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Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse ... see more see more... , Craig Ferguson , Kristen Wiig , T.J. Miller , Kit Harington , Cate Blanchett , Djimon Hounsou , Andrew Ableson , Gideon Emery , Simon Kassianides

DreamWorks Animation returns to the world of dragons and Vikings in this sequel to their successful 2010 outing How to Train Your Dragon. The original film followed the exploits of a Viking chief's so... read more read more...n, who must capture a dragon in order to mark his passage into manhood and prove his worthiness to the tribe. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

Flixster Users

93% liked it

147,832 ratings

Critics

92% liked it

154 critics

PG, 1 hr. 45 min.

Directed by: Dean DeBlois

Release Date: June 13, 2014

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DVD Release Date: December 11, 2014

Stats: 4,141 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (4,141)


  • July 20, 2014
    After the first movie hit a huge success (too bad they should compete with the flawless 'Toy Story 3' in that year), Dreamworks finally did it right by producing its sequel and taking its level to a higher one with more mature character since they are teens now, while the new cha... read moreracter such as Valka, Drago, and Eret make the story more interesting.. Too bad we should see one important character died at the end of the movie.. But overall, I like what Dreamworks did to this franchise by maintaining its level so Dragon can still fly high.. I just hope there's no uprising competitor since I definitely want Dragon to lift the Oscars this year..
  • July 9, 2014
    Hiccup and Toothless battle a dragon-trainer bent on destroying their village.
    The bookending voice-overs are textbook examples of how not to do voice-overs, but the interceding story, while predictable and essentially cliche, is delightful. Most of the action is fun, and the st... read moreory packs a surprise that defies kids film conventions. There's even a touching moment when the Gerard Butler character first meets the Cate Blanchett character that warmed the cold, cynical cockles of my heart.
    Overall, this film surprised me and is stronger than I ever thought it would be.
  • June 29, 2014
    If 2010's "How to Train Your Dragon" helped put DreamWorks Animation on the map as a legitimate contender to the Pixar throne, then "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is visually one of the most impressive animation experiences ever. Created as the first DreamWorks animated film to use... read more the new "Premo" and "Torch" lighting software throughout and with the assistance of some excellent direction from Dean DeBlois, "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is technically a visual masterpiece.

    Final Thought: Lack of a memorable plot notwithstanding, and aside from the fact that, in my opinion, it was a strange production choice to have a movie with such a particular plot twist open on Father's Day weekend, I GUARANTEE (judging from the lackluster Disney "Big Hero 6" teaser trailer) "How to Train Your Dragon 2" will win the Oscar for best animated film, based solely on its technical merits. Go ahead and quote me on that.

    Read the rest of my review at: www.examiner.com/review/how-to-train-your-dragon-2-a-giant-leap-forward-the-world-of-animation

    Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
  • June 29, 2014
    how rare to find a sequel as good, or maybe better, than its predecessor. the animation was superb, the character development outstanding, and the story about as epic as one can get for a kids movie. the film jumps forward 5 years, a plot device that usually leaves one baffled,... read more but in this case it worked perfectly. the only thing holding me back from giving this film a full 5 stars is that, although the emotion of the film was built perfectly, once it was time to allow those emotions to breathe and be expressed properly, they were truncated and swallowed by the action. there are some sad elements to this film, but the grief goes completely unrealized. there is also a matter of an entire army just disappearing at the end of the film, with no explanation. However, this aside, the film's narrative elements and action sequences are among the best ever produced for an animated film.
  • June 25, 2014
    As a continuation of the original film, this is a very well thought out and enjoyable sequel. As a standalone it also entertains, but it has a couple of missteps that the original wouldn't dare make. These films will be a trilogy, as stated by writer/director Dean DeBlois, remini... read morescent of the "Star Wars" original trilogy, and in that vein this film does a genuinely great job of expanding our main character and showing him changing into a chief. There is also amazing technology in the making of this film, and that really shows in the various dragons, the landscapes, and the flying scenes. The main problems with the film stem mostly from the mother character, voiced by Cate Blanchett. As a character she is amazing, being learned on everything to do with dragons, and being a fearless, masked warrior shows her strength and agility, but when it comes to battle she is utterly useless. She has to be saved twice, and all her skills seemingly evaporate. The film also struggles with certain key plot points, trying to meld together some clichéd conventions in order to frame a great narrative. Though it sometimes struggles, and will probably be the weakest in the trilogy, it's very funny, very playful, and really entertaining.
  • fb535316333
    June 21, 2014
    fb535316333
    HTTYD2 just seems to be one of those rare franchises that manages to hit the sweet spot despite being a "milking it" sequel.

