DreamWorks Animation has big plans for the next few years, and we recently got a fairly comprehensive look at just what those plans include when the studio unveiled its release schedule for 2013 through to 2016. One of the 2014 releases that they announced was How to Train Your Dragon 2, a sequel that has been in the works ever since the first film saw success at the box office and was nominated for two Oscars, including Best Animated Feature.

In 2010 fantasy adventure How to Train Your Dragon, Jay Baruchel voiced the irrepressibly snarky and fast-talking protagonist, Hiccup, the son of a Viking chief who lives in a village that’s perpetually plagued by dragons. As a brain growing up in a community that values brawn, Hiccup is a misfit in every way imaginable, and so when he finally catches a dragon, he decides to raise and tame it rather than kill it.

Baruchel is currently busy promoting apocalypse comedy This is the End, in which he plays a version of himself, but in an interview with Slash Film, he was asked about the status of How to Train Your Dragon 2 and expressed a lot of enthusiasm about it:

“It took us three bloody years to do the first one so it’s a piecemeal process. I’ve been working on ‘Dragon 2,’ on and off, for the past year-and-a-half now. And boy is it ever something special. I truly adore the first one. I think it’s one of the greatest flicks ever. Period. And one of my proudest moments. So it’s no hyperbole when I say we smoke the first one with number two.

“It’s going to be pretty incredible in every way. The emotional content, the action sequences, it’s everything it’s supposed to be and then some. It’s really going to be a pretty incredible, beautiful flick. People will go buy tickets, see this movie, and be taken on a journey like they’ve never been on.”

While calling How to Train Your Dragonone of the greatest flicks ever” might be a little bit hyperbolic, it’s definitely one of the better DreamWorks releases of recent years, and was one of Screen Rant’s favorite films of 2010. Once you get past the fact that all the child characters have incongruous American accents despite growing up in a village full of Scottish Vikings, it’s an incredibly fun and heartwarming movie that features some beautiful animation, especially during the flying sequences.

Though Baruchel is obviously going to be a little biased on this matter, there’s every chance that How to Train Your Dragon 2 might be a step upwards from the first film. Not only does it have the benefit of most of the cast – including Gerard Butler, America Ferrera and Baruchel’s This is the End co-star Jonah Hill – returning along with writer and director Dean DeBlois, there’s also more potential in the sequel to branch out in terms of storytelling. If there’s one main criticism that could be said of How to Train Your Dragon, it’s that it indulged in a few clichés, and so it would be good to have a few surprises and a more unpredictable plot developments in the second movie.

Luckily, that seems to be exactly what they have in mind. When the film was still in the early stages of development, DeBlois said that DreamWorks were planning to make an “epic” trilogy with How to Train Your Dragon 2 as the “second chapter in a larger story,” which would leave the tiny island setting of the first movie and explore other reaches of the Northern hemisphere.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 lands in theaters on June 20th, 2014.

Source: Slash Film