Review: How To Train Your Dragon 2

httyd2

     “I would ride Hiccup’s dragon any time.” – My words upon leaving the theatre.

     I went to watch HTTYD2 today with my cousins at the local theatre. I never liked watching movies in Taiwan due to the fact that people here can’t seem to stay quiet while watching a movie. They like to talk to their neighbours, exclaim their reactions, and in general, I’ve found that watching a movie in a Taiwanese theatre is akin to watching it on a plane in terms of how much you are able to immerse yourself in the film.

     HTTYD2 is a strong and fantastic sequel to the original HTTYD, building upon the worldview and characters, and giving a fresh look into the world of Vikings and dragons. The story of this film centres around Hiccup and Toothless as they try and stop Drago Bludvist, who is a maniac set to create a dragon army in an attempt to take control of both humans and dragons. Viewers are reunited with our lovable Vikings, as well as introduced to Hiccup’s mother Valka (Cate Blanchett), who had been thought as dead five years ago during the first movie.

     Although toted as a sequel, HTTYD2 is strong enough to stand on its own. The plot builds naturally upon the conclusion of the first film, giving the audience a satisfying and real look at how the Viking world changed since they started living with dragons. Characters are shown to have changed and developed since the events of HTTYD, and they continue to grow still. The battle sequences, and scenes of Toothless flying gracefully through the air, are both so breathtakingly animated I could have cried that I hadn’t thought to watch it in 3D. John Powell, one of the biggest composers of animated films, continues to amaze with the orchestral score that builds upon the original HTTYD leitmotif.

     In particular, I was very fond of Valka’s character. Her somewhat bizarre antics and body language when Hiccup first encounters her really made it clear that she had been living outside of human civilization for the past twenty years. I found her to be a fascinating character and can’t wait to see her development for the third movie.

Story: 9.5/10
Music: 10/10
Animation: 10/10
Enjoyment: 9.5/10

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