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Peanuts and Popcorn

Peanuts and Popcorn

2nd ‘Dragon’ is Better than the First

The cast of "How to Train Your Dragon 2." (Dreamworks)

The cast of “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” (Dreamworks)

In DreamWorks’ 2010 movie, How to Train Your Dragon, dragons and men were enemies. That all changed when Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), the son of the Viking king Stoick (Gerard Butler) became friends with Toothless. Both are handicapped, but as the two learned to work together, they realized how much stronger they were together than they were apart. Toothless needed Hiccup as much as Hiccup needed Toothless.

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Five years later, and just about everyone on the island of Berk has their own dragon. Each is unique and different. Hiccup is now 20 and is considered a leader in dragon training, but while the others are racing with their dragons, he and his black buddy are exploring new worlds and territories. Everything is peaceful until the two fumble their way into a secret cave and discover hundreds of dragons that they have never seen. As you already know from the trailers, the person who watches over this sanctuary is Valka (Cate Blanchett), Hiccup’s long lost mother. Hiccup is already facing pressure as his father wants him to become the new leader and if that weren’t enough, there is a mysterious trapper looking to snatch up a bunch of dragons for himself and if he succeeds, it could change the relationship between man and beast forever.

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There is a lot crammed in this movie, but the pacing never slows. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is everything you’d ever want in a family movie and probably a lot more than many kids will appreciate. Like the first movie, this one will surprise many viewers in that it is a lot deeper than your typical animated fare. To judge the movie by the commercials, it would appear that it is full of silly hijinks throughout. Well, the film does have plenty of silliness, but that is not the bulk of the movie. The silliness is mainly there for the younger viewers and can easily be ignored. For the older ones, there is a message that is very similar to the biblical parable of the prodigal son.

Hiccup and Toothless - together again.

Hiccup and Toothless – together again.

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The first Dragon was a good film, but Dragon 2 is a great film giving everyone who sees it, a lot to think about. It is funny, witty and yes, there are a few sad parts, but good movies are made to move you from laughter to tears and back again. It is storytelling at its best.

Dragon 2 also features the voice talents of Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig.

Dragon 2 features an unlikely friendship, themes of forgiveness, restoration, teamwork, fighting for what you believe in and the importance of family. More than one scene brought tears to my eyes. It’s a beautiful film.

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