Is ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ OK for Kids?
The beautifully animated sequel to the popular film, How to Train Your Dragon was released over the weekend. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is more action packed than the first, while keeping the same charm and humor as the original. If your child has seen the first, they may be anxious to see the sequel but it may be too much for their younger siblings.
Opens: Friday, June 13 2014
Director: Dean DeBlois
Rating: PG for Adventure Action and mild rude humor.
Run time: 102 minutes
What Parents Should Know About How to Train Your Dragon 2
The film has a lot more action than the first. There are several large fight scenes with dragons using their powers against other dragons and people. These scenes also show human characters fighting back using various forms of weapons and traps. For the most part this involves loud explosions and characters getting battered around. If your child is uncomfortable with the loud noises and extravagant visuals, then some parts may be overwhelming.
There are several new characters that are introduced. Both of their introduction scenes can be a little scary. One character has a mask on that could be frightening for a young child, and the other character introduced is missing an extremity. Unlike the main character, whose prosthetic is always shown, you do view the new character’s actual wound which can make some viewers uncomfortable.
There are two scenes which feature death. One focuses on two dragons facing off, the other features a dragon attacking a character. While neither scene shows anything explicitly, they’re both very shocking. When one character dies, it can be very sad for kids and adults alike.
Overall the film is a great addition to the franchise, and if your child has seen the first one, they should be okay to see the sequel. If this is the first entry your child is going to see, you may want to watch the first to gauge how comfortable they will be with the action and violence.
There are several themes that can be discussed once you’ve watched the film including:
- Sticking up for your friends and what you believe in. Ask your child to give examples of this in the film. Can your child think of at least three?
- Connecting similarities between characters. What traits does Hiccup share with his parents, his Dragon, even with the antagonist?
- Discus influences, and know when people are trying to take advantage of you. Discuss examples such as who was influencing Hiccup to make decisions. Were they guiding him in his path, or were they telling him what to do? Also point out what can go wrong when someone has too much influence over you.
- Solving problems. There are multiple ways of solving any problem, but it may be difficult to know which is the right choice. How did Hiccup want to handle Drago? How did his father?
After you’ve seen the movie, please leave your thoughts in the comments section, and let us know if you found our review helpful!
Peter Spain is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a manager at K12. A graduate from George Mason University, Peter has worked for several years in the education and entertainment industry. He strives to make learning fun for children by contributing to the games and activities section of the site, and keeping an eye out for advancements in edutainment.