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Among the most anticipated animated movies of the year is How to Train Your Dragon 2, which just made its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. After the film made its first screening Friday morning, the early reviews were quite positive.
Although the responses are not unanimous, the critics seem to generally feel that this is at least a respectable sequel to the wildly successful 2010 film. With the first film's co-director Dean DeBlois returning to direct and write the film, it appears to have the spirit of the original, at least in its extravagant flying sequences, even if some feel that this film doesn't quite have the heart that the original film had.
Additionally, some fear that the darker tone of this movie compared to its original may be too much for its intended audiences: children.
First, here are some tweets from critics after seeing the movie:
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2: Looks real cool but strangely stagnant storytelling. Letdown compared to original, but Toothless still adorbs.
— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) May 16, 2014
How to Train Your Dragon 2: so concerned with world-building that it's more busy than heartfelt or exciting. Still a pleasant watch. #Cannes
— William Goss (@williambgoss) May 16, 2014
Among the most favorable of the film was Peter Debruge, from Variety, who wrote that it was "Braver than Brave, more fun than Frozen and more emotionally satisfying than so many of its live-action counterparts, Dragon delivers."
Similarly, Matt Risley from Total Film was very favorable of the film, considering it "easily DreamWorks' most mature and accomplished film yet."
On the more restrained, but still favorable, side was Oliver Lyttelton from Indiewire who wrote:
"How To Train Your Dragon … took an unpromising premise and turned it into something funny, exciting and emotionally satisfying in a way that relatively few of their films are. ... The bad news is that it’s more of a Kung Fu Panda 2 than a Toy Story 2 in terms of animated sequels, but the good news is that it’s still a fairly decent film, if a decided step down from its predecessor."
Similarly held back in their approval was Leslie Felperin from The Hollywood Reporter who was the one that "all a little rich for the youngest of film-goers, that key demographic which has kept the franchise in the memory since 2010 through repeated viewings" due that the film is "considerably scarier and more traumatic to boot."
While not as glowingly positive as some fans may like, these reviews still indicate that the movie will likely please its original audience, which is what fans of the series can only hope for.