This sequel to the original 2010 movie, How to Train Your Dragon, is a delight. Rarely do I sit down to a movie and within fifteen minutes I’m telling myself that I don’t even care if it’s a coherent movie—this thing is so beautiful to look at it was worth the time and money.
In How to Train Your Dragon 2, five years have passed for Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his friends. The movie starts with an excellent short introduction to the story, so if you haven’t had a chance to see the first one you’ll be able to follow along.
The story follows Hiccup, now twenty years old, as he is exploring far-off lands with his dragon, Toothless. It is both a complex and simple story. Hiccup unexpectedly meets someone very special, and this plotline is what I feel sets this movie apart from many other children’s movies. You will know what I mean when you see it! The second plotline features a villain, Drago Bludvist (voiced by Djimon Hounsou), who is building an army of dragons and intends to control all the dragons himself. Hiccup and his friends have to fight against Drago and try to convince him that the dragons aren’t to be ruled as dangerous beasts, but to be treated as loyal friends.
I think it would be accurate to call this a coming of age story. Hiccup is the son of the chief, and the time is quickly coming when he will succeed his father. He fears he won’t be able to fill his father’s shoes, and he is still searching for who he is. His girlfriend, Astrid, tells him that what he is searching for isn’t out in the world, but inside him.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is rated PG, and has no profanity or sexual content. There is animated violence, and some scenes that in my opinion would be too intense for younger children. If your child was okay with the first movie, they should be fine with this one. The animation is beautiful, the dragons are beautiful, and the Isle of Berk and the surrounding lands are beautiful. Both the attention to detail and skill in designing the movie alone make me want to go out and buy the DVD as soon as it is available. It is a good story, with a strong message of taking care of your family and unconditional love.
Heidi Joelle is professional minion by day and a writer, editor, and reader by night. She can be coaxed from the house by the sound of a good adventure or the opportunity of traveling somewhere new. Her Saint Bernard, Smokey, and problem-solving cat, Diamond, bring extra joy to daily life.