This has been a sequel four years in the making, the first was released in 2010. The movie however picks up five years later as we're reintroduced to the dragon loving village of Berk. How To Train Your Dragon 2 opens with the villages new dragon rider game, using sheep and a sort of basket system with points. This helps us to get reintroduced to the characters, just in case you haven't been watching the Dreamworks Dragons (2012) tv series, or the How To Train Your Dragon Legends (2010). Did you know there is already a How To Train Your Dragon 3, set for 2016, in the works? Not surprising, given where we are left off at the end of this second installment.
|Five Years Later - Now Astrid and Hiccup are 20 years old|
As I was saying, during this competition in the village, we are being reintroduced to the characters. There is the mighty Chieftain Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler), his right hand man Gobber (voiced by Craig Ferguson), and then you have all of Hiccup's friends. Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera) is, as Stoick puts it, is his future daughter-in-law. Snotlout (voiced by Jonah Hill) and Fishlegs (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) are swooning over Ruffnut (voiced by Kristen Wiig) as her twin brother Tuffnut (voiced by T. J. Miller) tries to keep up. Then there is Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) who is the only son of Stoick's. There are new characters as well. We are introduced to Hiccup's Mother, Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett) and by the end of the movie another new member of Berk, Eret (voiced by Kit Harrington).
|Hiccup and Toothless Flying High|
After the village's game is over, we are reconnected with Hiccup and Toothless as they're flying high and enjoying the freedom of their moment. Hiccup asks Toothless is he's ready to try again and he prepares to depart his Nightfury and starts plummeting through the skies. Toothless is never far behind, but suddenly Hiccup is flying as well! He's created wings, so to speak, of his own and they're gliding through the air. He still has some kinks to work out after they crash land on an island, but all is well. I love this scene and was actually laughing out loud at the interactions between Hiccup and Toothless. I could tell a lot of development and time went into that scene and it was awesome.
|Toothless and Hiccup - clowning around as best friends do|
However, I felt like the movie overall seemed a little rough around the edges. I liked it, don't get me wrong. What really irritated me was I had seen a commercial where they were trying to suggest that this movie was comparable to Frozen (2013), which I don't think it was. Dreamworks is 20 years old, compared to the decades of experience that Disney has. I think How To Train Your Dragon 2 (HTTYD2) was a great movie, and yes I'll probably see it again. But, I don't think it will surpass Frozen. That's just my opinion. This is one of the reasons: There were times in HTTYD2 that I felt the music didn't fit the scene. Music has a big impact on the emotion and connectivity between the movie and the viewer. There was one part in particular where I remember thinking this sounds like some epic battle scene and it was during a more peaceful, tranquil scene - it just didn't fit and it made me feel disconnected. That's just me being a movie snob though.
|Eret proclaims to be the best trapper|
Once Hiccup is on his way, he is intercepted by a mysterious being and further more this mystery is riding a dragon. Another dragon picks off Hiccup from Toothless as the Nightfury plummets to the icy waters below. Where we see him struggling and we're left in fear of his life.
|Valka has been the protector of the dragons|
|Astrid's matured, still tough and bold|
Back with Hiccup and his reconnected family, Valka (Hiccups Mother, Stoick's wife) has agreed to return home to Berk with them. They're interrupted by the attack of Drago and a war is underway. Stoick is a loving husband and follows Valka's lead, as she mounts her dragon to go into battle in the attempt to safe their current location and all the innocent dragons. Drago strikes hard and fast calling out the Alpha's as they ensue an epic battle. However, when Drago's alpha (who had an advantage) wins, he thinks he has won the war. When Hiccup lands before him pleading Drago to listen to him. Drago wants anything but peace and soon commands his alpha dragon to possess Toothless. This is heartbreaking because Toothless fights the alpha, but eventually is powerless to the alphas abilities. Drago then orders Toothless to kill Hiccup... however, Stoick sees what is going on and runs to save his son, only jumping between the Nightfury and his son taking on the blue blast.
|Short Lived Family Reunion - Stoick, Hiccup and Valka|
Everyone rushes to Stoick's side, but it's too late, he's dead. Hiccup, in anger tells Toothless (who has been released from the alpha's entrapment) to go away. Toothless didn't know what he had done, and is upset himself as Drago mounts Toothless and they fly off toward Berk. Hiccup and the gang, in honorary Viking style, send off their Chief Stoick in style. He's laid upon a boat drifting to sea, as Gobber and Hiccup say their last words Hiccup shoots an fiery arrow that hits the boat near his father's laid out body. The rest of the group follow suit, and it is a sad time. They know that they have to go and defend Berk... but how? Hiccup has the answer.
|Yeah! That's the Alpha Drago has control of...|
|Drago grunting commands in the heat of battle|
Toothless kicks butt and once and claims the alpha position leaving the other mega alpha to retreat into his watery abyss. The dragons bow to Toothless recognizing his new position among them as Hiccup is also named the new Chief - to which his father, previously in the movie, was trying to prepare him for. The end of the movie left you feeling good. The dragons were happy again, the characters we're invested in are happy, they're rebuilding their village at the same time enjoying their dragon riding game... all is good. I can totally see how there could be more movies now.
Overall I think it's a fun movie for the family to venture out to see. Especially now that most schools are out for the summer. I know my boyfriend and I went on the night that was the last day of school. I was surprised that not more people were there given that it wasn't a school night. But, then again for most families it was still a work night for the parents. My favorite character is still Toothless. I've always loved dragons but he makes me love them even more.