My brain needed a night’s sleep to make the connection and allow me to figure out what HTTYD2 reminded me of. But this morning it clicked.
The Empire Strikes Back.
That’s a rather lofty comparison I’m aware, but whilst this DreamWorks sequel doesn’t hit those heights it does a great job in the same way Empire did. Not only does it give us more of Hiccup and Toothless in an entertaining way, but it also massively opens up the world they live in and the possibilities of what could happen to them.
It looks amazing, with the obviously stylised characters carrying an extra level of detail and realism. DreamWorks have really come into their own here. Toothless is an amazing mix of cat, dog and reptile, with his expressions and actions generating much of the films laughs.
Cate Blanchett adds another strong female character, whilst I could listen to Butler and Ferguson as Stoick and Gobber talk all day. Kit Harrington doesn’t make a particularly strong impression as dragon catcher Eret but the rest of the cast are strong.
HTTYD2 is just as good as the first film. It might lose the ‘boy meets dragon’ charm, but has gained new layers from the new point in life we find the characters at. A pleasing mix of soaring visuals, emotion and entertainment. A third film is already planned, and I’ve got a few ideas about where they’ll go. I just hope they can keep the level of quality.