How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Director: Dean DeBloisCast: Jay BaruchelCate BlanchettGerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill

In a world where a sequel to an animated feature usually means “finishing returns”, I was expecting something a lot worse than this (Toy story” is obviously an exception to the rule). In fact I thought this was rather good. “How to train your dragon 2” has quite a few surprising twists to the old formula up its sleeve. For a start it has the courage to jump ahead 5 years since “part 1” and have all the kids grown up. While this choice might be a surprising one to start with, once the ending is revealed and you see where it was all heading to (No spoilers for those who haven’t seen it), it all makes a lot of sense. It’s a sequel that has its own story and its own arc, without having to retread old grounds or having to rely of you having seen the original (though there are enough call-back for the fans).

It is slightly more chaotic and unfocussed than the first one (especially at the start) and it’s also aimed at slightly older kids too (with plots about war and actual deaths) and what’s probably lost this time around is that magic, that senes of mystery and discovery that made the first one so endearing and lovable, but there’s also has a much stronger emotional resonance to it and consequently it feels more weighty.

I have to confess that this time around I found the voice of “Hiccup” a little bit distracting. Jay Baruchel’s nerdy and high pitched/nasal voice might have worked for the younger version of his character, the slim unsuspecting hero, but now that “Hiccup” has grown and his animators have made him look cooler, I found the dichotomy between the look and the voice slightly jarring. However, on the technical side of things, the animation is possibly even better this time, aside from the great flying sequences (now a must for this series and always the highlight), those grand vistas and the atmospheric lighting, there are some truly breathtaking shots (a particular one comes to mind where the camera zooms down from the sky to find a huge battle taking place below, swoops around dozens of men down below and ends up focussing on one of the baddies shouting), exciting battles, fast visual gags and lots of beautiful dragons.I was never bored and got even a bit moved… though with all the playing with “sheep” and feasting with “fish” sequences (all of them played for laugh of course), the vegans and vegetarians out there may want to give this one a miss. 🤣

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