How to Train Your Dragon 2

Top notch!

Often when you tack a number onto the end of an animated movie title, you can almost guarantee no good is going to come from it. But, Oscar-nominated Quebec writer-director Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch) managed to avoid the usual pratfall by gasp trying something new instead of recycling the same ol’ plot (likely helped along by Cressida Cowell’s 12 books to reap from). This time, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel)—heir to the now peaceful viking throne—and BFF Toothless the dragon (who looks like my cat) have perfected their partnership and are mapping the wide reaches of the world when they stumble upon a plot by the exiled hermit Drago Bloodvist (Djimon Hounsou) to raise a dragon slave army. All that’s standing in his way is the mysterious dragon rescuer who (spoiler alert) turns out to be Hiccup’s long-lost mother. HTTYD2 is as fun a ride as it is a heartfelt story about family responsibility, friendship, loyalty and, like, following your dragon bliss, man. Top notch sequel action.