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Friday, June 9, 2023

Life + Arts

“How To Train Your Dragon 2” gives beloved characters an exciting new story


How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens everywhere June 13.  |  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is the prime example of a well-made sequel. It balances the challenge of reuniting viewers with characters that they love and developing those characters with an interesting, standalone storyline for first time viewers. On top of that it delivers stunning visuals effects, whether they be dragons swarming around their lush habitats or larger-than-life alpha dragons ramming into each other at a beachfront.

The movie takes place five years after the first movie left off and it’s clear that while this is the same place with the same people, things have changed. The citizens of Berk, once constantly battling dragons, now incorporate them into their everyday lives, and the characters have clearly aged. Fans of the first film will recall an opening that is similar to the original, but beautifully redone to contrast the changes that have taken place.

Plot wise, the film is pretty straightforward: forgotten villain resurfaces to a seemingly peaceful world forcing the protagonist to step out of his comfort zone to save the day. However, it’s the ride that director Dean DeBlois takes the viewer on that makes this animated film a must see. He introduces a variety of new characters (and dragons, of course) that answer the question we’re all wondering: how is it that our protagonist, Hiccup, ended up as a small, peace seeking boy being raised in a colony of large, muscular, war mongerers?

DeBlois, also the main screenwriter, let other characters shine through their unique qualities, whether that be bravery, intelligence or wit. He tugged our heartstrings with the joy of love that was once thought to be lost forever and crushed us with unexpected loss, only to bring us back home to give us closure.

From large scale dragon battles to strong plot and character development, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” has it all, and can appeal to any viewer.

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