Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Hiccup and Toothless ride again in “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Five years have passed since a young viking and a Night Fury have forged a bond that changed the worlds of both vikings and dragons. In that time, the inhabitants of  island of Berk have welcomed their former foes with a clean slate and open arms and a period of harmony has flourished.

And with Vikings on the backs of Dragons, the world just got a whole lot bigger- Jay Baruchel as Hiccup

Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel (“Knocked Up,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”), and his best friend Toothless have been busy learning about new lands and new dragons. Their explorations are about to uncover something rather unexpected and even unsettling as they come across a dragon trapper named Eret, voiced by Kit Harrington (“Pompei”), who is gathering dragons to serve his mysterious employer.

Hiccup and Toothless bring up their new acquaintance to Hiccup’s father Stoick, voiced by Gerard Butler (“300”), as well as Stoick’s right-hand-man Gobber, voiced by Craig Ferguson (“Brave”) and when they drop the name “Drago Bludvist,” Stoick goes into panic mode and seeks to protect the island and its inhabitants at all costs. Drago Bludvist, voiced by Academy Award nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond”), is a victim of the past battles between humanity and vikings seeks vengeance on the creatures by marshaling an army of dragons under his control and he is sadistic enough to wipe out anyone and anything in his way.

Drago Bludvist aims to control the dragons in “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

Stoick does not see diplomacy as an option to convince Drago to leave the dragons alone and preserve the peace between humans and dragons but that doesn’t stop Hiccup from trying to seek Drago out to change his mind and as soon as he and Toothless leave, his friends Astrid, voiced by America Ferrera (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”), Snoutlout, voiced by Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Moneyball”), Fishlegs, voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (“Kick-Ass”), Ruffnut, voiced by Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”), and Tuffnut, voiced by T.J. Miller (“Get Him to the Greek”), go after him to keep him out of trouble.

While searching for Drago, Hiccup encounters a dragon-rider he has never met before but this dragon-rider has a powerful tie to his past.

Should I know you?

No. You were only a babe. But a mother never forgets-Jay Baruchel as Hiccup and Cate Blanchett as Valka

For the last 20 years, Hiccup’s long-lost mother Valka, voiced by Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (“Elizabeth: the Golden Age,” “Blue Jasmine”) has been living among dragons and nursing the dragons wounded by Drago’s bloodlust and has made it her life’s mission to protect them Drago’s wrath, but when Drago makes his move, the reunited family of Stoick, Hiccup and Valka and all of the riders of Berk must unite, Viking and Dragon, to stop the madman before he shapes the world by his terms.

You have the heart of a chief and the soul of a dragon-Cate Blanchett as Valka

Under the direction of Dean DeBlois, Hiccup and Toothless lead the charge against Drago in DreamWorks’ “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

Fans of the original “How to Train Your Dragon” must immediately flock to see this sequel because not only is it a brilliant, worthy and beautiful new chapter of the cinematic adaptation of Cressida Cowell’s beloved story, there is absolute certainty that audiences of all ages will fall in love with this genuine family feature.

Massive credit must be given to screenwriter and director Dean DeBlois. He assumes sole directing credit after co-directing with Chris Sanders on the principle film, and he did a fantastic job not only sticking with the recipe that made the first film so successful but allowing the elements that made the first film successful to mature with the story, the plot and the characters as well.

Hiccup’s mother Valka shares new secrets about dragons in “How to Train Your Dragon 2”

The animation is rich and lush and the use of 3D is just magically. This is a movie that shines in 3D, and completely compliments the flying sequences, the set designs, the visual effects; visually this is a stunning animated adventure.

The plot is a treasure trove of insight into these completely lovable characters. Not only do we get valuable insight into Hiccup’s past through his mother, the story is so fresh that never stops surprising the audience.

The voices of the characters have not lost their charm to make the audience smile or sob. There is actual growth to these new characters and new dimensions that the audience cannot help but to gravitate towards.

“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is wholesome, heart-warming and audiences of all ages will fall in love with everything that makes it a beautiful animated-adventure, which is practically everything.

Hands down, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is one of the best films of the year, the best animated film of the year, and the finest summer blockbuster of the year so far. Audiences need to recognize that this is a film not that not only children will enjoy but adults will find the charm of this film inescapable. An Oscar-worthy and first-class film all the way.

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