Since dragons were banned, then accepted in the first How to Train Your Dragon movie, dragon racing has become the Vikings’ favorite pastime in the sequel, How to Train Your Dragon 2.
The son of Chief Stoic, Hiccup, is now 20-years-old and isn’t sure he wants to step up as leader of Berk once his father retires. Instead of thinking about war or protecting their village from villain Drago Bloodfist’s desire to build a dragon army, Hiccup would rather hang out with his friends in the sky and explore surrounding regions now that “on the backs of dragons, the world just got a little bigger.”
How to Train Your Dragon 2 is so much more than its title. It’s a wonderful story of a young man’s rite of passage into adulthood complete with amazing visuals and strong supporting characters.
Kid Focused grades for How to Train Your Dragon 2
Compelling story line: A
The animation makes it appealing to kids, but its story line is sophisticated. There’s everything in this movie- honor, family, loyalty and the realization things aren’t always what they seem.
Strong message: A
The saying “Men who kill without reason can not be reasoned with” in the film begs the question: What makes a strong leader? What causes war? Why is it crucial to help the powerless among us?
Hiccup has deep respect and admiration for his parents though they don’t always see eye to eye.
Leading character is a role model: A
Hiccup is a young man who can act silly, but he also knows what’s important in life and does the right thing. Besides the villain, the other characters are strong as well.
Sexual or adult content: A-
There are two kisses in the film. Once a minor character sees a brawny male's muscles and says, "Take me now!"
Language and Violence: B
There are action sequences that could be upsetting to children under 7. There are swords, spears and other weapons drawn. There is a primary character’s death and then it’s alluded to his body is customarily burned, though it’s covered with a sheet.
Overall Kid Focused Grade for How to Train Your Dragon 2: A-
Rated PG, Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Julie Samrick is a stay-at-home mom of four young kids and the founder of Kid Focused, a site devoted to children and family issues. Subscribe to the free Kid Focused newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox. If you enjoyed this post, "Like" us on Facebook for updates on more posts like it. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.