This weekend, I went to see¬†How to Train Your Dragon 2. I loved the first one, and I was cautiously optimistic about the sequel. Well, more cautious than optimistic, really; it’s pretty rare that movies with a “2” attached wind up being very good. Usually they’re an attempt to cash in on a successful franchise with little effort. After all, you’ve already got the audience invested in a good story, so why waste time being creative all over again?

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a clear attempt to cash in on an existing audience . . . with an actual good story. Be still, my heart. If you’re expecting “more of the same,” you’ll be both pleased and disappointed; the world of the Viking dragon-riders has moved on, but in a natural way as the characters age. (Though honestly, I’m subtracting a few numbers from Hiccup’s age, stated in the film as 20, because the youths all still act younger than that. The first film seems like it stars 12-year-olds; this film feels like 16-year-olds.) Continue reading