Monday, June 16, 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Yesterday my sister and I took Liam to the movies to see How To Train Your Dragon 2.  I must say that my sister and I enjoyed the movie immensely more than my toddler did.  It was a great movie for older kids and adults and any younger kids who love dragons.  As for my son, there were moments that he enjoyed it but he got bored with it and was ready to leave.  It took a lot of convincing and bribing to get him to stay for the entire movie, and it was definitely a struggle, with that being said.  I definitely loved the movie for me.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is (surprise) the sequel to How to Train Your Dragon.  It is a Dreamworks Animation film.  It is the second in a trilogy with the original coming out in 2010, and the third expected to be released in June of 2016.  It is based off of a book series with the same name by Cressida Cowell. The main character is a boy named Hiccup and his nightfury dragon named Toothless who is from a Viking culture.  This film is 5 years from the original film with the characters now as young adults.  It is quite a site to see Vikings as dragon riders.  At the end of the original film Hiccup helped his Viking village of Berk make peace with dragons.

The voice casts includes the talent of:
 Jay Baruchel as Hiccup (Are You Afraid of the Dark, She's Out of My League, Robocop, Tropic Thunder)
Cate Blanchett as Valka (Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Lord of the Rings, Blue Jasmine, Robin Hood)
Gerard Butler as Stoic (300, Olympus Has Fallen, PS I Love You, Phantom of the Opera, Gamer, Law Abiding Citizen)
Craig Ferguson as Gobber (Brave, Winne the Pooh, Drew Carey Show, The Late Late Show)
America Ferrera As Astrid (Ugly Betty, End of Watch, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Our Family Wedding)
Jonah Hill as Snotlout (21 Jump Street, Superbad, Wolf of Wallstreet, This is the End, Get Him to the Greek)
Christoper Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs (Superbad, Kickass, Role Models, Neighbors, This is the End, Year One)
Kristen Wiig as Ruffnut (Bridesmaids, Despicable Me 2, SNL, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Friends with Kids, Paul)
Djimon Hounsou as Drago (Gladiator, Blood Diamond, Amistad, Constantine, The Island, Push, Eragon, Beauty Shop)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the first Dreamworks Animation film to use scalable multi-core processing, which was developed with HP.  This enabled artists to work in real-time, instead of having to wait 8 hours to see the results of their work.  This was also the first film to use new animation and lighting software throughout the entire production (Premo & Torch).  This allowed subtle improvement to movement and facial features such as the the appearance of skin moving over muscle or fat jiggling.  By the end of production over 500 people had worked on the film at the Dreamworks headquarters in Glendale as well as branch offices in Redwood city and Dreamworks India in Bangalore.

The sequel was written, directed and executive produced by the same man as the original: Dean Deblois (Lilo & Stitch).  he agreed to come back on the condition that it would be a trilogy.  The entire original voice cast returned for the sequel. This film was focused on Norway as the primary location.  Overall the film has received positive critical acclaim, but is thus far unimpressed with it's overall monetary gross of $75 million to date with it currently behind 22 Jump Street in North American sales. 

I thought that this was a really great movie with a high re-watachability rate.  It made me laugh, it made me cry, I did wish for someone else to have voiced Hiccup, but otherwise the picture quality was great and the storyline was great as well with many learning points.  The characters were lovable and seeing the vast amount of different dragons that appear as butterflies was amazing.  I also enjoyed some of the dog aspects adopted in the mannerisms of the dragons.  I love the idea of this story and I think the delivery was good.  I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it, especially if your child is about 6 or 7 or older. 

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  1. Oh man, I think Jay Baruchel is the perfect voice for Hiccup! But then, I've been a huge Jay Baruchel fangirl since the first time I watched I'm Reed Fish, many moons ago. My three-year-old was totally entralled by this movie. We will definitely be adding it to our collection.

    1. I don't mind Jay Baruchel as an actor, but I really didn't like his voice for this. I definitely didn't think that it fit in witht he accents and voices of the others and with the Viking theme, but otherwise I really enjoy the movie.

    2. I actually think that's why they cast him for the role - his voice and accent set him up as markedly *other*, which is a big deal for his character and development, especially in the first movie.

    3. I get that he is supposed to stand out, but I just hate little inconsistencies like that... But if we really want to get into Vikings at that time, they wouldn't have sounded Celtic at all ;)