Deblois should have worked a bit more on the supporting characters as they really have all the much to do, other than take part in a comical love between Snotlout-Ruffnut-Fishlegs. There could have been much more of them, with their roles expanded a little better, but may be that is just me being picky. Even well introduced villain Drago character gets little lax in the final act. Deblois starts the film with richer bond of boy and his dragon, but slack off in the narration department towards the climax.
Daring to surge where most of the sequels only dream, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is that rare beast that comes dangerously close to outdoing its wonderful predecessor. And in some respects, [Dream, Craft & Vision] its actually does. These films have strong overarching themes of relationships, especially those of a familial variety. When Hiccup finds his long lost mother, Valka, he discovers that while he had always thought he didn’t fit in with his father and the rest of the tribe, he had always taken after her instead. Watching his family reunite is heartwarming, because you can literally see the moment Hiccup feels like he belongs.
Toothless conveys an incredible amount of characterization with the simplest look or gesture.  It’s a real credit to the animators that they can so clearly define Toothless’ character in this way. Ferrera’s Astrid shined in the earlier parts of the film when she had more dialogue with Hiccup resulting in some heart warming moments. The comedy part of the film was delivered from Ruffnut who was voiced by Kristen Wiig and Gobber who was voiced by Craig Ferguson.
Much of that credit goes to ever-changing technology, including DreamWorks Animation’s proprietary depicting software, Apollo, which allowed animators to make real-time changes and alterations to roles, motion, camera positioning, and background.
I don’t usually recommend 3D, but in Dragon 2, the 3D is well used and adds a greater depth to our setting. It’s especially gorgeous in the introductory scene where Hiccup is riding Toothless as he is swooping in and out through the clouds and later as he meets the mysterious dragon rider in the sky.
John Powell’s (Rio, Kung Fu Panda, Happy Feet) fantastic score and original tracks from Jonsi (lead singer of Sigur Ros) compliment the beautiful visuals. Powell’s score is used as a major driving force in the story and it transcends the composition for animated films.
I highly recommend checking out How to Train Your Dragon 2 this weekend. If you don’t know the first movie or haven’t seen it in some time, I recommend giving it another viewing before seeing chapter two of this planned Dragon saga. This follow up is a decently written, colorfully created and stoically stupendous blast – a marvelous treat for everyone.

Survi Review: 3.5/5

Theatrical Trailer:

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