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‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ Review: Best Animated Film Since ‘Frozen’

Fri, June 13, 2014 6:45am EDT by 4 Comments
How To Train Your Dragon 2 Review
Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation

‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ is a heartwarming summer film for all ages that is accessible for everyone — even if you haven’t seen its predecessor! Full review below.

How To Train Your Dragon 2, in theaters June 13, has been one of the most highly-anticipated sequels of the summer. (Sorry, 22 Jump Street, but you’re great, too.) The original How To Train Your Dragon, released in 2010, was a massive commercial and critical success for DreamWorks. That said, the sequel totally holds up to its predecessor, and even the most diehard fans of the franchise will be thrilled by Hiccup’s latest adventure! Read on for the full review and tell us if you’ll be watching!

‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ Review: Hiccup Faces A New Threat To Dragons Everywhere In The Best Animated Movie Since ‘Frozen’

How To Train Your Dragon 2 takes place five years after the events of the first film. Thanks to the efforts of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), dragons are a part of everyday life for the denizens of the Viking village of Berk. Hiccup is being pressured by his father, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) to start considering taking over as chieftain, but when Hiccup and his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera) discover a new and dangerous threat to dragons everywhere, Hiccup is not interested in simply holding down the fort against a full-on war.

Against his father’s wishes, Hiccup wants to seek out the bloodthirsty dragon trapper Drago Bludvist (Djimon Honsou) directly and to try and keep the peace by reasoning with him (as you might imagine, Hiccup is not wholly successful in this method).

Along the way, he meets his long lost mother, Valka (Cate Blanchett), who had a similar vision to Hiccup’s 20 years earlier — for dragons to live among them in peace — but left because Stoick and the others were unwilling to change. She and her dragon, Stormjumper, join Hiccup, Toothless, and his friends in trying to protect the rest of the dragons and the village of Berk from this new, huge threat to their way of life.

‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ Review: Diehard Fans Will Love It, But It’s Also Accessible To Every Audience

The fresh, exciting plot of How To Train Your Dragon 2, while entirely new, is identical in spirit to the first film — it’s heartwarming, funny, sometimes sad, and overall a perfectly well-done fantasy-adventure film with a world that really pays attention to the details. However, the second film is very much self-contained — even if you’re being dragged to the film by a fan, or if you just want to see a spectacular movie, How To Train Your Dragon 2 will not alienate newcomers who haven’t seen its predecessor.

Similarly, while it is the perfect family film, it does not play so young that an older audience would be mentally checked out — it’s smart, clever, will make you laugh and will make you cry, and by the time it’s over, you’ll wonder where the time had gone! It’s been 7 long months since Frozen, and its time you treat yourself to an animated movie that holds up to Disney’s gold standard.

I guarantee that you’ll love How To Train Your Dragon 2, no matter who you are — I see you, boyfriends, fathers, and husbands; you’re not so tough. You’ll cry, too. You’ll all cry.

Also featuring voices from Craig FergusonJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseTJ Miller, Kristen Wiig and Kit HaringtonHow To Train Your Dragon 2 from 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks comes from a strong comedy pedigree and is guaranteed to entertain on that level alone! (When you’re not crying.)

So, HollywoodLifers, will you be catching How To Train Your Dragon 2? Are you a newcomer to the franchise, or a diehard fan? Let us know!

— Amanda Michelle Steiner

(By the way, click here to see an adorable pic of Kit and America posing with Hiccup at a New York screening of How To Train Your Dragon 2 at the Crosby Street Hotel on June 11!)

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