|Image courtesy of Gofobo.com|
Disclaimer: Thanks to a partnership between Oklahoma Women Bloggers and Gofobo.com, Hubs and I enjoyed a complimentary sneak peek of How To Train Your Dragon 2. All opinions are my own.
I'm NOT a fan of movie sequels, they're NEVER as good as the first movie. I have a very short list of movie sequels that proved me wrong and How To Train Your Dragon 2 is now at the top of that list. The most unique reason this sequel soars to the top of my list is this; we saw the sequel before the original How To Train Your Dragon and it was an amazing story that stood on its own. In fact, we loved it so much, on the way home from work the next day, I bought the first movie and we watched it that night!
How To Train Your Dragon (HTTYD) came out 4 years ago and somehow it slipped past our radar. Hubs and I frequently go to animated movies, yes even without any grandchildren. Often we're inspired, as was the case with Brave in 2012. Sometimes we leave the theater scratching our heads and crossing a video off our list 'to collect for the grand kids', as was the case with Frozen in 2013.
(We STILL don't get why everyone was so crazy about with that movie.)
We intended to watch HTTYD on-demand so we could get a feel for the characters and the original storyline before we attended HTTYD2. We were sure we'd seen a commercial for it on our cable network but the night before the sneak peek, TV trays loaded with our dinner, HTTYD wasn't in the videos-on-demand menu. Our conversation after this discovery went like this...
Hubs - I'll just go and rent the movie.
Me - Noooooo, we just sat down to eat, I'm starving!
Me - Well crap...should we cancel our tickets?
Me - We're both so busy at work lately, do you really want to go to a movie on a Tuesday night?
Me - Will we get it, not having seen the first one? Will the 3D thing make you motion sick?
Me - Hmmm, this might make an interesting angle to blog about...let's go anyway...you know I love that damn movie popcorn and it's free! **I can see now that our conversation was a monologue.**
The next evening, without any expectations, we joined a theater full of HTTYD fans, young and old. The movie was shown in 3D; usually the glasses bug me and I'm too cheap to see movies in 3D, but at this movie, none of that was a concern. I was busy gobbling up the heart of the story, drinking in the beauty of the animation, and stuffing my face with that delicious movie popcorn.
We quickly caught on to the basic storyline; a father's expectations versus a son's dreams. Set in a mythical era of dragon-riding Vikings, we were swept away by the adventures of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his trusty companion Toothless (voiced by the Randy Thom.) We learn that Hiccup has some physical challenges that he cleverly conquered with his mechanical adaptations. He's an explorer and his days are spent mapping out the world as he discovers more of it from the back of his dragon. Given his physical stature, he won't be the robust chief that his father is, but his talents will serve their village well in other ways.
I won't tell you the whole story but the recurring themes were exceptional! Discovering your own unique talents and trusting them to create the life you dream of; believing in the possibilities of your ideas against the objections of doubters and haters; respecting those who are different from you; and learning to harness the power of cooperation for a greater good.
Here are 6 things that I admired about the movie and its message.
1. There were epic battle scenes, but not gore.
2. Life is full of defeats, but also amazing triumphs.
3. Anger and regret are best defeated by forgiveness and redemption.
4. Hooray for strong female characters full of spunk and sass!
5. There is always evil in the world, but when we come together in love, we can defeat it.
6. A parent's love is pure, not perfect.
The only thing about the movie that I thought might be a concern for parents was a Viking funeral. It wasn't a very long scene, but be prepared for questions from younger children.
Don't you just love when an audience applauds after a movie? How To Train Your Dragon 2 got a standing ovation at our theater. Take yourself and your family to this movie! It's visually stunning, heartwarming, and thought provoking; we can't wait to add this video to our collection. Maybe I'll even get Hubs to take me to see it again at the drive-in before the summer's over.
My only other recommendation for this movie - try some Milk Duds with your popcorn, it's delicious!
I Heart Dragons,
Rose Marie B