'How to Train Your Dragon 2' is the perfect movie.
Forget 22 Jump Street - 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' is your finest comedy sequel of the year. Or so say the critics. DreamWorks Animation landed a major hit in 2010 when the original movie took a huge $500 million on a budget of $165 million - it was clearly ripe for a franchise and the signs suggest the animation giant have played this one perfectly.
Hiccup returns in 'How to Train Your Dragon 2'
The original story took place in a mythical Viking world where a young teenager named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) aspires to follow his tribe's tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After capturing his first beast, Hiccup finds that he has no desire to kill it and instead befriends it.
The second movie takes place first years after the first and features Hiccup and his friends as young adults. During an interview in 2011, diector Dean DeBlois revealed, "At the end of last film, all these Vikings who were previously somewhat landlocked are now on the backs of dragons so the entire Northern Hemisphere opens up to them. And with that Hiccup's curiosity increases, the map expands and inevitably they are going to come across new dragons, new cultures."
DeBlois and his team appear to have done a sterling job of matching the efforts of Despicable Me 2, etc and producing a special animated sequel. The critics are unanimous.
"Going beyond the pat eco-conscious message that every kids' film has to have, HTTYD2 touches on how complex the emotional bond between a person and an animal can be," wrote Leslie Felperin of the Hollywood Reporter.
"This DreamWorks Animation sequel advances the story without sacrificing the integrity that defined its most atypical toon," said Peter Debruge of Variety.
"How to Train Your Dragon 2' deepens a story and characters that probably didn't need to be deepened. Actually it doesn't really deepen it: It just takes it more seriously," said Matt Prigge of Metro.
"DeBlois' powers haven't diminished ... he dares to go deeper, smarter and even darker, honing in on the elements that made the first film work," said Matt Neal of the Standard.
"This smartly paced sequel does a great job of drawing out the lead characters, expanding the world they exist in and adding in some warm hearted and moving moments," wrote Mark Adams of Screen International.
"Not all the heart-swelling flying sequences in the world can flap away the sensation of franchise fatigue here," said Simon Miraudo of Quickflix.