I know that I did not do Legend of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (the 5th animated film of this year), but so far, I honestly cannot find a link to watch it, and it has almost been 2 months. I heard the film is doing horribly, so that is why.
My Opinion right after watching movie
My opinion right after watching the movie is that it is a good sequel. It gave me everything I needed in a film, it built on the world and the characters (which I said that I wanted to see in the review of its predecessor), a lot of action, a darkness and seriousness that are not in DreamWork’s films, but I have to admit that the movie can be a bit clunky at times. I still prefer the Kung Fu Panda franchise, but this is some good stuff.
Dreamworks announced a sequel to the public and to start development literally a month after How To Train Your Dragon aired in theaters, and they even started drafting in February of 2010. They planned this sequel before it’s predecessor was even released.I think this was done because their first franchise Shrek was ending later that year.
There is not much else to really discuss about it, as all I know that they got a new animation program for this film, and all of the actors returned. I think there is not much info because the film was released a bit over a week ago.
So everyone is in their early 20s and we are 5 years after the first film (they never give us a date in either film as to how old they are), and Astrid (America Fererra) and her crew are playing some dragon game, where a black sheep is a ball, and Stoick (Gerard Butlar) is cheering on his future daughter in law. While this is going on, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is flying his dragon Toothless as they are trying out a new flying trick, which gives us a great flying and motion sequence. They land back on a land, and Hiccup and Toothless play around with one another, which is how many boys interact with one another. He takes note of the new land that he is observing (as he has started to draw a map of what is around Berk).
His girlfriend Astrid finds him, and asks why he is by himself, where he reveals that his father told him that he is going to be a chief. He of course does not believe in himself, and she of course tells him that he is a great chief because of his heart; so everything that every movie and parent tells us. They then start flying and see a cross fire, which causes them to land, and they bump into Eret (Kit Harington), who is the leader of Drago (Djimon Hounson), and he tells them that Drago is planning on taking all of the dragons that Berk “took”, and the two rush off to Berk (after they tried to kidnap the couple`s dragons).
He tells his father about Drago and his crew ready to fight and to steal their dragon which causes the older man to get really nervous, and tells berk to get ready to fight. Hiccup does not want them to fight, and decides to go to Drago and Eret to try to make piece (with Stoick objecting). Astrid goes with him (I like how proactive she is in the film, without rubbing “Ooh, we are so feminist” in our faces). They go on the boat, and gives themselves up so they could leave Berk alone, but their sidekicks follow them, and Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) lusts over Eret when she sees his muscles, and sacrifices herself to him, only for Hiccup to save her. Long story short, Hiccup flies away, and Astrid kidnaps Eret.
As Toothless is flynig with Hiccup, the latter is taken by another dragon rider and is placed on their land. The dragon rider reveals herself to be Valka, his long lost mother. She said that she picked him up because “A mother never forgets”.
So he is confused about the bomb she just dropped, and demands an explanation. She tells him that her marriage to his father became strained because he was too obsessed with hunting and killing dragons, and she had the very unpopular opinion of dragons, which made things worse. One night, a dragon came, and was about to touch Hiccup, but she sacrificed herself and went with the dragon, causing the entire town to think that she was killed. So she tells him that he does not know as much about dragons as she does, and they start to bond. You can definitely tell that she is a bit over eccentric and loony.
As Valka and Hiccup bond with flying dragons, Astrid and crew (along with a kidnapped Eret) goes to Drago`s boating area, and as they approach there, they are captured by Drago`s helpers, and the dragons have darts shot into them, as they are hypnotized by Drago to be under his control. Astrid and crew tells them that if they are not released, then Hiccup the ALMIGHTY Dragon master will take them down, which angers Drago.
Stoick and his BFF Goober (Craig Ferguson) tracks his son down (after he finds his helmet) and he realizes that his ex wife is still alive. She is nervous to trust him, but he shows her that he has changed int he past 20 years. It is so nice to see these 2 couples reunite and interact so softly and genuinely. Their scenes together are so heartwearming, but it sucks that it is short lived because Drago and his crew set an attack right outside Valka`s living area, to bring out Valka`s Bewilderbeast (which can control all dragons), so it can be killed and Drago`s Bewilderbeast can be the one in control.
So Valka and Drago bring their dragons to duke it out, the two Bewilderbeasts (Alphas) battle it out, only for Valka`s Bewilderbeast to be killed by the other one. Drago fights Valka, as he says he has been waiting for years to kill him, but Stiock takes over and starts to fight him. Drago`s Bewilderbeast brainwashes all of the dragons (including Toothless) and Drago (who controls the Bewilderbeasts, who controls the dragons) tells Toothless to kill Hiccup, and as Stoick sees this happens, he runs to protect his son and……
Hiccup lashes out at Toothless (after he comes out of his trance) and tells him to leave the area, which after realizing what he did, the dragon does, as he is filled up with guilt. Drago controlls Toothless again, and uses him as his ride to invade Berk. After the crew has a scandinavian funeral for Stoick, Hiccup finally learns that you cannot always make peace with someone and to avoid war. While I do not like his father`s death, it finally got him to learn that you cannot always create a peace treaty, and that sometimes war is inevitable.
So we get a final battle, and Drago has Toothless brainwashed into shooting Hiccup, but he tells Toothless that it is him, and to break out of his trance (which he tried to do right before Stoick was killed), but succeeded this time, and puts a blindfold around Toothless so he could not be controlled again. Drago has the dragons shoot them up, and the duo are stuck in the ice for a moment, before they break out and completes the trick that they were trying to work out in the beginning of the film to cause the dragons to break control from the Beast. The Beast and Drago end up getting injured and fleeing off.
So Hiccup becomes Alpha, they all celebrate, he kisses Astrid passionately, and we get a closing sequence of Hiccup again narrating how the village of Berk is like, as the young Dragon Riders play the game they were in the beginning of the movie.
The characters in this film are pretty likable, though not all of them are developed. The ones from the first film have the same personalities as they did beforehand, but they do have a sense of maturity to them, while the new characters are decent, though do not stand out much, except for a few of them.
Though I watched the film through a bad copy link, I could tell that the animation is pretty good. I like how the humans look a bit more realistic, but they still have the origins of their younger designs. They atmosphere and backgrounds are amazing, and they did really well with the textures. They definitely improved over the first film with their animation.
The music is the same as the first movie. I literally remember hearing some of the same scores, which is not a bad thing. I would not say they improved the music in this film, but it is the same, and the music in the first one is good, so overall, the music in this film is pretty good.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on June 11th, 2014, it has (by June 25th, 2014), made $97,719,301 domestically, and it made $80,188,371 overseas, causing a worldwide amount of $177,907,672. It opened on #2, and dropped to #3 on its second week (last weekend), and I am a bit surprised that it did not open as strongly as expected. With how things are going, I think the film is going to make around $500 million (around the amount the first film made).
Critically, it is received critical acclaim and praise. I have to agree with DeBruge, when he says “Braver than Brave, more fun than Frozen, and more emotionally satisfying than so many of its live-action counterparts, Dragon delivers.” Many praised it for not rehashing the story of the original, having a bit of an edge, and not playing it completely safe. Many are impressed with this film, and that they have another hit franchise on them.
Story = 8/10
Characters = 7.5/10
Music = 8/10
Animation = 9.5/10