How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a movie following the same characters as the first movie, but in a slightly more grown up way. Sure, it was still a kid-friendly movie, but there were some deeper elements in there to make it just as enjoyable for the teenager and adult crowd. With topics such as love, healthy relationships and learning to accept your losses, How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a beautifully written movie.
Love was a strong element in this movie whether it was familial, romantic, or platonic. Familial love came into play when Hiccup’s mother was found to be alive, even after all that time. It wasn’t perfect and the audience could tell that the whole family was walking on eggshells for a while, but they made it through and stood as a strong unit against their enemy. Romantically, Valka (Hiccup’s mother) and Stoick were the main theme, but the fact that Astrid and Hiccup’s relationship wasn’t challenged was a big surprise to me, at least. In addition there was a humourous side plot that involved Ruffnut being vied for. As for the platonic love, that was covered by Toothless and Hiccup easily, as the two remained best buddies as they did in the first film.
Healthy relationships was a part of love, obviously, but was once again a surprise in it being done right. It brought me to tears, the relationship that Valka and Stoick had in the movie, and all because it was a healthy, loving relationship. Even between Astrid and Hiccup, what little the audience sees of it, as well as Toothless and Hiccup.
A big development in both plot as well as character, Hiccup had to learn to accept his losses yet not give up. This may seem impossible, but learning to accept that what you tried didn’t work and so you have to try something else—that’s a tough lesson to learn. Media these days tells people to either keep trying relentlessly and eventually you’ll get what you want without necessarily switching up approaches. This isn’t a healthy way to approach life, and I think How to Train Your Dragon 2 has begun to remedy that.
All in all I would give How to Train Your Dragon 2 a 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this tear-jerker to an audience of any age. Definitely watch the first one as well if you’re not familiar with the characters, as this will give you a great basis for the characters.