Debate: As soon as they arrive, they find not only evidence of a fire, but of human activity as well. A giant ice formation engulfs a fort. Soon, they are confronted by a man named Eret, a dragon trapper who accuses Hiccup of stealing his dragons and destroying his fort. Eret and his men have been capturing dragons for Drago Bludvist, a man known for his ruthlessness and his dragon army.
Hiccup is stunned at the news that there are other dragon riders, and he and Astrid escape to warn Stoick. Upon hearing the news, Stoick immediately orders Berk to be sealed off, keeping the dragons protected. Stoick believes that battle is imminent, but Hiccup believes otherwise. He wants to try his approach, to reason with Drago and convince him that war is not the answer. After all, Hiccup was able to reason with Stoick years ago, and now the village lives in harmony with the dragons they once hunted. Stoick, however, declares that Drago cannot be reasoned with.
Break into Two: Despite this warning, Hiccup still refuses to believe that Drago cannot be reasoned with. He and Toothless fly away, but are soon overtaken by a masked figure standing on top of a flying dragon. Hiccup is captured and taken by the mysterious Dragon Rider to an island cave full of dragons.
Midpoint: Soon, all of the dragons fly out in a swarm as they go to feed. Whereas in the first film, the Alpha dragon rose from the depths to plunder the food from the other dragons, the Bewilderbeast rises to provide a feast of fish for those under its protection.
Stoick and Valka enjoy a brief respite, rekindling their romance as Hiccup looks on, the first time he has ever seen his parents together. But it does not last long; Drago closes in as he brings a massive army to the island to try and steal the dragons. He reveals that he, too, has an Alpha dragon, a Bewilderbeast that does his bidding and controls all other dragons that are within its grasp.
Finale: Drago and his army arrive at Berk, the Alpha now taking control of all their dragons. An icy blast from the Alpha engulfs parts of the village, and Drago believes he has conquered them all. Until, that is, Hiccup and the other riders arrive.
Yeah, I thought the film was really beautifully animated and touched on some very mature themes., despite the flaws I conceived. I enjoyed reading your comment as well. Discussing the ups and downs of a story is one of my favorite things to do! ?
That the relationship causes the peg-legged handyman and trainer of novice Vikings, Gobber the Belch (Craig Ferguson, the perfect feisty sidekick for Butler), to actually stride out of the closet in a subtle spoken aside is a rarity of its own in a PG-rated arena like this.
Oddly enough, the battles with evil forces who wish to enslave the dragons into an army are the least interesting portion of the film. Director/screenwriter Dean DuBlois, soloing this time without partner Chris Sanders, falls prey to the more-is-more school of sequel-dom. There are two villains, one a hunky young sea-faring mercenary known as Eret (Kit Harrington of "Game of Thrones"), the other a merciless madman called Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou of "Gladiator" fame) whose very name strikes fear. There are also two massive white beasts that look like something that would result if Jabba the Hutt and the Kraken had an offspring.
The thrilling second chapter of the epic How To Train Your Dragon trilogy brings back the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years later. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.
The flight-focused third-person gameplay with accessible controls brings to mind the wondrous Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series by defunct developer Factor 5 (a studio doomed, ironically, by its disastrous dragon-flying title Lair); the core gameplay revolves around simply steering your dragon with the left control stick and launching fireballs with ZR. You can accelerate, decelerate, make sharp turns and use special attacks, but the core controls are easy to understand; the GamePad and TV always show the same action, which allows for off-TV play. The camera controlled by the right control stick gets incredibly wonky at times, but overall the controls feel fluid.
Once the wonder of flying around the island wears off, though, How to Train Your Dragon 2 doesn't have much to offer. Most of the events (which you can luckily quit out of at any time) are variations of "race the other dragons," "fly through floating rings like in Superman 64", or "race the other dragons and fly through floating rings like in Superman 64." While flying lackadaisically around the huge world is fun, the racing minigames lack the nuance and depth of a dedicated racing title; as far as the ring collecting goes, it's about as fun as it sounds. Any time you brush up against a wall, your character falls off their dragon and must respawn again. To change the pace a bit there's a touch screen shooting gallery minigame, which took this reviewer a while to figure out because it doesn't tell you to use the touch screen and none of the rest of the game uses touch controls at all. There's also a sheep-collecting challenge where you're required to put red sheep in the red enclosure and blue sheep in the blue enclosure, but when playing we often found invisible sheep that made it a nearly-broken experience.
