THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER-FREE! :’D
In the animation world, and actually the movie world in general, sequels are practically notorious for being a waste of time and a disappointment to their predecessor. There are movies like Disney-Pixar’s Cars 2 and pretty much any Disney sequel that make you wish the franchise never came to be. But then there are movies like Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story 2 that further immerse you in the world of the first movie and make you love the franchise more than you ever thought possible. DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2 exemplifies the latter.
I am one of the biggest fans of How to Train Your Dragon. I have never read any of the books, but I consider the first movie one of my favorite movies of all time. I fell in love with the music, the story, Hiccup and Toothless (of course), and the overarching sense of adventure I felt from watching it. There’s just something about a man and his pet that gets you right in the feels, you know? Maybe one of the biggest reasons I liked the sequel so much is that it used what made the first one great and multiplied it. There was still that same heart, amazing music, fantastic story, human-animal bond, and sense of adventure that I loved in the first one. It felt like you were actually returning to Berk instead of watching another movie about it. I truly felt like I was there because I never wanted to leave.
Compared to the first installment of HTTYD, this movie was darker and more plot-driven. While the first movie focused a lot on the growing bond between Hiccup and Toothless as well as the struggling relationship between Vikings and dragons, the second movie throws you into a Berk that has since learned to coexist with dragons, and those bonds are already established. Astrid and Hiccup are still a “thing,” Hiccup and Toothless are closer than ever, and of course Hiccup and his father Stoick are bumping heads. It’s like you never left Berk at all!
Though, according to the movie, it has been five years since you saw Berk last. Hiccup and the gang are about twenty years old and facing actual problems, which is the reason why the movie appears much darker than the first. Dragon trappers, dragon thieves, dragon riders: they all appear in the movie and provide conflicts for the main gang. The film runs 100 minutes, but it certainly feels like less. The movie does a great job of hopping between storylines without becoming too confusing. And, to top it all off, every bit of the movie is a heart-racing and anxiety-inducing experience. I loved every second of it!
I felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions from beginning to end, starting with the heartwarming bond of Hiccup and Toothless. I don’t know if it’s because I have a black cat at home who acts just like the cute and deadly dragon, but I just love them to pieces. HTTYD 2 is a great movie for kids and adults alike, especially if you loved the first installment. It does its predecessor justice and then some. I would even venture to say that the movie soared its way into my top 3 favorite movies of all time! So, with those thoughts in mind, you should definitely see How to Train Your Dragon 2. You won’t regret a second of it, though you may regret wearing mascara to the theater.
Rating: 10/10 (yes, I liked it THAT much)
Other reasons to see it:
- score that won’t dislodge itself from your head ever
- Kit Harington (you know, JON SNOW) voices a character
- the feels
- you’ll appreciate your cat (or dog) more afterwards
- 20 year-old Hiccup
- Toothless cuteness
- you saw the first one so you must see the second one
Let me know in the comments below what you thought of the movie as well! I’d love to discuss my feels with you all.
Until next time, DFTBA!