How To Train Your Dragon 2 [2014] ★★★

how-to-train-your-dragon-2-01-1382x2048I expect family audiences to turn this sequel to 2010’s surprise animated hit into a certified smash. And I’d be pleased. Four years have turned “How To Train Your Dragon” into a DVD babysitter with kids enjoying multiple viewings of Hiccup and his pet dragon Toothless. But I have to admit: I approached this sequel with considerable fear. Will it be as good as the original? Which is why I’m delighted to say that my fears were unfounded: this movie is a treat for fans of the first film and, I daresay, for newcomers as well. The story this time around finds Hiccup and Toothless being dragged into a battle when a ruthless dragon hunter called Drago Bludvist plans to build a dragon army to take over the world. This is a neat premise with a breathtaking execution. Writer/director Dean DeBlois, best known for his Disney feature “Lilo & Stitch”, has given the story a highly personal focus. And that’s one of the many reasons why this sequel is so good. It’s the characters that matter most, and the filmmakers never lose sight of that. I was enthralled from the first moment up until the climax. This is first rate family entertainment, and a 3-D moviemaking worth paying for and seeing on a theater screen. Bring on part 3!

Rating: 3/4

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