    Visually speaking it's obviously great to look at, what 3D animated films these days aren't? (Disney, Pixar, BlueSky, Dreamworks etc. all doing it right.)... read more but there's a lot of really, really great cinematography and visual development art to appreciate here. Like when his mother reveals herself for the first time, as the dragons illuminate the cave with the fire in their mouths, the giant ice fortress, the gathering of wild dragons reminiscent of tropical birds.... it's all very impressive stuff!

    Premise wise the second film has a seemingly dull story of an big evil man gathering a dragon army to take over the world and our young heroes attempts to thwart it, but anyone who's seen the movie will tell you the plot revolves much, much more around the character/family drama of Hiccup than anything.

    Between rekindling his relationship with his mother, finding himself, his place in the world and suffering a great loss on a couple of fronts, it's a very rapid emotional ride that resonates with what the protagonist is going through. Every scene is a shot to your heart and why wouldn't it be? They're incredibly well directed with an impressive musical score to really back up that melodrama.

    But as with any character driven film often times the rest of the cast plays a fairly two dimensional role and little complexities are given. Unfortunately this held true, other than Hiccup every single character played out like a cliché or stereotype.

    So if you love the protagonists, the film is kind of perfect. I only wish that Dreamworks tried a little harder to develop their robust cast instead of writing them off as either comic relief or shallow positions to facilitate Hiccup's progression. The strong father figure, the activist mother who regrets leaving her child, the supportive girlfriend, the villain's side-kick who wasn't actually bad but caught in a difficult situation, the many, many comic reliefs etc. it all looks a little lazy.
  • June 19, 2014
    How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a different film than its predecessor which is a good thing. Sequels should bring new things to the table and never try and imitate the first film too much. With that said, this sequel doesn't do much with the new material and what we get is an avera... read morege final product. Spoilers ahead.

    So let's get started. The first issue is with the poorly executed story. Many events that happen feel rushed and certain action scenes and reveals are given hardly any room to develop. Before we know it there is this huge war that seems to have come out of nowhere. The politics behind the battle aren't even interesting (due to lack of development) so I found it difficult to care.

    The villain is about a cliche as can be. Evil name, scars, creepy voice, dark appearance, he has it all. Aside from that, the dude is just boring. I felt that his backstory was lazily executed and his motivation weak.

    Minor characters are given even worse treatment, offering some terrible humor. All of Hiccup's companions mostly take part in a strange love battle and that's about it. What we knew from them in the first film is forgotten about; it's as if the director didn't care about them but had to find some use for them.

    Stoick... where to begin with this guy. I feel as if I don't know him as a character at all, probably because he hasn't changed much. In the first film he was mostly an antagonist and it still feels that way in the sequel. The dude is just unlikable, even with that singing scene which was a clear attempt to backpedal and give the guy some redeeming features. So when he died, I wasn't sad even with the director trying so desperately to make it emotional. Not nearly on the same level as Mufasa's death, or even Barbados from Antz.

    There are some really annoying plot conveniences and I will discuss the one I dislike the most: the baby dragons. So the Alpha can control all dragons but the baby ones. Hiccup says that's because babies don't listen. So if they don't listen, how are you even riding them? It's clear that the writer was stumped on how the hell Hiccup was going to save the day, so what we get is a really pathetic and silly plot convenience.

