Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Dean DeBlois, 2014) Review

If it weren't for The Croods or Turbo, I would say we would be in Dreamworks' equvilant of the Disney Reinnesance. How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind, Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots and Rise of the Guardians, all great films. Mr. Peabody and Sherman was also a good one but can they continue their streak of great films with their new sequel to How to Train Your Dragon...called How to Train Your Dragon 2. Probably....because it's another Dragon film and Dreamworks are great at first sequels...not so much later sequels but we'll get there eventually.

5 years after the events of the first film, Berk is now a land where dragons live freely with people. While Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Astrid (America Ferrera) are exploring a new land on their dragons, they are attacked by dragon traps led by Eret (Kit Harington), son of Eret, who works for a madman named Drago (Djimon Hounsou). Hiccup attempts to reach Drago and reason with him to stop his growing dragon army but is ambushed along the way by an unknown dragon rider who holds a long kept secret from Hiccup. 

I went into this film with one big fear and that is that the original had the surprise factor as no-one had a clue of how amazing it would be but, this time, we had expectations high for an even more amazing film. Dont' fear though because this film delivers impeccably and is another example of Dreamworks creating some of the best animation films out there. I knew things would be okay with David Powell returning to provide the spectacular soundtrack as he did before. How to Train Your Dragon always had an amazing soundtrack and the sequel continues this trend. We also get some great voice acting from the veterans of the first film such as Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler but new additions such as Kit Harington and Cate Blanchett fit in extremely well into this universe and I hope to see them in later installments.

The main thing that these films boast are it's incredible animation. Heck, even the TV series the film spawned looks great! This one ups the ante of everything on screen (one moment even gave me a Pacific Rim vibe) with a much larger scale. It made me realise that Dreamworks could do a good Shadow of the Colossus adaptation since this borderlines that. The detail one the characters and dragons is commendable and is Dreamworks' best looking film to date. It's a shame I can't see 3D since I'm sure this would look incredible with the great flying sections and use of scale and perspective. The plot is also a step up. The heart of the first film was the developing relationship between Hiccup and Toothless which is still evident but they threw in some complications in order to test their relationship. The second half of the film had me constantly on the edge of my seat as I had no idea where it was going. I almost thought we'd be left on a cliffhanger.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an impeccable feat in animation. Dreamworks continue to prove that with every Turbo or The Croods, there is a film like this to balance everything out. Beautifully animated, wonderfully scored, well voiced and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. All I can say is...good luck beating this Disney...because Big Hero 6 doesn't look like it's going to. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is so close to as perfect as a sequel can get. Good job to everyone on board.

Proof the Dreamworks know what their doing and that they can deliver a beautiful, well crafted sequel to an already almost perfect film.


  1. I liked the first movie better, the second is close but I think it's getting too beautiful in its quality of animation.

  2. If they didn't spoil 80% of the film in the advert (ie: Hiccup's mum), it would have been 80% better imho =/

    1. True, true. Luckily 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' went out of their way to edi the trailers to make it look like a completely different film.