Since it started making feature films in 1998, Dreamworks Animation has gone through many turns and developments. It’s had its fair share of missteps (we will never forget Will Smith in Shark Tale, unfortunately), but ever since 2008’s Kung Fu Panda, the content from them has been better more often than not than not. One such example is 2010’s How To Train Your Dragon, a film that built up a believably heartwarming relationship between a boy & his dragon and had (for my money) one of the best uses of 3D in any film which made you feel like you were flying along with all the dragons in the most beautiful fashion. Plus, it was a surprisingly lasting hit for the studio, so it’s no wonder that we’re getting a sequel next summer and the trailer is here for your viewing pleasure!
Taking place five years after the events of the first film, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) is now in his late teens and has united the once bitter enemies of dragons and vikings of Berk. Now, he and his trusted dragon Toothless are out to explore uncharted parts of the world outside of Berk. Along the way, they come across a reclusive female vigilante Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett), who seems quite versed in dragon training and has hidden secrets in store. But as she and Hiccup get to know each other, an oncoming war appears to be on the horizon, which the dragon-riding citizens of Berk must fight against in order to protect their home.
Be warned: the trailer contains potential spoilers. Check it out below, if you so choose:
One of the big things to note here is the actual physical change in the characters. It’s rare that animated sequels actually age their characters along with the audience, so it’s refreshing to see Hiccup the adolescent boy we saw in the first film grow into his own and become a commanding presence in the town that once cast him from its gates. Yet, at the same time, that boy and his dog relationship he had with Toothless is still there and looks to be the heart of the story. There’s also a sense of development for the world in general as we see the people of Berk embrace the idea of flying dragons and eventually use them in battle. Plus, aside from the maturation aspect, seeing those dragons flying into the conflict near the end of the trailer is just plain badass and provide a lot of promise for the film’s 3D.
I will say that this is one of the more potentially spoilery trailers I’ve covered in my time at OneOfUs. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, we don’t know if the twist about Cate Blancett’s character is revealed early on or if it’s some sort of misdirect or anything really concrete in context of the film. Still, it’s a potent story element that could come together quite well. Plus, it ends up being the result of the exploration theme the film will have, which I love. Often times, sequels will focus on a threat coming to our heroes from the first film rather than the heroes themselves attempting to go outside of their environment. Thankfully, the natural curiosity of Hiccup is going to shine through here, which will hopefully lead to the threat seen at the end of the trailer naturally occurring within the film’s plot.
But enough of my blathering. What did you all think of the trailer? Will this be a Kung Fu Panda 2 for Dreamworks or more like a Madagascar 2? Voice your thoughts in the comments below.