firstname.lastname@example.org — Growing up a fan of darker animated fairy tales in the vein of Don Bluth, I find it refreshing that more tales at least aren’t afraid to shake things up in that direction in recent years. However, the even rarer thing is not so much to just pop off a character for emotional wreck’s sake, but to do it in such a way that you feel as shellshock as sad.
Before I even watched this I’ll admit that while I anticipated seeing it, I wasn’t sure if this second chapter would be able to live up to the awesomeness of the first. Not only did it succeed, it became one of those where pleasant surprises came by the bunches in a ride that was as visually stunning as it was heartfelt. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is as fresh as sequels get and in some ways stands on its own as one of the best offerings so far in 2014.
Set five years later on the island of Berk, thanks to the action of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and friends, pretty much everyone in the village is used to having dragons as companions. He has also come of the age appropriate for becoming a chief, something his father Stoick (Gerard Butler) and fiancé Astrid (America Ferrera) are much more excited about than he is.
Not quite ready to settle down and run the village, our hero Hiccup prefers discovering and mapping out new lands with his dragon Toothless, that is until he runs into others who have much more nefarious dragon plans like trapper Eret (Kit Harington) and psychopath viking warlord, Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). Oh and (spoiler alert), he also finds out that his mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) has been alive his whole life and is also a kind protector of dragons. As these events take place it just about fills any gap in character development that may have been missing from the first film as each is strengthened by the end.