'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Review Roundup: Animated Sequel Wins Raves
How To Train Your Dragon 2, written and directed by Dean DeBlois, revisits the Viking land of the Isle of Berk five years after the original film first introduced viewers to Hiccup and his pet dragon Toothless.
In the How to Train Your Dragon sequel, Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, and Astrid (America Ferrara) are settling into a calm life together with Toothless, as the dragon community and Stoik’s (Gerard Butler) tribe have achieved peace. When the peace is threatened, Hiccup is forced into action, recruiting his friends to help him save the Isle of Berk.
‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ Reviews
Critics have taken to How To Train Your Dragon 2 – possibly even more so than to its 2010 predecessor. Beneath the action of the sequel, which is said to be as visually stunning as the first, is a smartly incorporated message about conservation and a coming of age story that feels fresh.
“Even when How to Train Your Dragon 2 lapses into cliché, as in its numerous bids for show-stopping, Bambi-grade waterworks, it’s forgivable. And even as Hiccup nears closer to embracing the destiny laid out for him early in the film, it becomes clear that he’s doing it on his own terms – as fully realized a young-adult character as you could hope to see in a 3-D cartoon kiddie movie about riding dragons. More than just teaching kids what to think about the world they’re coming into, it’s a rare film that encourages them to think for themselves.” – John Semley, The Globe and Mail
“There is some wonderful stuff here — where else are you going to hear a love-song duet between Gerard Butler and Cate Blanchett as Vikings with Scottish accents? At the risk of being branded a heretic, I found their unpolished singing preferable to the Broadway belting in Frozen — and, as a coming-of-age story, Dragon 2 is a lot fresher and more inventive than Pixar’s thematically similar Brave." – Lou Lumenick, New York Post
“Young and old fans of the first movie will be lining up for the wit, for the inventiveness of the characters, for the breathtaking visuals — and just the sheer fun of it all. […] The scenes of dragons soaring through the skies have a roller-coaster breathlessness; the sea’s water splashes toward us with uncanny life. It’s a pleasure just to observe the goofy details of the character design: the funny necklessness of many of the Vikings, or the way Toothless makes the kind of good-kitty-cat eyes that would do Puss-in-Boots proud.” – Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times
“Toothless it's not. In a world of sequels, reboots and franchise industry economics dictating that creativity is encouraged but not required, the DreamWorks Animation offering How to Train Your Dragon 2 looks, feels and flows like a real movie. […] This is a coming-of-age story, and the film rewards our investment in it. Toothless is the most inspired creature in the DreamWorks animation canon, endearing and fearsome in the right mixture.” – Michael Phillips, The Chicago Tribune
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is currently in wide release.