From The Morton Blog

Digital HD Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

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Despite a bold pre-summer prediction by Box Office Mojo, Dreamworks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 (distributed by 20th Century Fox) did not wind up becoming the highest-grossing film of summer 2014. Although domestic-based demand for a sequel to the 2010 animated hit was generally lower than expected, Dragon 2 raked in an impressive $615 million worldwide and secured a green light for production on part three. For those who want to own the movie before the November 11 Blu-ray and DVD street date, Fox Digital HD is the way to go.

Dragon 2 c (380x156).jpgThe relatively restrained box office response in the U.S. ($176 million versus the original’s $217 haul) is especially surprising given that the sequel is pretty much superior in every way. The animation team at Dreamworks truly outdid themselves, crafting a marvelously detailed fantasy world. The story picks up some five years after the events of the first film, with the villagers of Berk at peace with the dragons. The bond between Hiccup (voiced again by Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless has only grown stronger. After encountering Eret (Kit Harington), an embittered dragon trapper intent on vengeance, Hiccup warns his father Stoick (Gerard Butler) of the impending dragon invasion. Villainous Drago (Djimon Hounsou) is planning to mount a full-on war utilizing the dragons acquired for him by Erat.

DRagon 2 b (380x157).jpgWith plenty of humor and heart, Dragon 2 transcends any “kid’s movie” label as it really is sophisticated and exciting enough to enthrall viewers of any age. The Digital HD version is loaded with a bunch of extra features, including the excellent 54-minute “Where No One Goes” making-of documentary in which writer-director Dean DeBlois takes us inside the film’s creation. Feature-length audio commentary is available as well, with DeBlois, head of animation Simon Otto, art director Pierre-Olivier Vincent, and producer Bonnie Arnold offering even further insights. “Dawn of the Dragon Racers” is a sure fan-pleasing addition; an all-new 27-minute animated adventure featuring Hiccup competing in a championship dragon-racing tournament.

Dragon 2 a (380x157).jpg“Fishlegs’ Dragon Stats” is a series of short pieces that provides statistical details for each of the film’s key dragons (playable separately or as a 12-minute whole). “Drago’s War Machines” and “Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight” offer similar galleries, with the former focused on mechanical creations (altogether running about three minutes) and the latter on Hiccup’s gear (also three minutes total). There are also approximately 12 minutes of deleted scenes (in various stages of completion) and the four-minute featurette “Berk’s Dragon World.” In other words, the Digital HD download comes well-stocked with added value that goes well beyond the benefit of a convenient HD version of the movie itself.

For more information, visit the Fox Digital HD official site.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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