HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is a successful sequel on almost every level. The journey of the lovable characters from the first movie are continued and explored in meaningful ways, stretching naturally into the challenges of young adulthood. The high flying action is taken to new levels of excitement, and the stakes are higher this time around as there is more for the characters to lose. Impressive new characters are introduced into the fold, and the female gaze is aptly used to hilarious effect.
The most important improvement though is in the way the theme of the series is explored. The only real beef I had with the first HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON is that its core moral clashed with its climax and resolution. If your message of non-violence and understanding is primarily illustrated by showing that dragons are misunderstood and naturally friendly, it hurts that message to resolve the film’s problems by [SPOILER ALERT] killing a giant dragon of pure evil which cannot be reasoned with. The sequel concedes that not all conflicts can be solved non-violently, but reiterates that taking this approach first is always the correct course of action, even if it doesn’t always benefit the situation in the way you expect.
Overall, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is a fitting continuation of the series, and even improves on the first and develops its core theme in meaningful ways. If you were a fan of the series, you’ll love where they’ve gone with this. And if you’re not… well that’s just silly.
3D Recommendation: With a flawless presentation that is common of CG features, there is no reason NOT to see this movie this way. Flying a dragon is as exhilarating as ever!!