How to Train Your Dragon is a plot 5 years after the prequel where the Dragons and the Vikings are now friends and exist in an amicable ecosystem in a rocky little Viking village. It begins with an exciting dragon race chaired by the village chieftain - Stoick (Gerard Butler) – as young ‘dragon riders’ compete to the loud cheering of the village crowd.
The protagonist Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), a young adventurous lad, whose father – Stoick – wants him to succeed the throne & take on duties as the village chieftain, is more interested in exploring newer places along with his trusted dragon ‘Toothless’.
Hiccup and Toothless venture from peak to peak sometimes accompanied by his girlfriend, dragon rider Astrid (America Ferrera), their milestones evident from the super-folding travel map. One such adventure unravels the ferocious Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), a dragon hunter whose mission to bring all dragons of the world under his control possesses a huge danger to Stoick’s land.
Hiccup takes on the challenge to change Drago Bludvist’s mind and embarks on a journey to bring peace to the land. It is on this journey that he meets another dragon rider, an older lady, Valka (Cate Blanchett) and also discovers what he really wants in life.
Overall, don’t expect a nail biting thriller, this is an almost predictable ‘good-defeats-evil story’ with an ‘underdog becomes the alpha’ end. This is a sequel that you’d enjoy even (or more so) if you haven’t seen the prequel.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 does have many interesting moments like the camaraderie & bonding between Hiccup and Toothless, the ecosystem that Stoick the chief have created for the dragons and lighter moments like Valka doing a gracious, almost ballet-like trapeze act on the dragons.
The protagonist Hiccup is well portrayed as the ‘passionate-yet-confused’ young lad. His passion for adventure, respect for his father along with the fear of disappointing him, is well woven amidst all the flying dragon action. This also forms the basis of a coming-of-age story for Hiccup.
The 3D animation is exciting – and makes the movie worth a watch - especially these days when you wonder why did you put on those 3D glasses anyway! The colorful flying dragons and the splashing sea as Hiccup & Toothless venture on their many adventure sprees are particularly interesting in 3D.
This is an animated movie that children & grown-ups will enjoy alike –especially older children who like a bit of action and thrill. The film has great capsules of humour beautifully interspersed in-between action and emotional scenes, something that grown-ups will particularly enjoy.