When offered the HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON sequel, writer/director Dean DeBlois agreed upon one condition: That he be able to turn it into a trilogy. Thus HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 and 3 were born!
In preparation for HTTYD 2, DeBlois turned to films of his youth for inspiration, with STAR WARS: EPISODE V – THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK taking pivotal place.
“What I loved about EMPIRE is that it expanded Star Wars in every direction: Emotionally, its scope, characters and fun,” DeBlois said, “It felt like an embellishment and that’s my goal.
To strive for a sequel of EMPIRE caliber is bold to say the least! So does he succeed?
Set five years after the original, the Vikings of Berk are now confident dragon riders. With scaly winged transport at their fingertips, the characters’ adventures stretch far beyond the borders of their village, unlocking a vast new world for the audience to explore.
After stumbling across an unexpected find, our unlikely heroes, Hiccup and Toothless, lead the fight to save the entire dragon race and restore Viking/dragon relations as an evil dragon master seeks to gain control of the beasts to power his attempt at ultimate domination!
Sounds pretty epic right? That’s because it is. In the words of AccessReel Founder and Editor Darran Price, “this film is devastating!”
HTTYD 2 is one quality sequel. The scope is bigger (as you find with practically all sequels) but, unlike most second films, it still has the same heart of the original. To top this off, there is greater character development and a welcome darker tone. Just as Hiccup has aged, so to has the target market with a scarier, more emotional plot on offer.
The soundtrack is suitably epic, reminiscent in parts to LORD OF THE RINGS (it may be a “kids movie” but there has been no skimping on this production it seems!)
Visually, the film is schmicko and there’s enough obvious comedy to please the little kiddies.
There is little to fault in this film. It is highly entertaining for children and adults alike. Sure, it’s a little formulaic, but it’s so much fun this can be forgiven.
It’s no LEGO MOVIE, but HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is certainly better than your average kids flick, and a whole lot better than your usual kids flick sequel! I rate it 7 stars.