Animation & Visual Effects
Mom Entertainment Level
Toddler Humor
4.4Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)

Dear Diary,

Have you seen the first How to Train a Dragon movie yet? If you have, this sequel will not disappoint! The kids are all grown up,  and the dragons are no longer a threat to the island of Berk. Five years have passed and Hiccup has become everything his father believed he would be, just not how he expected. The all-star cast, including America Ferrera, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill and Gerard Butler, is back with an added addition of Cate Blanchett as Valka, Hiccup’s mother.

How to Train a Dragon 2 dives deeper into the relationships between the characters. The relationships between the kids are sweet and seriously funny, as they also deal with their own growing pain–crushes and all. They’re learning how to step up to the plate in leading Berk, while making mistakes and taking risks as all young leaders do. They are very relatable to tweens and up, but if your kids are younger, they will still get lots of laughs. I can’t forget to mention that the dragons bring as much to the movie as the human characters. Toothless, Gronckle, Barf  and Belch are back!

The animation is stunningly beautiful. I have never seen anything so advanced, and this is all thanks to new technology, Apollo, which makes the characters move more naturally. The environment looks like real life! DreamWorks debuted this technology with Dragons 2. I was fortunate enough to see the movie in 3D, and I have to say, it’s the best 3D movie I’ve
ever watched. Really, ever. The images are very realistic, giving you a refreshing movie experience. Now, if your kids are between two and five, you may want to see the movie in regular 2D- it’s still breathtaking. Dragons 2 teaches lessons I would like my children to learn and model. There is the overall battle between good and evil, and themes of loyalty and longing to do the right thing. You’ll laugh as much as your kids, and now I can’t wait to see part three!

Behind the Scenes Apollo animation is all the buzz for DreamWorks, and with merit. Apollo allows animators to create intuition within the characters making them more humanlike. At a recent press junket, the animators for the film taught us lay folk how their creativity process works. It took a total of nearly 40 animators and nearly 4 years to create this film. Because the Apollo technology is so advanced all of Director and Creator, Dean DeBlois’ vision for the movie came to life. After the animation process, the effects team dramatized the film. We were also able to witness the magic made in the DreamLab, where animators take human and animal movement and bring it to life. The masterminds at DreamWorks have so many tricks up their sleeves, it was amazing and humbling to witness how much work it takes to create an animated movie. We were also able to “fly” with DreamWorks’ simulated visual, using the amazing animation, sounds, feelings, stimulating the five senses.

Hey DFTM Moms–Are you planning to take your little one to see this awesome animated film? What’s the right age to take a toddler to the movies?

About The Author

Marcelle Alvarado
Multicultural Mom

Marcelle is a mom raising four children all under four with her partner in Los Angeles, CA. She writes about issues impacting Latino mothers and entertainment. She loves motherhood, which has proven to be the greatest challenge and highest privilege in her life. When not writing for DFTM, Marcelle blogs at Chicana Momma. A former labor organizer, Marcelle is committed to working on social justice issues for the working class and women of color.

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