Thursday, January 29, 2015

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 - 1 nomination

Animated Feature - Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold

Hiccup and Toothless are back and now that they have made peace between Vikings and Dragons, they have moved on to exploring the world.  The find an ice cave filled with amazing dragons and something even more significant - Hiccup's mother appears who we thought long dead.  Together, they must all protect the dragons from the evil Drago who wants to control the dragon species and therefore, the world.  All of Hiccup's friends are back in this sequel, which means we get to hear from the likes of TJ Miller (ahem, in TWO Oscar nominated animated films), Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, and they all bring the funny that they brought in the first installment of this story.  Also a key plot point in the film is the deep control that the alpha dragon has over all dragons, and whether friendship and love are enough to overcome one's DNA - can Toothless surmount his dragon programming and remember his bond with his best friend?  Is it fair to hold Toothless accountable for actions he committed while under the alpha dragon's spell, or are there some things that are simply unforgivable?

These are the themes that fill How to Train Your Dragon 2, while also being a visually stunning work of animation.  The story is compelling, the characters are well drawn and surprisingly complex for an animated film, and it's just a delight to watch.  Of course, dragon anthropologists may dispute some of the details of the dragon portrayals and the descendants of the evil dragon in the film have yet to issue comment, but overall, I'd call it a terrific film well worth the watch.

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