Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2014. DreamWorks Animation, Mad Hatter Entertainment. Screenplay by Dean DeBlois, based on the book series by Cressida Cowell. Produced by Bonnie Arnold. Music by John Powell. Production Design by Pierre-Olivier Vincent. Film Editing by John K. Carr. Academy Awards 2014. Golden Globe Awards 2014. National Board of Review Awards 2014.
The success of the somewhat amusing original has been followed by a delightful sequel, brightly colourful and featuring great scenes of rich adventure. Hiccup now exists in a happy kingdom where humans and dragons cohabitate, he himself still having his faithful Toothless as his best friend. On an adventurous journey atop his buddy’s back, our scrappy hero (voiced by Jay Baruchel) discovers a cave where many more dragons live, which takes him to the discovery of a family member from the past and the presence of a villainous warlord who still wants to get rid of the fire-breathing race. This one gets points in all categories for not only featuring stunning animation, particularly in the action sequences (standing out even from the current glut of technically impressive computer animation that barely raises an eyebrow anymore), but also for having a sturdy plot that never takes itself too seriously, good voice work and a healthy sense of adventure. The kids will love it and you won’t be sorry you joined them.