ByJames Porter, writer at
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James Porter

Movie Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Directed By: Dean DeBlois.

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harrington and Cate Blanchett.

When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

[How to Train Your Dragon 2](movie:44736) is the sequel to the hit 2010 animated film "How To Train Your Dragon". That movie was a big hit and it was an excellent film.

Hiccup (Baruchel) has grown up, he is exploring the world with his best friend, Toothless the Dragon. Hiccup has a moral dilemma he must face, his father wants him to take command of Berk and become the new chief, but Hiccup doesn't want that sort of responsibility thrust upon him, he wants to explore the world.

Whilst exploring the skies, Hiccup and his girlfriend Astrid learn of a war that is brewing in the shadows. Drago Bloodfist (Hounsou) is building an army of dragons, he intends to control every single dragon in the world until he is unstoppable.

I was a big fan of the first film, I thought it transcended just the genre of animation and was just a fantastic film in general. The sequel exceeds on its predecessor in many ways. This film is free to go to places the original could not and seeing Hiccup and Toothless explore the skies was almost operatic in a way. I personally got quite emotional in these scenes because of John Powell's yet again breathtaking musical score.

Surprisingly this film is a lot more adult than I had first anticipated. The themes that this film explores are very mature. This is the perfect family film. The kids can enjoy the spectacle of the film, the beautiful animation and the fun battles but the adults will really find something great with the story of the film. The story deals with family and responsibility in a very compelling way. This film was incredibly refreshing. Often animated films really do aim themselves at the demographic of children, but this film catered for all audiences.

The first film had its fair share of action but the sequel takes it to a whole new level. The battles in this film are grand and deserve the word 'epic'. There are monster moments in this movie that you'd expect from a [Godzilla](movie:45291) film.

If this movie is not a front runner for best animation at the Oscars next year, there is something seriously wrong. This is the most beautiful looking animated film I have ever seen. The animation almost looks real at times and I was completely invested in this world of Vikings and Dragons because it looked incredible. The technical aspects of the film are perfected. The character animations and the way they move is incredible to watch. There are more dragons on screen than in the first movie and they all look great and I was blown away by how much was happening on screen at once.

Dean DeBlois directed the film so intimately, I felt like I was up in the clouds with Hiccup and Toothless and felt like I was in the heart of all the battles. I would love to see how DeBlois would direct a live action film because all he's done so far is animation and his work here proves that this is a director who should stretch his wings (pun intended) a little bit and explore different types of film making.

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Toothless the Dragon still remains the most adorable animated character in movies ever. The interaction between him and Hiccup was just great to watch on screen. The film is a lot of fun, its mature in a lot of ways but this is one of the most enjoyable theater experiences I've had all year. I even forgot I was in the theater at times because this film just immersed me.

The movie is surprisingly very touching and moving in scenes because of the themes it explores. Hiccup's relationship with his father felt very real and it was really emotional. I have to give praise to John Powell for this also, his score backs up the emotion in the film perfectly and without his music the scnes wouldn't have had the same impact.

Drago Bloodfist is the villain in the film and I thought his character could have been explored a bit more. There is one scene in the film where we learn a little of why he is doing the bad things he is doing but I didn't feel like that was enough. The character of Drago definitely was one that needed exploring more. For a large portion of the film you don't see his character, you only hear of him but by the last act of the film where you see just how evil he is, I ended up enjoying the character of Drago, he was a good villain. Djimon Hounsou's voice was incredible menacing and intimidating and was a perfect fit for this character.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 is an excellent film, it is fun, moving and beautifully constructed. This is by far the best animated film so far this year, and I for one can't wait for [How to Train Your Dragon 3](movie:570818).

This is the perfect family film, if you haven't gone out to see this yet, I implore you to do so. I'm going to give How To Train Your Dragon 2 an A-!


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