How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

IMDB plot:

When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

Warning: draconic spoilers.

So apparently I never posted anything about “How to Train Your Dragon” (the first[1]), but a quick recap: Hiccup is an outcast who manages to understand dragons and creates a bounding between the people of his village with dragons, which previously were seen as enemies. It has some nice touches and it has some good moments, with some nice touches of feelings around.

This sequel… not so much.

So Hiccup and the gang — including the dragons — are all grown up since we last seen them and now Hiccup may become the chief of the village, but keeps avoid his father to not get the title. And then, in his runs, he finds his mother. And then his father dies.

You know, this “you’ll never be a happy family” feels a bit too far stretched. Surely there was no problem if Hiccup’s mother appeared and he had to deal with his father and mother at the same time; or even if she never appeared and he had to deal with the fact that he could be Berk’s chief. But nope, let’s bring one parent back and kill the other, “to keep balance”.

As the animation, the lightning seems better than the first, but the lines feel a lot more cartoonish. Sometimes, it tries to use full face motion to show emotions going through the faces and… it just falls flat, specially Astrid. Not that America Ferrera did any good job voicing Astrid this time either. But I can’t fully blame her, even Cate Blanchett, as Hiccup’s mother seems off. Everyone else still does a good job, though.

Honestly, it’s hard to pinpoint where the script wants to go this time. In the first movie, it was about being an outcast and finding out that there are other outcasts isn’t so bad. This time is about… growing up without parents, I think. I mean, why else would they bring Hiccup’s mother back and then kill his father?

Also, it seems weird that in those five years (or so says Wikipedia) after the first movie, the best dragon handlers are still the original six kids (Hiccup, Astrid, Snotloud, Fishlegs, Tuffnut and Ruffnut) with their original dragons. And the only Night Fury is still Toothless. I mean, seriously? After 5 years, nobody else became friends with the group, nobody thought “those kids are nice, I wish I could be friends with them”, nobody else bounded with their dragons to the point of being a good dragon handler and Toothless is the only Night Fury in the whole planet? Seriously?

Sadly, it seems this movie only wants to milk from the original. It’s the kind of sequel we dread about: Soulless and driven by greed.

I’m giving this 3 gronckles out of 8 hotburples.

[1] This “the first” to mention the first movie, when “maybe there will be a sequel, if this makes enough money” need a better name.