This review is a little late. I actually attended a free special screening three weeks before the movie's American release. I loved the first movie, and I thought, given the talent, the sequel would exceed my expectations.
As sequels go, the story was...competent. That is, it wasn't a huge disaster, but it didn't quite live up to the original.
**MAJOR SPOILER AND PARENTAL ALERT!**
Dad dies saving Hiccup in this one. If you have super-sensitive kids under the age of 10, I don't recommend it. Even though GK is nearly fourteen, he's still got issues when the parent figure dies. He loves The Walking Dead, and he's been begging me to buy more Blu-Rays. I haven't bought the second season yet because, well...Lori.
Anyway, back to Dragon. The story picks up five years after the first movie. Hiccup and his friends are no longer young teen, but young adults. Everyone in the village of Berk has adopted a dragon, in some cases, more than one.
1) Hiccup has actually grown as a person. He's not quite the dreamer he was in the first movie. He's also become a bit isolated from his the rest of the villagers because of the pressure his father is putting on him to take up the mantle of chief. The events of this movie solidify his personality.
2) The comic relief comes from Ruffnut's crush on dragon hunter Eret. You wouldn't think Ruffnut playing the dopey, hormone-ridden girl would work, but Kristin Wiig somehow pulls it off.
1) The mind-control dragons. I can understand the clash of two king dragons, but the whole mind-control thing left me cold. Especially when the device was used to have Toothless kill Dad. I know the writers used Hiccup's rapid forgiveness of Toothless to show how much the Viking had matured, but to me, it cheapened Toothless's character.
2) Finding out Mom is alive. Okay, she wasn't killed by dragons when she was taken from their home when Hiccup was a baby. But she never tried to get back to Berk in following seventeen(?) years? I have issues with Mom being that callous, and I can't see either Dad or Hiccup rolling over and welcoming her with few to no questions.
Those are just my impressions. HTTYD is supposed to be a trilogy, so I hope the writers step up their game for the third movie.
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