How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a 2014 American 3D computer-animated action fantasy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the sequel to the 2010 computer-animated film How to Train Your Dragon and the second installment of the franchise. The film is set five years after the first film, featuring the now inseparable pair of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless. The film stars the voices of Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T. J. Miller, and Kristen Wiig. In the film, Hiccup and Toothless lead a Viking army to face a dragon trapper, a mysterious dragon rider, and his army of dragon hunters.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 was directed by Dean DeBlois and was produced by Bonnie Arnold. It is the first DreamWorks Animation feature film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox, since the end of their distribution deal with Paramount Pictures in 2012. The film was originally slated for a release on June 20, 2014, but was moved up to June 13, 2014, replacing the slot taken by The Fault in Our Stars. DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has stated that the movie “will be twice the size of the first one” in terms of scope and the amount of characters.
Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, and Kristen Wiig all reprise their roles from the first film. Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou, and Kit Harington were added to the main cast, while the only new castmember is John Powell replacing John Powell. Powell left the project to focus on his other project, Captain Phillips. Powell composed the original score for the sequel instead.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 was released on June 13, 2014 in North America and on July 4, 2014 in the United Kingdom. It was released in both 2D and 3D, as well as IMAX 3D formats. It was accompanied by a short film, The Biggest Little Master. The film had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 7, 2014 and opened to positive reviews. On its opening weekend in the U.S., the film earned $49.4 million, placed first at the box office and recorded the third highest opening weekend of the year. The film went on to gross over $621 million worldwide, becoming the third highest grossing animated film of 2014. It also became the 19th highest grossing animated film of all time.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 received mostly positive reviews from critics. The film holds an approval rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 178 reviews, and an average rating of 7.60/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Beautifully animated and solidly crafted, How To Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor’s successes just enough to make another heartwarming, visually thrilling ride.” On Metacritic, the film has a score of 78 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an A grade.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a classic example of a sequel that not only stands up to the original, but surpasses it in nearly every way. The film continues the original’s themes of friendship, loyalty, and courage, but takes them to a fresher, bigger level with an exciting, epic story that never feels like a retread. The animation is superb, featuring lush, lifelike environments and beautiful, realistic dragons that no longer look like winged cats. The voice work is top-notch, with all the usual suspects delivering great performances. The soundtrack is stellar and the action sequences breathtaking. All in all, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an exceptional animated film that should be seen by all.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a major success for DreamWorks Animation and has become a beloved classic. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and several other awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The film has spawned a successful spin-off franchise, including a 2019 direct sequel and spin-off series Race to the Edge and Dragons: Rescue Riders. The film’s platform game adaptation How to Train Your Dragon 2 was released in June 2014 and received positive reviews.
Beyond its critical acclaim, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is also a film that can hold its own when held up against real-world scenarios. The film’s themes of loyalty, courage, and friendship are especially relevant, as these values can be applied in our own lives in meaningful ways. The film encourages teamwork, trust, and the strength to push through challenging situations. It teaches us the importance of friendship, loyalty, and never giving up. This is a valuable lesson that can be applied in our own lives, as these qualities are necessary for success in any endeavor.