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Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor's successes just the way a sequel should.
All Critics (178)
| Top Critics (41)
| Fresh (163)
| Rotten (15)
Hats off to Dreamworks for offering some bold surprises in a respectable sequel filled with moments of humour and emotion among its ample noise and movement.
An efficient and entertaining franchise sequel, but it restates how conventionally Americanised this property has become in comparison with the literary original ...
The writer and director Dean DeBlois takes the comedy to a deeper, more satisfying place than he did in the original franchise-launching animated film.
Overlong and overly busy but more emotionally powerful than its predecessor.
The most distinctive thing about the series is its strictly rational handling of fantasy themes. The dragons themselves can be fearsome or adorable - but since they don't speak, they're treated for the most part as pieces of hardware or beasts of burden.
The entire film is a romance -- visually, parentally, ecologically. It's got the emotional, humorous, exciting sweep you want from a summer movie.
[It's] a rare instance where the sequel is as good as the original.
While How to Tame Your Dragon 2 is geared toward kids, I defy adults not to find something to enjoy as well.
For those who love stories about friendship between humans and dragons, How to Train Your Dragon 2 provides one that is lovely to look at and generally engaging, even though it has a few lulls and that one plot issue.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 doesn't just meet expectations. It defies them.
The four year gap between films speaks volumes at how important crafting the story was, as opposed to doing it quickly and raking in the money.
Basically what a sequel should be - entertaining but doesn't forget to be emotionally satisfying. I believe second viewings are in order...
More dragons, more emotions, more surprises as in the wonderful original. Hiccup's journey into adulthood will leave no heart untouched, the humor is refreshing and the action breath taking. If only all animated sequels had this much heart and gall.
An enjoyable, if inferior, sequel concerning the adventures of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and Toothless, and how they come across an angry dragon trapper (voiced by Djimon Hounsou) who is bent on revenge and capturing all of Hiccup's tribe's dragons. A little on the long side, but still emotionally powerful with twists in the plot that are equally heartbreaking and surprising; if you were a fan of the first movie you should love this one too. The action sequences are still exciting and the characters are still very interesting, and it will be fascinating to see where the writers go from here in developing this series considering how beloved it has become.
Straight away I'm gonna say that I like this franchise, the whole idea surrounding Nordic fables of Vikings set within a fantasy realm with a vast array of dragons is really intriguing and exciting. This franchise is adapted from a large set of children's books which I've never heard of (until now) but admittedly they look really good...for kids.
So after the first adventure of the Viking tribes befriending the dragons we are now presented with this idyllic world where the villagers of Berk live in harmony with the dragons. Many of the elder Vikings have adopted dragons as pets and ride them as their personal steeds as have the younger characters, of course Hiccup is best friends with Toothless the rare dragon. The main problem with the plot would be there isn't really anywhere to go with this that hasn't been seen and done a billion times over. Unfortunately low and behold that's exactly what happens, its basically about the villagers of Berk fighting against an evil pirate dragon trapper character and his huge evil dragon.
This evil character really seems to have stepped out of the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean franchise seeing as he's basically a cliched rastafarian pirate with a prosthetic arm (not quite a hook but its the next best thing). Now admittedly this guy is a bit of a merciless jerk and with that he does add some gravitas to the proceedings plus he looks well ard'. His gigantic pet uber dragon is the equivalent of the Rancor on steroids with some fucking big tusks...it kicks ass!! This huge alpha dragon hypnotises other dragons (somehow) which enables Captain dreadlocks to amass a vast dragon army with which he will take over this fantasy world...although I don't really know why he wants to do that (don't question it).
Of course its the band of plucky Viking kids that must save the day on their quirky dragons...cue lots of obligatory silly visual humour and gags for the kids. I won't go into the kiddie characters here because they are all the same characters from the first movie, as are most of the adult characters. What I really liked about this movie was the in depth and highly detailed array of dragons species we see. Once we discover the hidden dragon sanctuary in a vast ice cavern (created by another uber dragon...this time a female one), the visuals go into overdrive with dragons everywhere. Its like looking at a cave full of colourful butterflies all rendered perfectly in CGI, seriously its such a beautiful spectacle to behold. From here on there are dragons everywhere yet it never becomes dull or repetitive...it just looks super sweet.
I don't wanna spoil it too much but I gotta give kudos to the uber alpha dragon clash. This is easily the standout sequence in the movie and it is impressively slick looking as these two humongous beasts ram each other with their jumbo horns and roar a lot. It really felt like I was watching a battle from the animated 'The Clone Wars' show...only a gazillion times better looking. I loved how the camera follows the flight of some dragons around like some crazy rollercoaster ride, nothing too outstanding these days but it looks awesome. With each passing animated movie the visuals just keep getting more glossy, more magnificent and generally spectacular.
I still dislike the choice of Baruchel for the voice of Hiccup...I mean I really don't like it, its so fecking annoying. Everyone else fits into their roles well (or as before), Butler again giving us a lovely Scottish Viking. But when its all said and done this movie like other animated movies is all about the visuals and visual humour, and this doesn't disappoint. The plot is a tad boring, sure it offers some little moments, some tiny twists...but essentially its a very safe bog standard affair (I realise its based on a book but still). The characters are well developed and designed, most of the dragons are also well designed (some looking too silly and freaky for me) and the main battle is right up there with any big live action fantasy adventure.
Obviously not quite as fresh as the first movie, it takes its time to pump out the thrills but it definitely gets there in the end. I think the fact it appeals to all ages really makes this franchise a winner. Much like 'Toy Story' its so damn likable, who doesn't enjoy dragons in a movie?! In the end this movie (franchise) made me wanna live in this sumptuous little universe with my own pet dragon, what more can I say?...a job well done movie.
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