My quest to see all the 2014 Oscar-nominated animated movies continues with:
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Dean DeBlois, director
Viewing Source: Netflix
Sequels to animated movies have a reputation for being cash-grabs of terrible quality, so it’s always nice to see a good one! I quite enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon 2, though perhaps not quite as much as the original; that might have something to with having higher expectations than when I saw first.
This movie introduces a bunch of new characters and dragons, and I loved all the new dragon concepts. The part where Hiccup sees another dragon rider for the first time is absolutely beautiful, both with the visuals and the emotion they produce.
The plot actually reminded me a lot of the Dragon Slippers series by Jessica Day George, especially the second book Dragon Flight, which also deals with putting collars on dragons to control them. So while I liked the concept, it didn’t feel especially original to me, and I think that’s why I didn’t like it as much as the first.
What I really enjoyed was Hiccup and Astrid’s relationship. They were so supportive of each other. It was nice to see a couple that has a positive influence on each other, without any drama. The braid that Astrid puts in Hiccup’s hair at the beginning of the movie is a nice expression of how they are always there for each other throughout the movie, even when they’re doing their own things.
On the other hand, I did not find Ruffnut and her romantic antics funny at all. Others may find her love “rectangle” humorous, but that part of the movie just fell flat for me.
I was also really hoping Astrid would be able to take on more of a leadership/chief role, as she seems better suited to it. But I think there is going to be a third movie, so we may see more about where she and all the others in their group of friends end up as they become adults in the community.
There are a lot of themes floating around in HtTYD2, so I think it will really hold up to repeated viewings. It’s a great addition to the franchise, and I’m looking forward to where they take the story after this.