Kid's movies have seen an amazing shift since Pixar first made a movie with computers. Now hand animated features are nearly a thing of the past. But the one thing I do like about this new slew of children's fare is that they no longer pander to children. An adult can get almost the same amount of enjoyment that a kid does. Like one of my all-time favorite cartoons Rocky and Bullwinkle theses new movies never sacrifice a good story for a cheap ploy to lure in children.
How to Train your Dragon 2 features Hiccup as a now twenty-something dragon riding explorer. His father wants him to be the next Chief of Berk but Hiccup has no interest in that at all. While out exploring he learns of a man named Drago Bludvist who wants to control all the worlds dragons for himself. There is also a mysterious dragon rider who has a tie to Hiccup's past.
The main thing to say about this movie is that it isn't simply more of the same. There are things similar with the first movie but all the rest has been turned up a notch. There is plenty of action and humor, and there are no truly frightening things that could scare the littler children.
The story is brilliant. It adds upon the first in wonderful ways. You get to see how the people of Berk have adapted to having dragons around. You get to see new types of dragons. The mysterious dragon rider of the movie has an amazingly touching back story. The people behind this movie have outdone themselves by not only giving us a fun movie, but also giving us that same sense of excitement we had the first time the dragons took flight.
The voice acting is well done also. Jay Baruchel is still great as Hiccup. He really gives the film its voice. Gerard Butler is good as his father Stoick. And I have to give props to Cate Blanchett as Valka. It would have been easy as in other lesser animated films to simply phone in a performance, but she gives a performance that is touching and beautiful.
The action in this film is great. I didn't see the movie in 3-D but the visual set pieces were flat out gorgeous to watch. They are fun and fast-paced and never have a misstep.
I loved this movie. I enjoyed it as a jaded adult viewer, I can only imagine what it must have been like for the kids in the audience. Five Stars.
So if you're looking for a feature that's fun for the whole family, this is the flick for you.