I knew I was going to enjoy Dragon 2, but I was impressed by how good the film actually was.
I am a big fan of the first film, as well as the TV series (the first episodes are called Riders of Berk, the second called Defenders of Berk, and the upcoming batch will be Dragon Masters) so it was a no-brainer that I would be seeing the newest film.
The film picks up five years after the first, and presumably, five years after the TV show ends, though we don't know far into the timeline the show will go. The dragons don't look any older, but their Riders do, most notably Hiccup. He seems to have taken his theatric inventions to the limit with skydiving. Yup, vikings have invented skydiving. It is cool, and to me, strengthens the powerful bond between Rider and Dragon.
Speaking of, all the voices and characters are back. Cate Blanchette is introduced as Valka, Kit Harrington from Game of Thrones fame as Erret, and Djimon Hounsou as Bloodfist.
The visuals are striking, the music (again by John Howell) epic and heartfelt, and the writing and voice acting top-notch. I had tears in my eyes when two characters were reunited, and my eyes were streaming when...well, when a character has to go to Valhala, as well as the resulting scene. For most people, they will only have seen the first film. As mentioned, I watched the first film, as well as the TV series so it packed a bit of an extra punch because I was with the character longer than most.
The movie is bigger than the first - an improvement that doesn't shame nor take away from the first, but builds upon it. To me, the first film was a sleeper hit, so it had the element of 'surprise' going for it. On the whole, the first film was better in some areas, this one better in others.
Let's not forget about the battle scenes too! Those were well done. Kudos to the film makers for making such impressive battle sequences.
This is one that I will be adding to the collection, and I will definitely be there for Dragon 3 when it arrives in two Junes from now.