How To Train Your Dragon 2 is the sequel to the hit 2010 animated movie. It begins five years after with the town of Berk, still lead by the selfless leader Stoick (Gerard Butler), now living among dragons. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless prefer to spend their days exploring new lands in the search for another Nightfury, but their exploring leads them to discover a whole new breed of enemies.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 was, unfortunately, inferior to the original animation. The first film really surprised me and was one of my favourite animations of recent years, but the sequel fails to live up to the standards set. While it remains enjoyable and is sure to please the youngsters, it comes with many flaws, the most obvious one being the lack of originality present throughout. Unlike the original, How To Train Your Dragon 2 steals from many other films as well as picking up many clichés along the way, including the predictable storyline that arises when these clichés are put into use.
The animation was stunning. The biggest achievement that this film has going for it is the breathtaking animation. Although the 3D takes you out of it for the opening two scenes this is one of Dreamwork's best looking animated feature films. The scenery is incredible, especially when simultaneously witnessing it from the point of view of Hiccup gliding smoothly through the air. The almost lifelike animation really is enough to make you stop and appreciate all the hard work put into the making of the movie.
The voice cast bring both light and darkness to this franchise. The cast are constantly bringing an upbeat and energetic ride, as it should be, although are let down by the occasionally clumsy and cheesy writing filled with out of place and awkward dialogue. Newcomers Cate Blanchette and Kit Harrington are a breath of fresh air, I'll apologise for describing my breathing so much in this review, with fun characters that create both a bit of tension, comedic relief and even a touching moment or two.
To sum up, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is an inferior sequel that fails to live up to the standards of the first, yet it's also an energetic, fast paced, beautifully crafted animation with a voice cast that bring light to the unfortunately clumsy film.
3 1/2 Stars