WARNING: Trailer Contains MILD SPOILERS
When things pick up in the DreamWorks animated sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, the series protagonist Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has pulled a Neville Longbottom and matured into a strapping young man, who spends his days soaring the skies with loyal dragon companion Toothless. Together, they explore the world beyond their home village of Berk, where dragon racing is now the preferred sport among young Vikings.
However, even as Hiccup (literally) expands his horizons, dangerous foes emerge from the woodwork, in the shapes of Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou) and his army of dragon hunters and war machines. In the meantime, our hero and his Night Fury companion find a helpful new comrade in Valka (Cate Blanchett): an outsider who has spent years protecting dragons - giving her a level of insight and understanding of the creatures that surpasses even Hiccup's.
We only learned about Valka's existence in the How to Train Your Dragon sequel this past week. Which is to say: if you don't want to know anything else about the character, then don't watch the full-length trailer below - it reveals something of a key SPOILER about her.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 was written and directed by one-half of the filmmaking team behind the original animated feature, Dean DeBlois, as his collaborator Chris Sanders has been preoccupied working on The Croods over the past couple years. Regardless, it seems as though DeBlois has expanded upon the themes of the original film - a boy and his dog-type fantasy story with a subtext about prejudice - while delivering an important second chapter in a larger adventure/epic trilogy (a third installment is already set for release in 2016).
So far, the final result looks to be a sequel that is bigger and potentially better than its predecessor on every level - quality of animation, action sequences - but without losing the heart and charm that made the original film a critical darling (and led to a near half-billion worldwide gross).
Agree/disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens in theaters on June 20th, 2014.
How to Train Your Dragon 3 is currently scheduled for release on June 17th, 2016.