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How to Train Your Dragon 2: A giant leap forward in the world of animation

How to Train Your Dragon 2
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Image from DreamWorks Animation

How to Train Your Dragon 2

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Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

Markus Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Rated PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor

Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:

Since I’m pretty late getting this review out, I’ll keep it short:

If 2010’s “How to Train Your Dragon” helped put DreamWorks Animation on the map as a legitimate contender to the Pixar throne, then “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is visually one of the most impressive animation experiences ever. Created as the first DreamWorks animated film to use the new “Premo” and “Torch” lighting software throughout and with the assistance of some excellent direction from Dean DeBlois, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is technically a visual masterpiece.

Synopsis: We continue to follow the voice-cracking young Viking, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless as their adventurous ways lead them to stumble upon a previously undiscovered dragon sanctuary, which of course must be threatened by a dragon hating bad guy.

Now, is the story as strong as the visuals? Hell no! Actually, if I had any complaint at all, it would be that that story is fairly weak right up until the end of the Act 2 where things suddenly take a dark and quite attention grabbing turn. But the plot was entertaining enough to keep my attention, which means it’s more than entertaining enough to keep the attention of any child and/or fan of the first installment (neither of which describes me).

Final Thought: Lack of a memorable plot notwithstanding, and aside from the fact that, in my opinion, it was a strange production choice to have a movie with such a particular plot twist open on Father’s Day weekend, I GUARANTEE (judging from the lackluster Disney “Big Hero 6” teaser trailer) “How to Train Your Dragon 2” will win the Oscar for best animated film, based solely on its technical merits. Go ahead and quote me on that.

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