Are you looking for a fun movie for the family? Look no further. How To Train Your Dragon 2 is a vibrant, funny and sentimental animated film that continues where the original film left off.
Five years after the Viking village of Berk has made peace with the dragons, dragons now live amongst the villagers as working animals and companions, and even take part in racing sport.
While investigating a wildfire, the young hero Hiccup and his lady love Astrid discover the remains of a fort encased in a colossal ice formation and encounter a dragon trapper named Eret, who blames them for the destruction of his fort and attempts to capture their dragons for an insane conqueror called Drago Bludvist. The two riders return to Berk to warn Hiccup’s father Stoick about the dragon army that Drago is amassing. Stoick orders the villagers to fortify the island and prepare for battle.
Hiccup refuses to believe that war is inevitable and again flies off with Toothless. They are captured by a dragon rider named Valka, who is revealed to be Hiccup’s long lost mother. She explains that she spent twenty years rescuing dragons from Drago’s traps and bringing them to an island haven created out of ice by a colossal Alpha dragon called a Bewilderbeast, to whom all dragons answer. Stoick tracks Hiccup to the island where he discovers that his wife is still alive. Simultaneously, Astrid and the other riders kidnap Eret so as to find Drago, but they are also captured and Drago thus learns of Berk’s dragons.
The film pays homage to the Harry Potter series in several ways. The dragons rescued by Hiccup’s mother are first seen flying around and a pillared landscape, much the same as the keys in Sorcerer’s Stone did. The map Hiccup is making resembles the Marauder’s Map. The games played with the Dragon’s parallel Quidditch. The dragons and other magical characters also evoke a bit of the Potter mystique.
Still, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is terrific in its own realm.
I like the fact that Hiccup is not a superhero, that he and his dragon have been disabled, that he is a peacemaker but brave enough to defend his people and step into his father’s shoes. In fact, he is a rather skinny little runt with a mind of his own. Skinny has nothing to do with bravery. His lady, Astrid, follows in the path of other brave heroines as she stands beside Hiccup through war and peace.
A few scenes with rather evil-looking dragons might be a bit scary for very young children, but overall, the medium and the message is meant for everyone.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 lives up to its predecessor and fulfills the promise of that film. It also leaves the door open for a “Dragon 3” film.