Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon 2 ★★★★

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    Quality animated films in this era are far and few between. Much too often the emphasis is directed at creating an aesthetically pleasing film, with little to no substance instilled into the characters or plot. (Of course, children aren't the most intellectually driven audience.) Dreamworks, who has brought moviegoers worldwide the captivating atmosphere of "Shrek," have created another series of films that evoke a comparison to some of the best animation produced.

    There is something quite enticing about a world filled with Vikings and dragons.

    "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is the highly anticipated sequel to the original film, adapted from a series of children's books. With a younger audience already in tow, this film provides adult viewers with an excellent story to accompany a variety of intriguing characters. A splendor of vibrant animation and dramatic tension fuels this sequel to elite status.

    The story picks up five years after the original and never loses a step. Vikings and dragons have now become inseparable. Hiccup, our lovable teenage Viking protagonist, has now become a young man. At twenty years old, he is the most popular Viking on the island of Berk and still a master of the art of training dragons. With the community of Berk no longer an obstacle to tranquility, Hiccup must explore the far reaches of the Earth to find a conflict fitting for our tastes.

    Thus, while investigating uncharted waters with his delightful dragon Toothless, Hiccup stumbles across a pack of inept dragon hunters who provide the identity of a new opposition. Drago Bludvist is a walking embodiment of wickedness. His ambition to enslave as many dragons that can be found and storm the island of Berk will lead Hiccup and his group of misfits on a perilous journey that throws caution to the wind. An adventure filled with peril, excitement, and a few unforeseen surprises.

    There is a definable complication when creating a sequel to a commercially successful film. Not only does there have to be that logical next step in the timeline, which in turn will create a conceivable mood, but a growth of character must be stressed.

    This is where "How to Train Your Dragon 2" excels. Hiccup's maturation is believable and rather relatable to most young adults, who are finding their way in the world that seems much too vast at the time.

    The young males of the clan are brimming with hormonal instinct, as well as one of the girls, Ruffnut, who is the center of various humor involving her adolescent feelings toward the leading dragon hunter. Even Toothless becomes more animated in his mannerisms and activity on the screen. We are ultimately left with a heartwarming tale that features an exquisite utilization of name typing. Hiccup, a portrait of modesty, and Drago Bludvist, a name that oozes treachery.

    Accordingly, the "How to Train Your Dragon" series of films has become a success simply because of its entertaining premise and the attraction of the prominent Toothless. A brilliant marketing ploy to make one dragon endearing, while the other mythological creatures can warrant only a mother's love. Spawning an animated television show, as well as an array of merchandise, this franchise is built to last.

    With the success of this franchise, a question comes to attention. When will Disney pick up the slack and return to the pinnacle of animation glory?

    Everything considered: This is a film that will provide a memorable experience for younger and older viewers alike. This coming of age theme fits our hero in Hiccup to perfection. We watch as the frail Hiccup struggles to find his place in a village overwhelming with masculinity. Now it is time for Hiccup to find himself and shed the inner awkwardness that powered the first film. Although he may not be the most courageous or confident hero, we wouldn't have it any other way.

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