This impressive animated action film features several returning characters plus several key additions. Young Viking Hiccup, voiced by Jay Baruchel, and his dragon friend Toothless lead the good fight against a new evil power that includes a seemingly overpowering dragon army. Hiccup’s Viking friends Snotlout, Tuffnut, Ruffnut, Fishlegs, and Astrid also have companion dragons. Based on Cressida Cowell’s book series, How to Train Your Dragon 2 happens five years after the first film where dragon races and exploration lead to the next adventure. These life-changing discoveries drive an action-filled plot that introduces Fret, voiced by Kit Harington; Drago Bludvist, a dragon hunter voiced by Djimon, and a very important female character named Valka, voiced by Cate Blanchett who has a stormcutter dragon named Cloudjumper. How to Train Your Dragon 2 provides enough character/plot progression especially with Hiccup’s father, Stoick the Vast, well voiced again by Gerard Butler, while stars Craig Ferguson (Stoick’s long-time friend Gobber) and Jonah Hill (Snotlout) inject humor and memorable dialogue. Director/co-writer Dean DeBlois amazes with the animation during the one hour and 42 minute film that audiences of all ages can enjoy. John Powell delivers another amazing musical score, which showcases a 120-piece orchestra, 100-voice choir, and bagpipe Scottish group The Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Recommended (***) and rated PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor. Fans can also look forward to the third installment coming in June, 2016.
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