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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a sequel to both 2010's How to Train Your Dragon and the popular Cartoon Network series. Like its big-screen predecessor, this is an epic 3-D adventure with dazzling visuals and gripping action sequences that will appeal to even older kids and teens. Very young fans may be upset by a significant character's death, the alpha-possession of the Berk dragons, the battles between the different groups of dragons, and several close calls for the story's protagonists. Expect more romance in this installment; it takes place five years after the first movie, which means the previously young-teen characters are now all around the marriageable age of 20 -- so it's no surprise there are a few suggestive jokes, especially with the addition of a hunky rogue. But thanks to its strong female characters, touching parent-child relationships, and positive messages about the bond between people and their animal companions, this is must-see for fans of the original and the show.
  • Families can talk about sequels -- and how hard it is for follow-up films to be as good as the originals. Do you think How to Train Your Dragon 2 does the job? What are some other sequels that lived up to the first film's legacy?
  • Hiccup has a complicated relationship with each of his parents. How does this movie explore parent-adult child relationships?
  • How are romantic relationships depicted in the film? How do Hiccup and Astrid compare to other couples in animated films?
  • What did you think of the use of 3-D in the movie, especially in the dragon scenes? How did it compare to other 3-D movies? Was anything too scary?
  • Are the female characters in this movie role models? Why? How do they compare to girls and women in other kids' movies (both animated and live action)?
EDUCATIONAL VALUE
POSITIVE MESSAGES
POSITIVE ROLE MODELS
VIOLENCE & SCARINESS
CONSUMERISM
SEXY STUFF
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