After Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders' 2010 animated movie How to Train Your Dragon succeeded in making everyone who saw it feel incredibly depressed about the fact that dragons don't really exist - along with performing well both critically and commercially - DeBlois is bringing the small community of Vikings and their winged pals back this summer in How to Train Your Dragon 2.
The sequel is set five years after the end of the last movie, which means that all of the kids are now in their late teens and the island of Berk has fully settled into a peaceable co-existence of dragons and humans. What this means in a practical sense is that Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and friends are no longer confined to their home island, but are instead free to explore the world beyond Berk.
What they find out there isn't all green pastures, however. The first full trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2 showed Hiccup coming across a burnt-out forest, meeting the mysterious Dragon Rider (Cate Blanchett) and getting drawn into a war against the fearsome Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). A new gallery of images released on the movie's official site, however, focus largely on the lighter side of dragon-human friendships.
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While the snarky charm of Hiccup and his relationship with Toothless was in many ways what won audiences over How to Train Your Dragon, a major point of both the original and the sequel is the stunning visuals made possible by a move that largely takes place in the air. The first teaser trailer for How to Train Your Dragon 2 was simply an uncut flying sequence with Hiccup and Toothless, and it definitely worked well in building up hype for their next adventure.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is on course to be the biggest animated feature of this summer, though in fairness there's not a lot of competition for that title aside from Planes: Fire and Rescue and Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return. With enough colorful characters to keep kids happy and enough fast-talking wit to please older audiences - not to mention the breath-taking flying sequences that have been teased - How to Train Your Dragon 2 definitely looks like it has the makings of a strong sequel.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is out in theaters on June 13, 2014.