Rating:  4 out of 5

Dragons 2Credit: Dreamworks Studio

It’s great to see a franchise out do its previous film (and television episodes). Get ready for a fun filled flick. This is a great movie for the whole family. There is plenty of action in this animated movie. It is a true sequel to the 2010 animated film How to train Your Dragon. What I mean by true sequel, is that often times, these sequels start off with odd moments or inconsistencies that require the viewer to mentally fill-in the gaps with your imagination of what could or might have happened in order to follow the rest of the movie. 


The plot of Dragon 2 is consistent, and the new discoveries and mysteries are relevant to the current plot and open the door to a third Dragon movie. I’ll add one caveat to the statement above: if you try to reconcile the animated television series episodes with the movie, you may find a few deviations; that’s to be expected. Weekly cartoon series episodes based on movies usually have to take a little literary license in straying or greatly altering the story and characters to have enough material to propel a series over many months and years. 

Characters continue to be developed and evolve. Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, son of the Viking chief (voice of Jay Baruchel) continues to accept his leadership role with the younger members of the tribe and as the dragon master. However, his father Stoick the Vast, the chieftain of the Viking tribe (voice of Gerard Butler) has decided that his son needs to step up and prepare to take over as the chief of the Vikings. Hiccup is less than eager to assume this role. Unfortunately, events later in this story will make the decision for both of them. 

Our Old Favorites are Back

  • Jay Baruchel as Hiccup
  • Cate Blanchett as Valka
  • Gerard Butler as Stoick
  • Craig Ferguson as Gobber
  • America Ferrera as Astrid
  • Jonah Hill as Snotlout

New Characters and Excitement

Hiccup is not the only person that can be called a Dragon Master:  we are introduced to two other older and more experienced Dragon masters; however, one is pure evil and the other a dragon savior.  Our Dragon Riders of Berk face off against dragon bounty hunters whose leader seems to have captured the heart of one of the Riders of Berk, at least for a short time.

Hiccup has a cool new toy: a Dragon Sword. I’m just speculating that it’s the writers’ being playful with the legend of the fire-breathing ability of some of the dragons, along with the mythological and historical stories of the use of Dragon Breath; a flame thrower type of weapon as used millennials ago. If you’ve studied mythology and especially ancient warfare, you’ve probably read the stories of ancient Asian warships with dragon’s head mounted on the bow and breathing fire onto their enemies.    

Fact:  There is an incendiary device used today, although banned in many countries, called Dragon’s Breath.  

Movie Highlights Include

  • Hiccup and Astrid discover the remains of a fort encased in ice.
  • We learn the real history of how Hiccup loses his mother and Hiccup himself learns that things are not allows what they seem.
  • We learn why Stoic is narrow focused on protecting the tribe and that he has his own survivor’s guilt mixed with a hatred for one particular Viking above all others.
  • We learn why Stoic is so protective of his son and why he was originally so dead-set on killing all dragons.
  • The Island of Berk prepares for all-out war. The dragons that had been the friends and protectors are eventually turned against them – for a brief moment.  
  • Hiccup demonstrates his wiliness and his naiveté, to risk his own life to try and stop a war. When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.
  • Toothless finds he has a hidden feature that will aid him later in the story.
  • We learn that there is an almost hive mind combined with a pack mentality with all dragons.
  • And we learn that baby dragons are just like little human kids: disobedient, independent, curious, hard to control, fun loving and just what you need at just the right time.

{Spoiler Alert]:  Touching Moment ahead – Hiccup finds his way to an island of dragons where he is reunited with his mother, long thought to be dead. And we now know where Hiccup gets his unique ability to control dragons: his mother had those skills – and – it seems more. And, sadly there is the death of a key character in the series; and yet, not all that surprising. It was probably necessary for future development of the movie franchise (in other words a Berks-Dragon 3).  

Final Word

Visually attractive, absorbing animation that accomplishes the goal that any film strives for: it pulls you into the story and encourages you to get invested in the story; each event in the plot grabs you and makes you want more. 

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Amazon Price: $14.99 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 6, 2015)