Back in 2010, How to Train Your Dragon marked a sea change for Dreamworks animation. Their dismal catalog of overly boxy characters and instantly dated pop cultural references found sudden new life in the form of a sweeping storybook fantasy with enough adventure, heart, and creature design to win over even the most cynical of adults. The first film managed something sincere in its approach to character, and when we got to know young Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) we understood him not as a construct, but as a fleshed out figure. Here was someone struggling to find a place amid not only his people but his family, whose grows into a hero not simply because his outsider status granted him a different line of sight, but because he proves to be compassionate. The bond between Hiccup and his dragon companion Toothless was perhaps as compelling for audiences as it was for the film's viking village, and as the curtains closed on a newly harmonious Berk it could have been easy money for the studio to turn around and cash in on the zany antics of kids with pet dragons. That they didn't speaks to something special about the film, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 manages what so many animated sequels have not dared: it allows the characters to continue growing.