Extra DVD: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (PG)

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel).
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel).

Featuring the voices of: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, Djimon Hounsou, America Ferrara, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, TJ Miller.

Five years have passed since Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) befriended dragon Toothless and the inhabitants of the village of Berk now live in harmony with the winged creatures.

During a regular sortie with his four-legged best friend, Hiccup stumbles upon a lost world of rescued dragons and a valiant rider named Valka (Cate Blanchett), who turns out to be a long-lost face from the past. “It’s not everyday you find out your mother is some kind of crazy, feral, vigilante dragon lady!” whoops Hiccup.

A tearful family reunion with Hiccup’s father Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) is cut short by diabolical dragon hunter Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), who storms this lost world and takes control of the majestic fire-breathing creatures.

World domination beckons and all that stands in Drago’s way are Hiccup, Toothless and the boy’s plucky pals.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 charts a breathless course between drama, action and comedy, the latter delivered with scenery-chewing gusto by Craig Ferguson as Stoick’s best friend Gobber the Belch. Flying sequences deliver a vertiginous thrill, especially in 3D available exclusively on Blu-ray, including a couple of death-defying battles that slalom and swoop at dizzying speed.

In almost every aspect, Dean DeBlois’ sequel matches its polished predecessor... except one. The addition of Oscar-winner Blanchett to the vocal fold is a calamitous misjudgement.

From the outset, the Australian actress is engaged in a futile tug-of-war with her Scottish accent that initially roams the British Isles and eventually strays across the entire Commonwealth.

Her verbal strangulations undermine some of the film’s most emotionally charged moments of reconciliation and remembrance. A two-disc set comprising How To Train Your Dragon and the sequel is also available.

Rating: 3/5