If you're a big fan of the movie and you can take advantage of the multiplayer with your kids, the exploration aspect of How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a soothing, enjoyable romp through a detailed island gameworld accompanied by a triumphant soundtrack. As a retail game, though, it's a steep asking price for a dragon adventure with repetitive minigames and little depth. Hopefully these building blocks will lead to fuller results once How to Train Your Dragon 3 rolls around.
I really don't at all understand how this is called "How to Train Your Dragon 2" yet it sounds like it has nothing at all whatsoever to do w/ the movie. I'm not really expecting a good movie licensed game, but having just saw the movie yesterday there is a lot of potential for a videogame in there, exploring new islands - Berk is hardly even in it the movie - 2 giant dragons, tons and tons of bad guys to torch. If they want to come out w/ a crappy game called "Dragons: Explorers of Berk Island" thats all fine and good, but this really sounds like somebody should be sued for false advertising. I'm serious. The movie was so good I was considering getting the game for my kids. Now I really hope they make a "Lego Dreamworks Dragons" game, b/c this sounds like a free web game. Criminal.
Personally, I admire DeBlois's intention in keeping Ferguson's ad lib, though I'm disappointed that the line itself is so subtle that it is likely to be overlooked by most. Nonetheless, some might insist a children's movie is no place to discuss sexual orientation. But I'd argue that Gobber being gay in this context is not about sex, but about identity and difference. As the How to Train Your Dragon franchise is very much about the power of love, acceptance and overcoming prejudice, Gobber's coming out makes thematic sense. If Vikings can learn to love and accept dragons--who they once saw as enemies--how difficult could it be to accept that one of their rank is gay?
In the first movie, Hiccup managed to convert all of his fellow Vikings from dragon slayers into dragon lovers, just like him. Now, in the new movie, everything's copacetic on the Vikings' fictional homeland, the Island of Berk. "Dragons used to be a bit of a problem," says Hiccup, "but that was five years ago. Now they've all moved in. And really, why wouldn't they? We have custom stables. All-you-can-eat feeding stations." Those fire-breathing beasts, in other words, are more like pets.
One of the most popular characters in How to Train Your Dragon is Toothless, Hiccup's loyal, sometimes cuddly, sometimes lethal, black dragon. DeBlois says Toothless is "a mix between a panther and a salamander." To create the dragon's voice, Oscar-winning sound designer Randy Thom partly used his own. "I feel like I am Toothless at this point," says Thom, who worked on both movies.
Bludvist tries to control dragons with fear. That's against everything Hiccup stands for. Actor Jay Baruchel, who voices Hiccup, says, "His core belief is that humans and dragons are better off together than opposed. So he spends his whole life trying to bridge the gap between the two species."
Five years after the Vikings of Berk have made peace with the dragons, dragon riders participate in a race. Hiccup goes on adventures with his best friend Toothless as they discover uncharted lands and new territories. Hiccup and Astrid investigate an ice formation on a newly discovered island where they meet a dragon trapper named Eret, who has been capturing dragons for an insane conqueror called Drago Bludvist. Hiccup and Astrid return to Berk to warn Stoick the Vast about the dragon army that Drago is building. Stoick orders the villagers to prepare for war, but Hiccup and Toothless fly off to reason with Drago. Stoick, Gobber, and the other dragon riders follow Hiccup and Astrid, who have made themselves prisoners of Eret to get to Drago's camp. In the ensuing argument between Stoick and Hiccup, the latter decides to disobey his father and flies off with Toothless in a fury. He is then captured by a dragon rider named Valka, who is revealed to be Hiccup's long-lost mother. She explains that the dragons answer to an Alpha dragon called a Bewilderbeast, who has made an island made of ice to be a safe haven for all dragons. 2b1af7f3a8