Frankly speaking, I went to watch the movie expecting to see another in-your-face disappointing sequel, considering the quality of sequels made recently. Thankfully, I hadn’t read up any How to Train Your Dragons 2 movie reviews before I hit the theater! Boy, I was in for some neat surprises! A grand visual delight of dragons who were as colorful as a swarm of butterflies and a story line that’s as well-knit as a winter cardigan have made How to Train Your Dragons 2 one of my all-time favorite sequels.
DreamWorks Animation returns with one of the most looked-forward-to animated movies of the year that’s set against the backdrop of a picture-perfect Viking land where dragons and Vikings coexist in harmony and the latter indulge in passionate dragon racing through the clouds and forts of the village.
The movie maintains its rapid, but comfortable, pace and manages to pack in a few pleasant and unpleasant surprises at regular intervals. On the one hand, we have Hiccup who takes on a journey of self-discovery and on the other hand we have Stoick the Vast who’s convinced that Hiccup is destined to take over the reins of Berk. The affable Hiccup and Astrid couple discusses Hiccup’s calling atop a mountain that is surrounded by a beautiful virgin land that Hiccup has never explored and we are almost taken back to our just-out-of-college days when we didn’t have the faintest of idea of what to do with our lives. It’s commendable how an animated dragon movie can establish an omnipresent connection with our lives at regular intervals. I haven’t seen such a beautiful piece of animation on screen for a long time.
When we are almost led to believe that Berk is destined to live in such harmony for the rest of their lives, director Dean DeBlois introduces a twist that I never saw coming! And almost instantly, the film shifts from a congenial animated movie to a serious drama where actions have serious consequences and some consequences that are irreversible. The dichotomy of emotions of a father and an abandoned husband are sounded beautifully by Gerard Butler for Stoick while Cate Blanchet’s mature voice adds enough character to Valka, Hiccup’s long lost mother. Fifteen minutes into the movie, you will be left mesmerized by the vivid display of colors in Valka’s dragon sanctuary and you wish you could be with Hiccup and Toothless experiencing the adventure that is splendidly unfolding in front of you. Together, the duo will take you on a dragon adventure that is endearing and mind-blowing. The visual and emotional density will leave you speechless, and the movie is definitely not for the faint hearted.