How to Train Your Dragon 2 Movie Review
Kidzworld enters the magical world of Hiccup, Toothless and pals as they discover new friends, make emotional family discoveries and fight the evil Drago. Read our review of How to Train Your Dragon 2!
By: Lynn Barker
It’s five years later (since the first “Dragon” movie) and everything is peaceful and fun in the island land of Berk where now 20-year-old Dragon Rider Hiccup (voice of Jay Baruchel) and his loyal (and adorable) Night Fury dragon Toothless enjoy races and Hiccup avoids his dad’s wish to make him the leader of his people. He’s not ready, or is he?
Calm Before the Storm
The citizens of Viking realm Berk are happy with their friendly dragons and enjoy races and airborne fun regularly. Hiccup, experienced dragon rider is now 20 and busy exploring and mapping his world on the back of his best buddy Toothless, a rare Night Fury dragon. Hiccup and his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera) are closer than ever. The fly in the ointment? Hiccup’s dad Stoick (voice of Gerard Butler) is ready to retire and make Hiccup the chief of the clan. Hiccup doesn’t think he can ever live up to his dad’s expectations.
While investigating a burned section of land, Hiccup and Astrid discover the remains of a fort encased in a giant ice formation and tangle with Eret (Kit Harington) a dragon trapper who thinks they destroyed his fort and tries to capture their dragons to turn them over to crazy conqueror Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). Astrid and Hiccup escape and tell Stoick about the dragon army that Drago is amassing. Stoick gets ready for war but Hiccup wants to find Drago and reason with him. Stoick once met Drago and tells Hiccup he’s nuts and won’t listen.
The Quest for Peace
Hiccup and Astrid surrender themselves and their dragons to Eret to be taken to Drago but Stoick, Gobber (Craig Ferguson) and Berk's other dragon riders pursue and find them. Hiccup refuses to just go to war and he and Toothless are captured by a dragon master who turns out be Hiccup’s long lost mom Valka (Cate Blanchett). She explains that she learned long ago that dragons were friendly souls at heart and has spent twenty years rescuing them from Drago's traps and bringing them to a haven of ice protected by a ginormous Alpha dragon.
Reunion and Attack
Stoick again tracks Hiccup to this dragon island where he finds that his wife is still alive and an odd family reunion takes place. Meanwhile Astrid and other riders kidnap Eret hoping he will lead them to Drago but the would-be world dominator captures them and learns that Berk has dragons he can capture for his army. Drago and his army attack Valka’s sanctuary and he has his own gigantic Alpha dragon which challenges Valka’s giant critter as they fight for control of all dragons.
Drago's Alpha beast wins and takes mental control of all the dragons, including Toothless who becomes his dragon on the way to destroy Berk. Riding baby dragons too young to be mind-controlled, Hiccup and pals return to defend Berk from Drago and his dragon army. Will Hiccup and Toothless be reunited? Will Hiccup become chief?
How to Train Your Dragon 2 has it all; a great personal story that combines family relationship problems, betrayal and even death with gorgeous animation, amazing production design and strong character development. Hiccup is just what we would assume he’d be as a young adult. He’s got integrity yet he’s unsure of his ability to lead. We are behind him 100 percent as he gradually becomes a worthy leader of his people.
If I could say anything negative it would be that the film might be a bit too long, a little repetitive, a bit scary occasionally for little kids and maybe too “heavy” in parts when compared with the light fun of the first film. For most of us, however, it just soars.
Toothless is, if possible, cuter than ever. The film is loaded with sweet little gestures between the big-eyed black dragon and humans he cares for. You wanna reach out and hug the little critter! New dragons are amazingly-designed and colorful eye candy.
Acting is totally believable and excellent throughout whether it’s the comedy of Ruffnut (voiced by Kristin Wiig) who falls for hunky dragon trapper Eret (hot Kit Harington) or the angst of Hiccup’s newfound, long lost mom Valka (Cate Blanchett). Jay Baruchel embodies Hiccup’s young adulthood with spot-on perfection.
This second “Dragon” movie is entertaining and involving for the whole family, a good date movie and a great film to see with best buds. We go four stars.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 Movie Rating:
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is in theaters now!