    How to Train Your Dragon 2 tries to be different but fails. I wish the story would have flowed better and that certain characters had more development. The film had potential with all the right ideas, but the execution of those ideas did not work well.
  • fb733768972
    June 17, 2014
    fb733768972
    Being bigger doesn't always mean it will be a better film, in fact, most films fail due to that exact reason. "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is not one of those films. This is just as heartwarming as the first film was, and that is saying a lot. Although the trailer for this movie ... read morepretty much ruined half of the film, I was still able to get emotionally attached to the twists the movie threw at you. I must say that the visuals, along with the voice acting is really what makes this film so loveable. You can easily watch these films over and over again to see how beautiful they are, because there is so much detail that your eyes cannot even handle it in one sitting. The score is phenomenal and the action delivers 100%. Aside from following a few cliches, this film feels very fresh, however, the freshness comes from it's emotional twists that are given away in the trailers. So I warm you, if you have seen the first, just watch this movie without looking too deep into the trailers, because you will enjoy this almost as much as the first film, if not just as much. This sequel does exactly what a sequel should do, and for that reason it is fantastic. Please, stay away from the trailers, and you will love this movie!
  • June 17, 2014
    This sequel expands the world of the Viking dragon-riders of Berk, as an outsider seeks to raise a dragon army to destroy the peaceful settlement. Appealing sequel with soaring animation and a major plot surprise.
  • fb1442511448
    June 15, 2014
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    With brilliant CGI/visuals, a solid story and fun for all ages, How to Train Your Dragon 2 supplies the family-oriented entertainment and perilous elements which builds on to its series. The long awaited sequel is another positive notch for the DreamWorks batch. 4.5/5

Critic Reviews


Dave Calhoun
July 8, 2014
Dave Calhoun, Time Out

Hats off to Dreamworks for offering some bold surprises in a respectable sequel filled with moments of humour and emotion among its ample noise and movement. Full Review

Bruce Diones
June 23, 2014
Bruce Diones, New Yorker

The writer and director Dean DeBlois takes the comedy to a deeper, more satisfying place than he did in the original franchise-launching animated film. Full Review

Peter Rainer
June 20, 2014
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Overlong and overly busy but more emotionally powerful than its predecessor. Full Review

Wesley Morris
June 17, 2014
Wesley Morris, Grantland

The entire film is a romance -- visually, parentally, ecologically. It's got the emotional, humorous, exciting sweep you want from a summer movie. Full Review

James Berardinelli
June 13, 2014
James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Although there are times when bits of the movie feel extraneous, the production as a whole comes across more like an organic extension of the original tale than something tacked on purely to score at ... Full Review

Bob Mondello
June 13, 2014
Bob Mondello, NPR

It's clear that [director Dean DeBlois] took inspiration from the first Star Wars trilogy - not a bad model for breathing new life, and yes, a bit of fire, into one of Hollywood's more nuanced animate... Full Review

Lisa Kennedy
June 13, 2014
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is soaring, emotionally swooping, utterly satisfying fun. Full Review

Bill Zwecker
June 13, 2014
Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times

Not only does this second movie match the charm, wit, animation skill and intelligent storytelling of the original, I think it even exceeds it. Full Review

Bilge Ebiri
June 13, 2014
Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture

Despite its expanded, ambitious battle sequences, Dragon 2 is at its best when it quiets down and dares to be intimate. Full Review

Rene Rodriguez
June 13, 2014
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

One of the most beautiful animated films ever made. Full Review

Critic ratings and reviews powered by RottenTomatoes.com

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Facts


    • Stoick: A man who kills without reason cannot be reasoned with.
    • Ruffnut: Take me!
    • Hiccup: Toothless! You're pounding big baby boo.
    • Astrid: Take 'em down, Babe!
    • Valka: You came early into this world. You were such a wee thing, so frail, so fragile.... I feared you wouldn't make it. But your father, he never doubted. He always said you'd be the strongest of them all. And he was right.
    • Astrid: That's your mother?!
    • Hiccup: Now you know where I get my dramatic flair!

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