Five years after the events of the terrific animated adventure How To Train Your Dragon, based on the Cressida Cowell book series of the same name, comes this cracking sequel that boasts even more action, humour and fun than the original.
Young Viking Hiccup (Baruchel) is now a teen, exploring his homeland of Berk with the help of his adorable dragon Toothless and being groomed to be the next chief by his gruff father (Butler). The Vikings and dragons now work together in harmony, but things are about to change – there is a mysterious man named Drago (Hounsou) who is capturing dragons to build an army, and when Hiccup tries to track him down, he finds a secret colony of wild dragons. It’s a discovery that will change Hiccup’s life and lead the island of Berk into war.
Perfectly aimed at the eight-years-and-over kids who lap up the books, this is darker than the first movie, but all the better for it. Characters such as Drago and his henchmen (including Kit Harington’s Eret) are suitably menacing, some of the dragons are really scary, and a plot twist featuring a beloved character betraying Hiccup is as devastating as it should be, director Dean Deblois wisely deciding that kids can handle this kind of stuff and don’t want to be talked down to.
Of course, as well as the tightly-written drama, there’s bundles of fun here too, mainly thanks to Hiccup’s bickering pals and the adorable creature that is Toothless. The animators really excelled themselves with this expressive, cuddly dragon that’s impossible not to love and whose exploits take place against the visually stunning backdrop of Berk and the new worlds that Hiccup discovers here.
A wonderful treat for kids and grown-ups alike, and one of the best animated movies of 2014.
Is How To Train Your Dragon 2 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This movie is aimed at children over the age of 7, and kids younger than this may find the movie a little dark.
Younger viewers may be scared of Drago and his henchmen, and their dragons.
A giant dragon near the end of the movie could also be frightening to young children.
They may also be upset by the death of one character.
There is mild threat throughout the movie.