How to Train Your Dragon 2

Sequels are often unncessary, in the sense that the simply repeat the same ideas and use the same characters seen in the original feature, with the help of some slight variations.

This is not the case of How to Train Your Dragon 2, which is better and more enjoyable than the first film.

This superlative DreamWorks animation received its world premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Fest.

In an effort to appeal to all members of the family, writer-director DeBlois strikes the right balance between comedy, action and family drama.

The film benefits from its lively and lovely voice-work from Gerard Butler, playing Stoick, Viking Chief of the Hairy Hooligans, with an exaggerated Scottish accent, and Cate Blanchett, as the long lost wife, mother, and dragon lover Valka.

Jay Baruchel who plays the hero, Hiccup, with his one missing leg, represents a mischievous but sympathetic figure who dotes on his pet dragon Toothless.

With his long black braids, growling voice and permanent scowl, Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou) makes a ferocious villain.

The 3D is put to good effect as dragon patrols fly through the icy skies, or as Hiccup stumbles into a magical kingdom where dragons of all shapes and sizes roam free.

The final reel is particularly impressive with battle sequences that convey how lethally the winged creatures can be, when the situation calls for it.

The filmmakers borrow ideas and creatures from Avatar, Sword In The Stone and other pictures, but they apply them to good effect with their fertile imagination.