Movie: How To Train Your Dragon 2 Genre: Cartoon, Fantasy, Adventure Rating: 5/5
Ever since I was little, dragons have been a fantastical part of my daydreams. Giant reptilian creatures gliding and battling in the air above me and, if I was extra creative that day, me riding upon their backs. When the first How To Train Your Dragon movie was announced, I found myself super excited by the trailers. I even read the first book to prepare for the movie, even though I was most likely fifteen at the time. Although the films do not really follow the plotline in Cressida Cowell’s books, the imaginative world of Berk brought in audiences with the tale of Hiccup and his dragon, Toothless.
Any sequel trying to follow up fantastic originals are often up to much criteria. Fans do not want to be disappointed and the film company most likely will have a lot of weight on their back. However, How To Train Your Dragon 2 lived up to its expectations as we follow our older heroes on a quest to bring down a dragon warlord.
For a film directed towards younger audience members, this film did not provide any mediocrity in the looks department. In stunning 3D, the scenes come to life as we watch the characters travel to distant lands. The colour palettes of blues and green integrated in a lovely fashion and a lot of credit goes to the Dreamworks crew for being able to bring it all together. There also were a few references in their scenery to European and Arctic landscapes. For example, the dragon nest where Hiccup finds his mother had rock structures that mimic the rocks of the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.
Another thing that makes this movie amazing….All. The. Dragons! In the first film, we were only introduced to maybe seven or eight main species but in the new film we see many new ones. The one thing I admire this series for is the way the animators create these dragons. No two dragon species are alike and they are not uniform in the way that they move or act.
Watching the way Toothless moved around in the first film, I was automatically drawing connections to my close friend’s black cat. The playful gestures, wide-eyed expressions, and even playfulness all resembled a cat’s own versions of these. As well, Toothless’ mannerisms also resemble a faithful dog in some ways when there is more goofy scenes. In How To Train Your Dragon 2, I believe the idea that these giant lizards aren’t just giant lizards is very apparent.
I saw Gronkles that buzzed around like bees, Astrid’s Stormfly that acted bird-like yet would play fetch like a dog, and even the Alpha dragons that we were introduced to battled it out not like fire-breathing lizards but instead using their giant tusks in much the same way as elephants. I think this is what sets the How To Train You Dragon series apart from other dragon movies. They have ignored everything these movies had and created unconventional versions of these creatures by basing them off of behaviours and actions from known animals
-And really, why not? Dragons are a creature that exists in our imaginations. As children, we don’t all imagine the same monster under the bed or imaginary friend. These mythological creatures have such variety as everyone and every culture has a different version of what they think it looks like. How To Train Your Dragon didn’t just take one as their model, they looked at the world entire and created a beautiful, messy movie where they could all live in harmony.