It would be fair to say that Dreamworks has always come second to companies such as Pixar when it comes to creating emotional, worldwide family adored films, but the How To Train Your Dragon franchise is a compelling, truly funny story that entertained viewers since its first instalment in 2010. Now a 20-year-old Hiccup and his voiceless yet compelling companion Toothless are back, and the plot for How To Train Your Dragon 2 tackles with Hiccup’s destiny as chief-to-be and a new enemy who controls dragons and people with fear and brute force.
The film is surprisingly challenging, with relationships and love becoming issues for the all grown up dragon riders who provide some lighter moments to the otherwise conflict packed and tense plot. Drago Bludvist is the main antagonist in the story, the longtime enemy of Hiccup’s father and a ruthless dragon master who brings fear into the hearts of dragons and his opposers alike. Bludvist’s cronies run into Hiccup and his girlfriend and try to capture their dragons for the enemy dragon army to obvious no avail, so Hiccup seeks out Bludvist with the hope of a dragon ceasefire to protect his hometown of Berk.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is more touching than the first film, with the sometimes heart-wrenching relationship between Hiccup and Toothless being put at the forefront of the story. Their best friend relationship is strengthened by their lack of a limb but this doesn’t hold either protagonist back, leading to some poignant in-flight moments showing the trust they share and the care for their own. Even more touching than this is the shocking appearance of Hiccup’s long-lost mother, who finally shows where Hiccup got his love of dragons from. The plot skips past the more mature ideas of Hiccup’s anger at his mother’s absence, in favour of a happy family scenario which leaves Hiccup more motivated than ever on his quest to protect Berk.
Some epic battles and eye-watering moments are to be had from How To Train Your Dragon 2, and Dreamworks have once again succeeded in creating a unique and exciting film that doesn’t become marmite for audiences like so many of their previous offerings. With a few spin-off series already released after the first film, Dreamworks will hopefully learn from the painfully over-worked Shrek franchise and leave Hiccup and his friends alone. So whilst we wait impatiently for the day that we all have our own lovable yet fierce Nightfurys, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is adrenaline pumping enough to keep any audience satisfied and thrilled.
Words by Louise Egan