Audiences are finally getting a chance to see "How To Train Your Dragon 2" this weekend, and pretty much every parent I know is excited about that news.
Why? Well, the first one was an underdog hit for Dreamworks Animation, and it's the sort of film that people walk out of feeling surprised. If you can do that, then you'll get an audience to show up for a sequel because they are actually excited, rather than just bludgeoned into submission by marketing muscle. The flip side to the enormous expectations people have for the sequel is that it makes it that much harder for the filmmakers.
I reviewed the film from the Cannes Film Festival in May, and I'm excited to share the film with my kids this weekend. Uncommonly beautiful, even for animation, and loaded with character and charm, I think there's a lot to like about the movie. As with any film, though, there are things we here at HitFix liked about the film, and things we didn't. Now that you can see the film for yourselves, we wanted to discuss those highs and lows.
One of the things I personally thinks needs to be given a little bit of spotlight is just how strong the characterization is in the film. By jumping the story five years past the end of the first movie, it gives the actors a chance to play some real growth in their characters. Jay Baruchel does an excellent job of showing us how Hiccup has changed and grown, and Gerard Butler is able to reveal the way the end of the first film has changed his character as both a leader and a father.
What are the things the rest of Team HitFix liked and disliked? Open the gallery below, and let's see how many you agree and disagree with.
"How To Train Your Dragon 2" is now playing nationwide.