How To Train Your Dragon 2

Featuring The Voices Of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, America Ferrara, Jonah Hill, Craig Ferguson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, TJ Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harrington

Directed By: Dean DeBlois

Dreamworks Animation has been suffering from some problems. A lot of their recent efforts (Mr Peabody and Sherman, Turbo) have failed to ignite at the box office. They even just greenlit a sequel to The Croods. That happened. I don’t know if that was necessary, but I’m definitely on board for more Dragon movies. How To Train Your Dragon 2 is easily the best movie of the year.

Yes, it is a bold statement. I realize that. You can’t just call an animated sequel the best film of the year so far. It just isn’t done. Well, Toy Story 2 was a great movie, and this is the best animated sequel since that film. It follows up perfectly with another terrific story, not inferior to the original, and with something fresh to tell. The film centers around Hiccup expected to step up and take the position of Chief, but he feels like he can never be his father. There’s an enemy building a dragon army, and Hiccup might have found his long lost mother. The film continues to teach children, subconsciously, about family (an evolving idea in this franchise), courage, and friendship. It does so in subtle ways, so the adult audience doesn’t roll their eyes every five minutes.

It’s a beautiful film to look at. The script is perfect, and a third act major death will leave you a little teary eyed. How To Train Your Dragon 3 has a lot to live up to, but if Dean DeBlois is on board, I’m there with him. The voice cast here is great, and the new additions work well. Cate Blanchett plays Hiccup’s mother, Djimon Hounsou plays the villain, and Kit Harrington voices a new is-he-bad or is-he-good guy.

Hiccup’s main theme in the film is that he believes that he can change the world through peace, that if he can just be heard he can change peoples minds about dragons. This movie will change how you feel about sequels, you just have to let it.

FINAL GRADE: A

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