Besties with beasty

It’s time to return to the exhilarating world of Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon 2, the thrilling second chapter of the trilogy that’s loosely based on Cressida Cowell’s book series

What’s it with dragons and the b-o? Be it Harry Potter, Eragon or the Lord of the Rings, fire-breathing beasties seem to pack a punch. No surprises then that it’s time to return to the exhilarating world of Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon 2, the thrilling second chapter of the trilogy that’s loosely based on Cressida Cowell’s book series of the same name. Directed by Dean DeBlois, the fantasy action-adventure brings together a cast that combines the old and the new — Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, TJ Miller, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harrington, Cate Blanchett and Djimon Hounsou.

How to Train Your Dragon was set in a mythical Viking world, where young Viking teenager Hiccup (Baruchel) wanted to follow in his famous tribe’s footsteps by becoming a dragon slayer. After a whole lot of hoopla, he managed to capture his first dragon, Toothless, a night fury, and a chance to gain his tribe's acceptance. But Hiccup soon finds himself bonding with the beastie, and instead of killing it ends up befriending Toothless.

We revisit Berk, the island in Vikingland, five years after Hiccup and Toothless have helped Vikings and dragons become friends. Astrid (Ferrera), Snoutlout (Hill) and the rest of the gang are busy playing their favourite new sport — dragon racing. Hiccup often finds himself under pressure from Stoick the Vast (Butler), his father and chieftain of the clan, to become chief, but the younger Viking isn’t really ready to don the mantle. He rebels by flying away from Berk. Along with Toothless, the young man journeys through the skies, exploring new worlds and unmapped territories. One of duo’s flying expeditions leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave where live hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider Valka (Blanchett). The duo soon find themselves in the thick of things — a battle against Eret the Dragonknapper (Harrington) and Drago Bludvist (Hounsou) to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must remain united and stand up for what they believe in — for only together do they have the power to change the future of men and dragons.

Speaking about the new Dragon film, DeBlois has said: “At the end of last film, (the Vikings find that dragons have opened up) the entire northern hemisphere to them. And with that Hiccup’s curiosity increases, the map expands and inevitably they are going to come across new dragons, new cultures.”

How to Train Your Dragon 2 will be the first DreamWorks Animation film to use “scalable multi-core processing”, developed with Hewlett-Packard. The technique, said to be the next revolution in filmmaking, enables artists to work on rich complex images in real time.

How to Train Your Dragon struck gold at the b-o and went on to win a clutch of awards. Will the sequel go the same way? With dragons being such a draw, the answer’s not hard to guess. And after that, fans can await Hiccup and Toothless’ last adventure — the final instalment of the trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon 3, which is scheduled to be released in June 2016. zz

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