In a Hollywood atmosphere that currently seems obsessed with stretching even the most moderate of box-office successes into a full blown franchise, sequels and prequels are a ubiquitous presence in cinema multiplexes. But in the world of animated cinema, where the construction of a film requires infinitely more hard work and dedication than a live action picture, sequels tend to emerge that better the original- a much rarer occurrence amongst many Hollywood pictures.

How To Train Your Dragon 2Gerard Butler stars in How To Train Your Dragon 2 which has won copious plaudits.

That’s not to say there aren’t a few howlers either, animated studios such as Pixar and Disney are just as susceptible as the rest of the film world in dispensing some truly woeful and misguided follow ups. The likes of Cars 2 and Rio 2 left no-one with the life affirming sense of warmth that truly brilliant animated films of this type should provide. As is universally recognised, a mark of greatness from an animated film is its ability to simultaneously appeal to children and the adults who accompany them to the big screen. The likes of Shrek 1 & 2 and the Toy Story trilogy are prime examples of catering for both age groups through crafty pop culture references and subtle entendre.

Continue reading: What Is It About Animated Sequels?