How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes a completely different stance than that of the first film. The first movie was emotionally moving, euphoric, and great fun. The second movie will break your heart — more than once. It is much more mature and much darker. Heed my warning: do not take this lightly, it’s not just a darker tone. Fortunately it does this without losing its on-point sense of humor. Without the comedic relief, audience members would probably cry through half of the film.
The first half or so of the film is quite joyous for the most part. Writer-director Dean DeBlois made much use of Toothless’ undeniable adorability, and to the film’s benefit. A great majority of How to Train Your Dragon 2‘s humor comes from Toothless interacting with other dragons, humans, or even himself. Other humor comes from certain characters and their certain perks. The love square between Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), and Eret (Kit Harington) provided many howling laughs.
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) being reunited with his dragon-adoring mother, Valka (Cate Blanchett), was more satisfying than expected. Not only were their bonding moments touching, but their scenes together were genuinely fun to watch. Hiccup and Valka share their exciting dragon knowledge through a series of visually stunning scenes — certainly it must be the best animation and 3D there is. Stoick (Gerard Butler), Hiccup’s dad, also finally reunites with his wife, before breaking out into the single dance and song number there is in the film, with Gobber (Craig Ferguson) goofily piping in a few times.
The second half consists mostly of an epic but heart-wrenching battle. The film goes top-notch on the dramatics and toys with the audience in a way I’m positive no one expected. The island of Berk and Valka’s dragon sanctuary face a scum-of-the-Earth-evil villain, a dragon army, and a ginormous mind-controlling Alpha dragon that puts the first movie’s baddie dragon to shame. After a battle that will tear your heart to shreds, the protagonists are stripped of everything and left in a near-impossible situation. I have never cried this much for a movie before.
The final battle will give you goosebumps. This is where the inspirational and emotionally moving feelings similar to the infectious feelings of the first How to Train Your Dragon film come in. Though I was still drenched in my own tears (and probably others’ around me), the ending was satisfying to great heights.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 delves deeper into its story and opens doors for more to be done in the third movie. This is hands down the best sequel ever made, not just among animated flicks. The wait of over four years for this one was quite long, but in the end extremely worth it.