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Almost matching its polished predecessor

How To Train Your Dragon 2. Photo: PA Photo/DreamWorks Animation.

How To Train Your Dragon 2. Photo: PA Photo/DreamWorks Animation.

Based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the 2010 computer-animated adventure How To Train Your Dragon soared tantalisingly close to perfection.

Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois’ brilliantly executed story of one boy’s remarkable friendship with a supposedly fearsome dragon was deeply touching, distinguished by richly detailed visuals and an intelligent script.

The sequel, directed solely by DeBlois, expands the narrative arcs of the characters, testing their mettle in the aftermath of tragedy and conflict.

Boys cross the rubicon to manhood, parents make selfless sacrifices to protect their brood and evil poisons an innocent heart.

As a wise woman in the film proclaims: “Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things”.

In almost every aspect, How To Train Your Dragon 2 matches its polished predecessor... except one.

The addition of Oscar winner Blanchett to the vocal fold is a calamitous misjudgement.

Her verbal strangulations are horribly distracting and undermine some of the film’s most emotionally charged moments of reconciliation and remembrance.

 

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