Dreamwork's 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' More Than Lives Up to Its Predecessor in This Summer's Box Office Hit
It's been five years since we've seen Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the lively and charming cast from Dreamwork's 'How to Train Your Dragon.' This summer's sequel, released on June 13, did not disappoint fans of the franchise, both children and adult alike. One may recall that in the first film, Hiccup, the son of the Viking leader of the island of Berk, united his fellow Vikings in peace with the dragons they once feared and loathed.
Now, Berk is under threat once again; this time, however, the threat is not dragon, but human. In their quest to chart new territories and discover new parts of the world, Hiccup and Toothless stumble upon a mysterious figure known as the Dragon Rider, who keeps an icy island haven for dragons of all shapes and sizes.
The original film is a heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog...er, dragon. It ends happily, with dragons and humans living in peace. The second installment, although marketed primarily for children, deals with subjects much darker and heavier than those of the first film. It is perhaps animated film's equivalent of a YA novel. Hiccup struggles with his relationship with his parents, with the responsibility laid on him by others and, most importantly, by himself. He comes face to face with the issue of the greater good and the needs of many (i.e., his people on the island of Berk).
This film is nothing if it is not family-friendly, complete with scenes of rollicking joy and piercing sadness. While some may say those moments of sadness err too much on the side of cliche, they serve to propel Hiccup to take ownership of his life and of his future. That, more than any other of this film's redeeming qualities, makes 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' a must-see movie for children, whether they be five or fifteen, and for adults alike.
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