Monday, June 16, 2014

Cute, sweet, cuddly, and fiery

When my sister first made me watch How to Train your Dragon a couple years ago I wasn't all that interested; it seemed kind of cheesy and not like something I really needed to see. Then I heard that the Chief's name was Stoick the Vast - the best viking name I've ever heard - and spent ten minutes giggling; then I was hooked. I enjoyed the hell out of the first movie and when I recently saw previews for How to Train your Dragon 2 I decided that I'd make the effort to go see it on the big screen. It was SO super-duper worth it.

HTTYD2 takes the audience back to Berk and its crew of dragon-riding vikings; Toothless and Hiccup are still the best of buds and Stoick still doesn't totally understand his son. The plot develops pretty quickly and the audience is introduced to new characters, locations, and dragons at a fairly breakneck pace.

I really want to avoid spoilers here (even though the preview for the film didn't bother) so I'm going to keep it to general topics, but I do want to say that the relationship between Hiccup and Stoick is lovely to watch as it grows and changes. The film spends a lot of time looking at the way that the children of Berk have grown up and taken on responsibilities, the way that they're setting out to handle their lives, and the value of hard work and cooperation.

Other than that most of the movie is about Toothless, which I'm completely okay with because he is adorable. The energetic young dragon still acts like a cat for most of the sequel and still rough-houses around with his human buddy. The animators did a fantastic job with all of the dragons but Toothless is especially beautiful and enormously entertaining to watch.

The music is also startlingly good in this film, moving and robust. I was quite surprised by how long the themes and tunes were running through my head after leaving the theater, but I can't say I was at all upset at being bit by such a relentless earworm.

     - Alli

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