How to Train Your Dragon 2 may easily be my favorite film of the year, however, its fellow sequel (released shortly after), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is definitely close. I would argue that it is the best animated sequel ever made. This may come off as a bold statement, but I think most people would agree that the second Toy Story is the weakest installment. Therefore, the fact that Dragon 2 may even be better than the first one (which is looked at as one of the best animated films of all time), makes it undoubtably the best sequel.
Maybe I just really like when a filmmaker adds some grit and dark themes to a movie, but the unexpected death paired with Empire Strikes Back and The Dark Knight themes is a major breakthrough for animation. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel, This is the End) has a completely different character arc this time around and leads the audience through an entirely new journey. We meet a couple very important new characters that really help move the story in a favorable direction.
The best part of the movie is that it is created as a stand-alone film. You do not need to necessarily even see the first film to enjoy it, because it creates its own complete story. With that being said, it has third installment written all over it (not because it will make money) because the story has to move forward in some way. Hiccup and Toothless have much more to show us in a trilogy that may come close to winning its competition with Toy Story.
By: Jonny Havey | Producer