How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Having finally watched How to Train Your Dragon earlier this summer, I got around to watching How to Train Your Dragon 2 this past week. It was a great story and I look forward to seeing the third film in the trilogy nest year!
Like the first film, this one had beautiful animation and music. I found it very humourous as well, but the humour did not distract from the emotion or the setting itself. As this film is a sequel, the creators were able to building upon the existing world and characters. That is arguably one of my favourite things about sequels – not having to set up and explain everything.
Unlike many sequels to films aimed at a younger audience, this story takes place about five years after the first. The main characters have grown up; at least, they have advanced from awkward and impulsive (and somewhat cruel) teenagers to awkward and slightly-less-impulsive (and more empathetic) young adults. Sure, the difference from 15 to 20 doesn’t seem that much numerically, but it does wonders for one’s maturity. Sadly, our hero gets further upgraded to head-of-household adult in this film – which most of us are not ready for at twenty.
The main theme of this film is loyalty and it further explores the relationship between our hero and his dragon, as well as the relationship between humans and dragons in general. Loyalty is earned through love and trust, not domineering behaviour and abuse. This is a bit undercut by the fact that the main focus is on the human-dragon relationship, but it is also explored as a leadership style among humans and between individuals. The conclusion? Peace and understanding work well, but sometimes violence is necessary, and it will be tolerated (and supported) when it is used sparingly.
The problem with “sometimes violence is necessary” is that it is not as obvious in reality when it is necessary, especially compared to fiction. Most of the time, we are not dealing with armies outright attacking our families and communities. We are trying to champion causes and improve our lives.
Even when faced with actual attack, a violent response is not always the best course of action. Sometimes, taking a stand means not standing at all, or simply standing as one’s enemy fires. Sometimes, letting the violence happen to you is the most powerful response – not because you condone it, but because you don’t.