Thursday, July 10, 2014

DragonCon

How To Train Your Dragon 2
Director: Dean DeBlois
Voice talent: Jay Baruchel, Gerald Butler, Cate Blanchett, America Ferrera, Dijmon Hounsou, Craig Ferguson, Kristin Wiig, Jonah Hill
Released: June 13, 2014
Viewed in theaters: June 29, 2014


Spoilers ahoy!

Much like the first movie, I loved this one too, and much like the first movie, I cried during this one as well. Also, like the first one, I saw this one at nine in the evening to avoid young children talking or crying or kicking the back of my seat. Unlike the first one, I did not see this one in 3-D, but that's only because the theater I saw it at wasn't showing it in 3-D! Otherwise I would have as I kept seeing the obvious scenes that were meant for the 3-D viewers and how cool it would have been to be able to see it that way.

I probably should have seen the first movie before seeing this one, but I thought I didn't need to since I saw How To Train Your Dragon twice, but I sure couldn't remember how Hiccup lost his leg...or even that he did lose his leg!

 The sequel takes place five years later (I thought they should have made it four years since it's been four years since the first movie!) and the village where our hero, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Barachel) lives has become littered with dragons now that everyone owns one. The town, once fearful of dragons, now has a dragon feeding-station, a large stable for the dragons to sleep, and a fire prevention device.

Besides Hiccup and Toothless, his fiercely loyal dragon, we are re-introduced to some old familiar characters such as Stoic (voiced by Gerald Butler), Hiccup's father and the town's chief; Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera), Hiccup's girlfriend; Hiccup's ragtag team of misfit friends (voiced by many including Kristin Wiig and Jonah Hill); and Gobber (voiced by Craig Ferguson), the chief's right hand man. We are also introduced to some new characters, mainly the film's villain, Drago (voiced by Dijmon Hounsou) who wants to control all the dragons. I guess because his name is "Dragon" without the N, that gives him the right. I first heard his name as "Draco" and was thinking, "Harry Potter already did it!" And we are introduced to Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett), Hiccup's mother who he thought was deceased all these years. She has a Scottish accent (by the way, I love that both Hiccup's parents have strong Scottish accents and he doesn't) and when I first heard her in the trailer, I was curious to see who voiced her.

We learn of her backstory where she has become a savior for dragons who have become hurt or neglected and need care. Everyone thinks she was killed by a dragon because the last time anyone saw her (when Hiccup was a baby), she was cornered by a dragon and carried off by it, but it never had any intentions of hurting her. Valka is reunited with her family (complete with a cute Scottish ditty she sings with her husband) and they're off to stop Drago from controlling all the dragons. There's a huge fight between his alpha, a humongous black dragon, and Valka's alpha, a humongous white dragon and Drago's dragon wins, thus making him in control of all the other dragons. This is yet another reason why I wished I had seen the first movie because I remember a huge dragon being in the movie, but don't recall if it was the same kind.

Toothless, under Drago's control, is ordered to kill Stoic, which he does and that was the scene I cried at (and several scenes after I was still crying!) It would be bad enough to have our main character lose his father, but have him die at the cost of his beloved friend is really a punch to the gut! Like Hiccup, I was even angry at Toothless for what he did, but Valka, being the voice of reason tells her son that it's not Toothless's fault; that he was tricked into doing it.

Now the town has no chief and no dragons, but Hiccup steps up to take his dad's place and defeat Drago and free the dragons from the hypnotized state they're all in. Not only does Hiccup become a hero, but so does Toothless, who fights through the mind control of the alpha and defeats the alpha, thus becoming the new alpha. Now Toothless doesn't kill the ex-alpha since he is a million times smaller, but the ex-alpha retreats into the water like a whimpering puppy.

The first movie came out the same year as Toy Story 3 (2010), so I knew it had no chance of winning the Best Animated Movie Oscar, but I hope it can win it next year for this movie because it's such a great movie and deserves to! I'll see you in another couple years for How To Train Your Dragon 3

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