Family Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (PG)

HowToTrainYourDragon2 ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReview

HowToTrainYourDragon2 ChesapeakeFamilyMovieReviewKernel Rating (out of 5): whole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernalwhole-popcorn-kernal

MPAA Rating: PG       Length: 102 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 6+. The same sort of thing as the previous film: animated dragons with lots of teeth, fangs, and claws but that are largely friendly; a few large-scale battle scenes with those dragons, but no bloody violence; a parent character and some others die; some kissing; and the implication of coarse language, but not its actual utterance (characters saying phrases like “kick your” but being cut off before they can say “butt,” for instance).

Four years after the initial film, ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ reunites us with young Viking Hiccup and his trusty dragon Toothless. This second installation has way more dragons, but its wider scope makes for some generic storytelling.

By Roxana Hadadi

More often than not, children’s movies are inherently similar, focusing on the same kind of themes: love for your family, loyalty to your friends, and believing in yourself. “How to Train Your Dragon 2” dabbles with all of those, but it’s surprising how much this computer-animated film about Vikings and dragons calls back to “The Lion King,” which turns 20 this year. They’re not even from the same studio—“Dragon 2” is 20th Century Fox; “The Lion King” is Disney—but the similarities are unmistakable. Where “Dragon 2” falters, though, is in the scope of its story: It gets too wide for its own good.