The land of Berk used to be a place where Vikings and dragons were sworn enemies, but since DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon, the first movie in the 3D-animated trilogy, dragons and humans have found a way to coexist in harmony, at least for the first 20 minutes of the film. (** CAUTION: Spoilers ahead!!)
Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes place five years after the first film and features Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), his friends who have all grown up, but definitely haven’t changed, and—of course—their dragons.
Since the first film, Hiccup, the son of Viking chief Stoick (Gerard Butler), has completely altered the citizens of Berk’s lives—dragons live among the villagers and life is finally peaceful. In this coming-of-age story, Hiccup used to doubt whether he would ever make his father proud, but this time around Hiccup has gained his father’s everlasting respect and Stoick is determined to make his son the new chieftain.
Although Hiccup is a born leader and revolutionist he’s still just like any young adult trying to find his real purpose in life—except he happens to fly around the world on his loyal Night Furry, Toothless, and inadvertently wages a war against Drago Bludvist, a ruthless villain who threatens to control every last fire-breathing and ice-blasting dragon. Hiccup tries to convince Stoick that he can reason with Drago and show him that once a human gains a dragon’s trust, they will do anything for them, but Drago is actually an enemy from Stoick’s past and he is more dangerous than Hiccup imagined.
As the film progresses, it’s up to Hiccup, his friends, and his parents (yes, parents! Hiccup’s Mom Valka turns out to be not only alive and well, but a dragon whisperer/vigilante who created a sanctuary for her community of dragons) to defeat Drago and his army of controlled dragons. What at first seemed like a fair fight completely backfired when Drago’s Alpha (a dragon far bigger and badder than anyone has ever sen before) gained control of everyone’s dragons—even Toothless!—and forced the dragons to fight against them.
Without giving away too much of the ending, suffice it to say there are a lot of laughs, tears, and then happy tears again later. This is, hands down, my favorite animated movie, between the incredible graphics and heartwarming story line. I can’t even wait to see it again. My one suggestion is that parents be wary of hitting the theaters with very young children as the battle scenes are a little on the scary side. Aside from that, I seriously questioned how the sequel could possibly be better than the first, but trust me, DreamWorks found a way.