© Twentieth Century Fox of Germany GmbH 

Drachenzähmen leicht gemacht 2 (How to Train Your Dragon 2)
U.S.A. 2014

Opening 24 Jul 2014

Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Writing credits: Dean DeBlois, Cressida Cowell
Principal actors: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington, America Ferrera

Five years after DreamWorks Animation’s first dragon film, the Viking inhabitants of Berk (who speak English with a Scottish accent) have now made peace with the dragons. They live together in harmony with amenities for all, flying around playing sheep toss. Hiccup is now about 20 years old; he enjoys exploring new lands on his pet dragon Toothless. While updating his map of the territories, he finds a hostile country run by the ruthless Drago Bludvist, whose goal is to form a dragon army and take on the world. Hiccup rises to the challenge, much to the pride of his mother Valta (who had disappeared at his birth) and his father Stoick the Vast, who expects Hiccup to succeed him in leading the island someday.

We get dragon battles and commentary from Hiccup’s friends Astrid, Gobber, Snotlout, Fishlegs, Ruffnut and Tuffnut. We watch Eret change his loyalties. The village is colorful; the music is appropriate. The moral of the story is universally acceptable but becomes repetitive after a while. How often can you say, “Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things”? The 3D does not distract, but the film would be effective without it.

The dragons are wonderfully original, no two alike; often the faces of the Vikings resemble those of their pets. This film might arouse your curiosity to see Part I, if you haven’t seen already. Naturally, Part II works on its own, but now I wonder, “How did Hiccup really lose his leg?” So, I will search for a copy of the first of the series, and I am sure that before long, there will be a Part III. (Becky Tan)

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