I pay close attention to an audience’s audible reactions while I’m sitting in a theater. The sound of the audience from How to Train Your Dragon 2 was mostly quiet, with the occasional chuckle at the corny comical relief.
My children didn’t seem especially engaged. It held their attention, but not like The LEGO Movie. Dragon 2 is entertaining, but for us it’s not like the first film. Something about it…in spite of its fantastic animation and plot development and adorable dragons, it left me feeling like the filmmakers cut corners wherever they knew young audiences wouldn’t be paying attention. The logic in certain important details is weak.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is for the whole family to watch together. It’s the story of one Viking family: how they come together, deal with loss, and how they look out for each other. For these reasons, it’s a emotionally powerful film.
I stood up when the credits rolled and turned around to see what the emotional response was from others in the theater. Most of them were already shrugging off their afternoon’s amusement, while others seemed locked in their seats still absorbing and contemplating the seriousness in some of Dragon 2’s more meaningful complexity.
So either you will get into it and you’ll be emotionally vested in Dragon 2, which means you are part of the 20% of the audience that is caught up in the story, or you are part of the other 80% that was just along for an epic dragon ride.
For other reasons, where Dragon 2 gets carried away in flights of fantasy involving a never-ending pool of dragons’ special abilities, and a villain that has outrageous powers that push the bounds of believability, I feel that the film is less refined than a good animated film should be or can be.
Want to read the whole shpeel? I have for you my review of How to Train Your Dragon 2 today on MovieByte. If you’re wary of spoilers, don’t worry. I have those clearly marked throughout the article.
On a related note, I found this article interesting: Training dragons and dispelling myths.