How to Train Your Dragon and the new sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2 may be geared towards kids, but war is a central theme in both movies. The original focused on the conflict involving the vikings of Berk and the dragons who are thought to be their mortal enemies. The first film took itself very seriously with Hiccup (Voiced by Jay Baruchel) ending the war with the Dragons. The resolution came at a cost with the loss of Hiccup’s leg. Pretty serious material for a film that lives in the world of family entertainment. The war with the dragons may have ended, but now the people of Berk have a new threat. Their own kind. Now that all the learning to fly business was handled in the first film, How to Train Your Dragon 2 can spread its wings and fly into dragon action right off that bat. The natives of Berk soar to the top of the clouds and skim the ocean surface in spectacular fashion. As far as animation goes, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the gold standard for Dreamworks Animation. I have been tough on Dreamworks’ sub-Pixar animation style, but How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a beautiful film that is further enhanced with the 3-D. All the fun and games with the dragons soon ends when an evil war lord comes looking for the dragons of Berk. The goal of their enemy is world domination through his dragon-controlled army. This is when How to Train Your Dragon 2 gets serious and sets itself apart from the rest of the family animated films that litter our movie theaters every summer. Once again the theme of war and the casualties involved become the focus of How to Train Your Dragon 2. There are still plenty of laughs courtesy of Hiccup’s and Toothless’ time together, but it’s not all roses for the duo. The film takes a serious turn that had many little ones and the parents who brought them teary eyed. I was not one of them because I’m a black heart and movies are fake and they’re nothing worth crying over. Still, I did hold my kids hand a little tighter over the devastating twist that occurs in How to Train Your Dragon 2. My only complaint towards How to Train Your Dragon 2 would be the ending. They should have just ended the film right after the twist. I would have gone full The Empire Strikes Back mode and stopped the film with a cliffhanger, but that’s a tough sell for a film geared towards a younger audience. The little ones need closure and this film does give us that. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is still a fun ride that had better action scenes than any Michael Bay film made in the last 10 years. The biggest selling point of the movie is still the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless. Everybody would love to have their own trained dragon as their pet. This film makes you smile with the thought of that idea. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is just as good as the original and will entertain you and your kids this summer. Overall, I give How to Train Your Dragon 2 with its serious subject matter and heart 3 out of 4 stars. Follow me on Twitter @TMtheCW44Critic and become a fan on Facebook. Read all my Movie Reviews here >>


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