Sequels are always tough to gauge. They’re either going to be really great and give you everything you wanted and more from the previous film, or they’re going to ruin the movie franchise completely. Throughout cinematic history, we’ve seen plenty of both. While some sequels rival the entertainment value of their older sister version (looking at you Shrek 2), others fall flat and make us wonder why we couldn’t just be content with the one movie in the first place (like all of the sequels to the original animated Disney movies). Thankfully, with How to Train Your Dragon 2, it fell into the former, reminding me of why I loved the original in the first place.
Picking up shortly after the first movie left off, How To Train Your Dragon 2 follows Hiccup (played by fellow Canadian and longtime crush circa Popular Mechanics for Kids Jay Baruchel) and his friends (including now-love interest Astrid) as they set out to figure out who is stealing all of the dragons. When Hiccup’s dad tells him to stay put instead of setting out to track down the dragon-stealer, he leaves anyway (as any dragon-wrangler would do). So much happens that I really don’t want to reveal, but this movie will tug on your heartstrings more than you’ll probably want to admit (I think even my bf shed the smallest of tears–but don’t tell him I told you) and make you giggle uncontrollably. (And if you happen to be a little kid watching the movie, scream out “Ewwww” when there’s a brief kissing scene.) This flick has lots of action, and though it’s geared towards kids like its prequel, it’s full of sarcastic one-liners for the adults and is actually pretty hilarious.
I’ve always considered How to Train Your Dragon to be a very underrated flick, as most Dreamworks movies tend to fall into the shadow of the beast that is Pixar (nothing against them–love their movies too), but it’s quite witty and entertaining–not to mention adorable. Toothless, the feline-like dragon that is part lap dog, part cat and part human is just too cute to resist and the camaraderie between him and Hiccup reminds me of how most people are with their pets (except Hiccup isn’t hashtagging #dragonstagram on a picture of Toothless).
All in all, as far as sequels go, I was impressed with How to Train Your Dragon 2. When it comes to watching kiddie movies, it has to be entertaining for adults (which it was) and as a sequel, it needs to honour its own storyline without butchering the first flick (which it did). Recipe for a good flick, if you ask me.