How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Radio Film Review

The world of dragons is back in all its glory in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2.
The world of dragons is back in all its glory in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2.

I’m at the point where I can pretty much take or leave 3D. As a techie, I want to embrace any technology that’ll expand the cinemagoing experience, but even I have to concede that most of the time 3D is employed as little more than an add-on, just a way to charge extra for stuff that’d be the same with or without depth (visual, that is. We’ll save a discussion of dramatic depth for another day).
Which is why I’m usually jazzed to check out the latest release from DreamWorks Animation. More often than not, those folk go the extra distance with 3D, using it to enhance both the visual canvas and the dramatic impact of their films. That was definitely the case with the original HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, the 2010 fantasy adventure where the third dimension became an active player in an already entertaining and visually stunning film.
So, yeah, there I was at my local multiplex, shelling out the extra bucks for my 3D experience with the new HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. Did this new adventure — in which the young, Viking dragon-rider Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) faces down a powerful warlord (Djimon Hounsou) and has a family reunion with his long-lost mother (Cate Blanchett) — pay back my investment? In a way, yes; in a way… welllll… Check out my HOUR OF THE WOLF review for the details. Click on the player to listen.

Right-click to download the mp3 file: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2


Directing duo discuss dragon-training

Jam!’s showbiz website has an interview with Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, the directing duo who came on to HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON literally after the last minute: the film had already gone into production when the studio decided the story was not working, so DeBlois and Sanders (the team behind LILO AND STITCH) were brought in to rework the project. Fortunately, the film is abased on 2003 children’s book by Cressida Cowell, so DeBlois and Sanders had something to work from besides a rejected script:

“One of the neatest things about her book is there’s no one dragon, there are a lot of dragons,” Sanders said. “And that’s really neat because we could imbue each of these particular species with different personalities and different traits and different strengths and weaknesses.”

Although they liked the book, DeBlois and Sanders made some changes to suit the film’s tone:

“We wanted to keep it as grounded as possible,” DeBlois said. “Because what was important for us was just to create a world that had believable stakes. And part of that was removing as many elements of magic and whimsy as possible in order to get a world that was big and bold and believable with real physics.”