Review Roundup: Kid-Friendly Sequel HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 Opens Today!
The Dreamworks-crafted film 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' hits theaters today, June 13th. A sequel to the 2010 hit, the story once again follows dragon slayer Hiccup and his friends, including his dragon, Toothless.
Set five years after the first film, the Viking village of Berk has accepted dragons into their community. However, Hiccup has now come of age to succeed his father as chieftain, a position he is not sure he is ready to assume. As Hiccup and Toothless embark on adventures to new and unexplored territories, Hiccup finds himself caught in the middle of yet another conflict between humans and dragons, one that will require him to step up as a hero.
Based on the novel of the same name, 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' features the voice talents of Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrara, Jonah Hill, and Kristen Wiig.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Stephen Holden, The New York Times: In interviews, the writer and director Dean DeBlois has called "Dragon 2" his "Empire Strikes Back." Because he makes more of his films' allegorical implications than most creators of toons, the movie nudges you to consider its subtext.
Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post: ... the movie manages to tackle themes of growing up and finding independence; coming to terms with one's heritage; forgiveness; and how to properly care for a pet.
Joe McGovern, Entertainment Weekly: While the original movie benefited from narrative simplicity and an admirable lack of villains, this one paints the screen with too many characters and frequent diversions from the main story, but nevertheless serves up a bountiful and sugary feast for the 3-D-bespectacled eyes.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Younger kids looking for the cute connection between hesitant teen Hiccup (once again voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his loyal dragon, Toothless, may be stunned by the film's violent tone. At the same time, it's the unflinching edge that gives the film its unexpected depth.
Elizabeth Blair, NPR: The first How To Train Your Dragon movie was about trying to understand your enemies and treat them with respect. The new movie takes that idea and amplifies it full force.
Peter Debruge, Variety: If necessity is the mother of invention, then DreamWorks' desire to extend the "Dragon" franchise has propelled the creative team in the most admirable of directions, resulting in what just may be the mother of all animated sequels.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: It's thrilling, a soaring blend of 3D animation and spectacular storytelling that swerves daringly to honor the healing chaos of family, human and dragon.
Amanda Steiner, Hollywood Life: The fresh, exciting plot of How To Train Your Dragon 2, while entirely new, is identical in spirit to the first film - it's heartwarming, funny, sometimes sad, and overall a perfectly well-done fantasy-adventure film with a world that really pays attention to the details.
Betsy Sharkey, L.A. Times: But what set the first "Dragon" apart, and what DeBlois has deepened in No. 2, is the film's emotional core. Though there are moments when the tension goes slack, the cast steps up to keep things afloat.