Friday, June 27, 2014

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

These aren't the Khaleesi's dragons. They're all cute and family friendly. 

It actually makes them a lot more entertaining, considering Game of Thrones has aired four seasons now and they still haven't done anything. The dragons of Burke are all varied and colorful and playful, capable of melting your heart with nary a glance. Who'd have thunk'it that after nearly two decades of dominating the Actually Good market of 3D animated movies, Pixar would vanish in a puff of Cars 2 exhaust leaving Dreamworks to pick up the slack?

Hiccup is a fully grown dragon rider now. While his father takes care of Burke, their home island, he's been out flying with Toothless, the nighfury he tamed in the first movie. While the map they draw keeps getting larger, it seems like the world itself is getting smaller. When they come across the dragon trappers of a vicious warlord, Hiccup must find a way to protect his village before all their dragons are taken. 

Methods for Domesticating Your Lizard’s biggest strength is in its character design. Not so subtly, the movie characterizes the dragons as house pets, using the same commands and characterization one might see in a dog. The difference being that dragons can fly and breathe fire. There's a psychological reason you love Toothless, his big eyes, curious nature, and protective instinct are all reminiscent of that loyal friend you picked up from the pound and taught to poop on your neighbor's lawn. On a visual level there's nothing wrong with it, it helps to connect with the characters. On a production level, there may be something a bit devious about the intense psychological elements at play in trying to convince millions of people to give you ten dollars (at least) to have a screen other than your television watch your kids for two hours.

That's the cynical approach though. What matters is if the movie is fun! And it is; it's a rich, detailed movie, taking you through an ever expanding universe to show just how creative the world can get. There's not much to say beyond that. See the movie if you haven' already. 

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