5 Reasons We’re Excited For HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2!

When Dreamworks released How To Train Your Dragon in 2010 the trailer didn’t generate much hype, so cinemagoers weren’t expecting the lovely treat they got. This animated gem turned out to be incredibly popular thanks to an immersive script and witty animation that resulted in a movie as action-packed as it was character-driven and as sweetly funny as it was genuinely heart-warming.

Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon is an animated feature that sits comfortably beside Pixar’s best, so it’s unsurprising a sequel got the green light. With the next instalment due for release on 13 June 2014 in the USA and 4 July 2014 in the UK, here are 5 reasons we’re excited to see How To Train Your Dragon 2!

1. More of Hiccup and Toothless!

The first film follows Hiccup, a young Viking boy who lives on the island of Berk – an island terrorised by dragons. The people of Berk need to defend their homes and food from the constant onslaught of dragons and do so by training up their young to be ruthless dragon-slaying warriors. But Hiccup – the chief’s son – is quiet where his friends are brash, sensitive where his friends are vicious, and inventive where his friends are destructive. He’s hopeless at dragon-slaying, but desperate to prove himself to his father. And it’s because of this that he stumbles over the injured Toothless.

Toothless is one of the most compelling aspects of the first film – sweet, quirky, and animated with real charm, the beguilingly silent Toothless is hypnotic to watch as he slowly develops a trust and friendship with Hiccup. The friendship between the two is the real heart and soul of the movie and leads to moments of authentic concern and fear for the characters. The trailer for part two features plenty of this pair, so we hope there are lots more of this touching duo to be enjoyed!

2. The Island of Berk

Berk starts out as an island ransacked by dragons and battening down the hatches for a vicious fight, but it ends as an island filled with dragon-riders and creatures in flight! So we can’t wait to see what’s become of Hiccup’s old cronies, Stoutlout, Fishlegs, Tuffnut and Ruffnut, and the other residents of the island, now they have dragons of their own. And perhaps best of all – will Hiccup’s father Stoick (Gerard Butler) get a dragon of his own too?

Of course, another reason to hope for the return of these characters is to welcome back an impressive collection of great vocal talents to voice them. The first film boasted Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, and a host of comedy stars including Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and the inimitable Kristen Wiig to name but a few.

3. Astrid

The Vikings are a good historical setting to choose if you’re looking to introduce a spiky, clever female character into the mix, which is exactly what Dreamworks did with the teenage warrior Astrid (America Ferrera). It’s nice to see a decent female character make the cut, but especially one who can fight on the same terms as the boys and still be as brave, sparky, and warm as Astrid. Her friendship with Hiccup is one of the most delightful dynamics of the first film and although there is a definite romantic subplot a-brewing, it doesn’t feel like a compromise. Now that she’s a dragon-rider too, it will be great to see Astrid come into her own!

4. Hiccup’s Mum!

The first film establishes early on that one reason why Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) hates dragons so much is because he lost his wife to a dragon. But now we know why the dragons seemed so cruel and how they can be tamed, will that put a new spin on what really happened to Hiccup’s mother?

The trailer for the new film confirms that it will and has us bursting with questions! Where has she been? How did she survive? And how has she managed to pip Hiccup to the post when it comes to dragon-taming? Along with the promise of drama and moments sure to pull on the heart-strings, she also warns of a new threat insinuating itself into the land. With scenes of battle and destruction, this story looks like it’s growing to an ever-more epic scale.

5. Dazzling Animation

One of the highlights of the first film was not merely the fact that the style of the piece was fantastic, it was also that the story was told visually in the wittiest and warmest of ways. Touching moments, like Hiccup touching Toothless’s nose, or scary moments like the final battle sequence, worked perfectly even when they were without dialogue. Now that the story looks to be growing more epic, more spectacular, we hope that the intelligent animation is another constant that makes this film as enchanting as the first.

And of course, most of all, we can’t wait to see the animation of the gorgeous, memorable, and spirited dragons yet again!

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (3D) opens in US cinemas on 13 June 2014 and in UK cinemas on 4 July 2014.