Being one of the more successful entries coming out of Dreamworks, it really is no surprise of the success that the sequel, “How To Train Your Dragon 2” has had this year, and rightfully so. In the original film, a young Viking boy named Hiccup finds that he’s not keen to the life of killing dragons that his father and the village has set out for him. So when he finally does shoot down a dragon, what ends up following is a hidden friendship that bonds human with beast and spawns a very touching story. In the sequel, the village has abandoned their dragon killing ways completely and have become completely intertwined with the dragons in their everyday life. But as Hiccup and his Night Fury dragon, Toothless, voyage out to new lands, they stumble upon a rising civilization that looks to enslave dragons and take out any Viking communities that stand in their way, lead by the vicious and merciless Drago Bludvist (voiced by Djimon Hounsou).

“How To Train Your Dragon 2” is a well written sequel that builds off the previous film quite nicely. The characters are strong, particularly Hiccup and his father, which proves to be even more devastating as the film progresses. New parts of the world are added, brand new, important characters are revealed, and the characters continue to age and grow right in front of us, all signs of an excellent sequel. The soundtrack of the film also provides some memorable moments, specifically in the beginning of the film and during the credits, with the song “Where No One Goes” by Jónsi & John Powell, setting this apart from any of its contenders.

What’s its competition? With no “The Lego Movie” to balance out as the frontrunner in the Best Animated Feature category, this Oscar could literally go to any of the five films. “How To Train Your Dragon 2” has the slight advantage of winning a Golden Globe for its work as well as being part of a sequel that has a built-in audience. More eyes on a film means more chances for someone to pick that as the winner. But looking at each one these films, they all feel completely different. Not only are their animation styles extremely different, with Boxtrolls utilizing stop animation, claymation, “Song Of The Sea” and “The Tale Of Princess Kaguya” both using different styles of hand drawn animation, and “Big Hero 6” using similar computer generation animations as “How To Train Your Dragon 2,” there is just no telling what has the edge. On the surface, “How To Train Your Dragon 2” feels like a frontrunner, but something tells me it will not be that easy.

BigHero6 TheBoxtrolls HowToTrainYourDragon2-shaded SongOfTheSea TheTaleOfPrincessKaguya

// Produced by Bonnie Arnold // Directed by Dean DeBlois //
// Dated Viewed: Monday, January 26th, 2015 // BLU-RAY //  32 films – 28 days //

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