Having fallen completely in love with the first film, I was excited about seeing How to Train Your Dragon 2 and seeing where they took it next. The first film was full of such important messages about being true to yourself and doing what you thought was right that it packed a powerful punch for me.
The second did exactly the same.
Hiccup is now twenty, exploring the land and skies with his nightfury dragon, Toothless. The pair travel far and wide to try and find another nightfury while Hiccup tries to deal with the fact his father wants him to become chief of the clan. However, decisions are put on hold when Hiccup and his friends discover that there are dragon trappers around, and they seem to be working for the evil Drago, a man determined to control all dragons.
Determined to reason with him, Hiccup goes astray and finds himself in a mysterious ice cave. Even stranger is another dragon rider who is determined to protect all of the dragons from Drago and has helped create this fortress for them to live in peace. But another twist is in store for Hiccup when he finds out that this woman is from his past… and may be part of his future.
As battle rages, Hiccup finds his friendship with everyone put to the test, even Toothless. Is the power of their friendship and bond enough to overcome the call of an alpha, whose will is imposed on all dragons and so strong that even Toothless can’t resist it? Friend turns on friend as they battle to win the freedom all dragons.
The second film is just as powerful as the first. There is no shying away from the fact that battles have their cost and even the innocents may be harmed in the battle. The fight to find out who you are yourself is one that every young adult has to go through and Hiccup’s is portrayed particularly well. The CGI has been worked very effectively and the reactions of the humans to the situations surrounding them is realistic – even small things like a hesitation in a movement speaks volumes, yet someone had to create that rather than it just being an actor.
The films portray the strength and importance of friendship, and unlike a lot of films – even those aimed at children – have a protagonist that actively seeks to reason with his enemies and will only fight when all that he holds dear is at risk. Even grief isn’t enough to sway Hiccup’s character and that seems to be speak volumes.
As an adult watching a film designed for children, I can see the thought that has gone into the script. There isn’t the feeling of watching something for a younger generation because the characters are so loveable and relatable the whole way through and you want them to win. Freedom and trust has to win out over hate and loyalty may just be enough to save the day in a film like this.