Hats off to Dreamworks for offering some bold surprises in a respectable sequel filled with moments of humour and emotion among its ample noise and movement.
The writer and director Dean DeBlois takes the comedy to a deeper, more satisfying place than he did in the original franchise-launching animated film.
Overlong and overly busy but more emotionally powerful than its predecessor.
The entire film is a romance -- visually, parentally, ecologically. It's got the emotional, humorous, exciting sweep you want from a summer movie.
Although there are times when bits of the movie feel extraneous, the production as a whole comes across more like an organic extension of the original tale than something tacked on purely to score at the box office.
It's clear that [director Dean DeBlois] took inspiration from the first Star Wars trilogy - not a bad model for breathing new life, and yes, a bit of fire, into one of Hollywood's more nuanced animated franchises.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is soaring, emotionally swooping, utterly satisfying fun.
Not only does this second movie match the charm, wit, animation skill and intelligent storytelling of the original, I think it even exceeds it.
Despite its expanded, ambitious battle sequences, Dragon 2 is at its best when it quiets down and dares to be intimate.