"This eagerly anticipated sequel is larger in scope"
DreamWorks Animations have been going from strength to strength in recent years, and following their recent successes including The Croods, Turbo and Mr. Peabody & Sherman, the studio are back with the further adventures of Hiccup and the Dragon Riders of Berk.
The film opens five years after the events of How to Train Your Dragon where the citizens of Berk have fully embraced the Dragons, and live in harmony with these majestic creatures. From the outset we are treated to the thrilling aerodynamics of the Dragons, as the youngsters take part in the breathtaking 'Dragon Racing' where the object is to heard sheep away from their opponents and the game is won by snagging the Black Sheep.
As the game ends, Stoick (Gerard Butler) realises that his son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is nowhere to be found, he's off making a discovery that will have ramifications for Dragons and Vikings alike. While this is going on, Stoick is keen for Hiccup to take his place as Chief, and Hiccup isn't so sure it is for him.
This eagerly anticipated sequel is larger in scope, as Hiccup and Toothless discover new things, friends are made and alliances forged that will change their world forever. The picture is also remarkably well paced and beautifully animated, in what can only be described as an astonishing feat in cinema, that is superior to its predecessor from a visual perspective.
The voice cast are fantastic, giving heart to their characters and strengthening what came before, most notably Baruchel and America Ferrera (Astrid), and with the addition of Cate Blanchett as Valka, Kit Harington as Eret and Djimon Hounsou as the villainous Drago, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a thrilling adventure from start to climactic end.
Writer and Director Dean DeBlois has crafted a beautiful film, and one that is sure to be remembered not only for its spectacle, but for its heart too; since at the centre of this story is the love and camaraderie between Toothless and Hiccup, and his relationship with his father and the reemergence of his mother - as well as his blossoming romance with Astrid. With so much going on it would be easy for it to be bloated and cumbersome, yet this deviates away from that significantly.
The 3D is utilised in an amazing way that doesn't detract from the story and isn't used as a gimmick, with the way that it is used, it feels like you are right there in the thick of the action, riding the Dragons and sharing in the adventure. Dean BeBlois has said this is the second part to a three part story, so with that being the case, the cinematic world are now to fervently await the third production and where this story is to be taken.