ByTim Horton, writer at
Business Development Manager at Universally Speaking. @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

Spoiler Free!

From DreamWorks Animation, the studio that brought you animated greats like “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Croods,” comes the highly anticipated sequel to the Academy Award-nominated HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.

This is actually the thrilling second chapter of the epic trilogy, that’s right TRILOGY, How To Train Your Dragon 3 is set for release June 2016.

So, what's it all about this time around?

Five years have passed since the heroic young Viking Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) befriended an injured dragon and forever changed the way the residents of Berk interact with the ferocious and now oh so lovable fire-breathers.

Now, Vikings and dragons live side-by-side in peace on the fantastical isle that has been transformed into a dragon’s paradise.

Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless have taken to the skies mapping the surrounding lands and charting new settlements over vast seas, leaving the others to engage in all new dragon riding based contact sports as only vikings can do.

All is thrown into turmoil however when Hiccup discovers that the peace between dragons and Vikings is threatened by the power-hungry, self proclaimed dragon master Drago "Bloodfist" who is building a giant army of dragons that he will use to wash over the earth and conquer all kingdoms far and wide, ironically in the name of 'dragon liberation for the people'.

We also get introduced to an all new, very cool looking dragon rider. A female warrior character which introduces a nice twist to the story, which I will not spoil by revealing here, allows Hiccup to be introduced to a whole other world of dragons he could never have imagined.

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Who is the Mystery Rider?
Who is the Mystery Rider?

The lovable gang from the original are back; Astrid, Gobber and Viking friends Snotlout, Fishlegs and twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut, all lending their sometimes foolhardy support to Hiccup and Stoick the Vast, who must all work together to protect the dragons they have grown to love.

In the process, Hiccup finds the answers he has been looking for in ways he could never have imagined.

Fans of the original How To Train Your Dragon will find themselves right at home from the get go in this beautifully envisaged sequel. There is no shortage of fun and adventure that effortlessly caters to all ages.

One minute I was laughing my 3D glasses off, the next trying to hide the tears. This movie takes you through an emotional roller-coaster that’s for sure. Fans of the oh so adorable Night Fury ‘Toothless’ will be in animated heaven for 105 minutes as Toothless gets a lot more screen time this time around.

You can’t help but fall in love with the bond that Hiccup and Toothless share, it is evident whenever the two are featured together on screen, it is a perfect example of unconditional love, trust and selflessness. That is what separates How to Train Your Dragon from other animated features, expressive emotion through mostly non verbal communication.

How to Train Your Dragon was a perfect grounding story to lead onto the adventure that is the sequel. With new locations, characters and monstrous dragons, there is certainly no time for a quick bathroom break, you are hooked from start to finish.

The introduction of an Alpha dragon I really got excited about. The bigger the better in my book.

In the first film, the “Dragon” team introduced the idea that there’s a dragon hierarchy and that a monstrous Alpha dragon hidden away in a cave is served food by squadrons of other dragons or risk being devoured themselves. What if the Red Death of the first movie was actually not the top of the food chain? What if there were a couple of rungs above it and, at the very top, a behemoth of a dragon, bigger than anyone has ever seen?

The giant Ice Dragon
The giant Ice Dragon

The concept is simple , there are only a few Bewilderbeasts (Above) in existence but they are the natural-born Alpha of the dragon world. They have an unseen ability to communicate with, and force their will upon, other dragons all except for the renegade babies, who typically listen to no one, So, if you control the Alpha, you control all the dragons.

Drago’s secret weapon is just such a beast, which he has trained to fight at his command. When he discovers that Valka is protecting a benevolent Bewilderbeast in her sanctuary, he sets in motion a plan to draw it out in an epic battle for dominance before moving on to pillage Berk and capture all of its dragons.

The film does hold a few twists and turns so be prepared! The way in which we see revelation and character progression is again astounding the team have really done a great job in working in real life character personal toils. As with any film you want be left feeling something when you leave the cinema and this title is no exception, it leaves you feeling, and then some.

Characters and their dragons with a little help from the director DeBlois (That's how we roll here at Gamertag Gaming, always exclusive content)

Stoick has a brand new dragon, Skullcrusher, that wasn’t seen in the first film. He’s a big rhino of a dragon, mixed with a truffle pig, He’s a very eager but very serious tracking dragon and can find just about anything on scent. He’s a bloodhound. They needed a dragon that was sizeable so that when Stoick sits up on top of him, it it would look to be able carry his weight but also not make Stoick look ridiculously small in the process.

Valka’s dragon Cloud Jumper, which exhibits a lot of owl behavior, is an amazing creature with two sets of wings that can split apart and makes for a very distinct silhouette in the sky. These two have a long-term relationship, i wont spoil it for you and say why, “they have such an intuitive way of flying together that Valka doesn’t even need a saddle,” DeBlois says. “She stands up on it and it barrel rolls and she walks around it.”

Astrid’s relationship with Stormfly the Deadly Nadder has evolved, much like the other riders and their dragons. “They’re five years in, they understand each other, and they reflect each other’s personalities to some degree,” DeBlois says. “Astrid is very headstrong and extremely capable. We gave Stormfly a personality that complements that by making her more like a doting fetch dog in the sense that she listens to Astrid’s every command with great enthusiasm. So Stormfly does love to fetch whatever it is, whether a ball or a human! They have a really playful relationship, which is a nice outlet for Astrid because she’s otherwise so serious and strong.”

The twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut ride the same dragon, a two-headed Zippleback named Belch & Barf, each which have distinct personalities and are always at war with each other. “We love playing out the idea that even though they’re forced to work together, they’re always trying to sabotage each other,” DeBlois says.

“Fishlegs and his Gronckle, Meatlug, are the loveable pair. Meatlug is Fishleg’s steady and stalwart buddy. She gives off the appearance of being somewhat dimwitted, a quality that is reflected on Fishlegs. But you can’t write Fishlegs off as a dullard because he’s actually quite intelligent. She’s there for him at all times…they just move at a slower pace,” DeBlois says.

“Snotlout and his dragon, Hookfang, a Monstrous Nightmare, are the aggressive showmen. They’re always trying to draw attention to themselves, always trying to impress. He’s kind of like the little guy who drives the big expensive car just to make himself seem more impressive,” DeBlois laughs.

Gobber’s dragon is Grump, a large, lazy, walrus of a dragon. “He lives up to his name,” DeBlois says. “He’s always grumpy, always in the way, always falling asleep, all of which adds to Gobber’s aggravation on a daily basis.”

The Verdict

Among the things I like about [How to Train Your Dragon 2](movie:44736) is the way DeBlois and his team have delivered a number of important messages, packaged within this fast-paced animated adventure. The battles between good and evil forces are not simplistic, but shown to have all kinds of side consequences. Frightening moments are not sugar-coated, and we are shown that dangerous moments can — and do — bring tragic end results. Kids today are fully aware of life-and-death issues, and simply because they are showcased in an animated film doesn’t mean they need to be ignored.

The film is great! Not only does this second movie match the charm, wit, animation skill and intelligent storytelling of the original, I think it even exceeds it. I loved it, the team loved and you will too. Worthy of all the hype and worldwide praise it has received thus far.

We will be awarding this movie 9/10 "Stunning. The hottest animation movie out there"

The first 5 minutes of How to Train Your Dragon 2 -

As a special treat to go along with the prize pack giveaway we are hosting on MoviePilot we have supplied you with the first 5 minutes of How To Train Your Dragon 2 - Enjoy and comment below if you are looking forward to seeing this movie. And I can't wait for [How to Train Your Dragon 3](movie:570818)!

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