Not to disparage the Despicable kid franchises of the world – and you know I loved Frozen as much as the next Disney animaniac – but the idea that not one but TWO How to Train Your Dragon movies loom has me dancing with joy. The original film was a high-flying adventure rooted in an unusual friendship, with some of the finest aerial photography we’ve seen in an animation feature. The first trailer for the sequel just arrived, and it had me on the edge of my seat. Check it out above, courtesy of AweseomenessTV.
From the looks of it, everything is going OK in the island community of Berk. The Vikings have figured out a way to co-exist with the dragons they once feared, and young Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) is enjoying the hero moniker that comes with riding his majestic dragon pal, Toothless.
But trouble can’t be too far off, and the new clip suggests that this pair are going to encounter serious problems with Drago, a power-hungry threat to Berk and, possibly, the rest of the world.
Sequels are built on the concept of escalation, and Dragon 2 appears to raise its levels in almost every category. Instead of one main dragon, we’re seeing hundreds. The visual animators at DreamWorks are still perfecting the art of soaring photography, and while the above clip is very action-heavy, I’m hoping the Dragon sequel finds time to let Hiccup and Toothless explore new kingdoms. Those scenes still stand out for me from the 2010 original film, which was a glorious and fun exercise.
And a profitable one. How to Train Your Dragon banked nearly $495 million back in 2010, ensuring future installments. Beyond part two, DreamWorks already has established plans for Dragon 3, which is supposed to reach theaters in 2016. Could this animated franchise become the next Shrek, breaking box-office records and entertaining crowds with its blend of action and humor? Or might it help fill the gap when Peter Jackson delivers his last Hobbit film. Because once Smaug has "left the building," there aren’t a lot of dragon options in multiplexes. Animated ones might have to fill the void.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 will be in theaters on June 13, 2014. It co-stars the voices of Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Kit Harington, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Honsou, and Cate Blanchett. What did you think of the trailer?