Okay, so if I didn’t have my
terror toddler of a son, I would probably have missed the first installment of How To Train Your Dragon (HTTYD). Thankfully, I did not. Instead, I was in the prime seat for repeated viewings of the movie whenever my son felt so inclined. (And yet, I still cannot pull a Scottish accent to save my life. Figures.)
Based on the book series by British author Cressida Cowell (with 14 books for the world so far) , How To Train Your Dragon 2, directed by Dean DeBlois and produced by Dreamworks Animation, picks up where the first left off…give or take five years. Dude, if I were a tender preteen girl prone to crushes on fictional characters (No, I’m not speaking from experience. Why do you ask!?), I’d totally fall in love with Hiccup. And Ruffnut can have Eret; it’d be a comedic trove.
While it’s still a toss up why–in higher latitude Berk, in colder, thinner air, on the back of the fastest dragon around–Hiccup designed a mask that covers his mouth but not his eyes, the rest of the details in the movie do quite well. As a sucker for anything flying and fantastical, my foremost enchantment with it is, naturally, the dragons. I mean, c’mon, who hasn’t read Dragonriders of Pern and not imagined it?? To pick a point on the horizon and just go? (I may have a slight problem hiking atop mountains for this reason–the shear desire to fling myself from the pinnacle and soar.) Toothless is adorable, to boot.
I dared to see HTTYD2 in theaters with my hyperactive toddler and still managed to feel touched by the themes and imagery of the movie. It’s a film clearly meant to connect with a younger audience: it’s filled with bright colors and laughs, but not in a garish way. The discerning adult can easily pick out the heavier tones beneath the humor (ahem, mother abandoned her son for 20 years meets him again in the midst of said son’s father trying to impart chieftain responsibilities to him) . Plus, like the first film, the interplay of relationships between the characters are serious yet uplifting enough to pull you in. They face difficult problems with real-world parallels and make mistakes that cost, too.
(At least, they were for me. I’m not a film critic, just a fan.
So if you have a problem with all this rambling, you can eat my FIST. )
Also, the DRAGONS. I did mention those already, right? Oh, and Hiccup, and his gadgets (dragon-smoke-and- fire version of a lightsaber?), and the music, and the story continuation curiosity…. My, my.
So, would I watch it again? *Looks around surreptitiously, then whispers* Yea…and in 3-D. Gasp! No way! Me? 3-D? *Whines* Buuut, it’s DRAGONS…and-and FLYING! Then again, c’mon, let’s be honest, someone’s bound to gift my son this sequel anyway and soon I’ll be watching it daily and quoting it to childless adults and expecting them to laugh with me.
Noooott really a new experience here.
Now, here come the arbitrary ratings (you’re welcome):
ASV Scale of Villainy: E
Hiccup has ingenuity, intuition, and Viking “stubbornness issues” as well as a freakin’ Night Fury that just discovered its upgrades and can resist the massive warmongering Alpha dragon. If his morals were reversed, I think Drago would’ve been Hiccup’s minion, not his enemy.