Ok, I've wanted to do this for a while, but I have been waiting for an appropriate date. Considering that we are now exactly 100 days away from watching HTTYD2 in theaters, I figured that today was as appropriate as they could come.
The point of this post is this: Really and truly, what is my opinion of what the sequel will be like? Am I really all that excited? Am I not worried about anything? Am I going to be disappointed when I see it in theaters after waiting four years for it to come out? Do I think it will live up to what we have all been hoping for? In general, I'm going to just discuss the mindset I am carrying as I go into this movie.
First off, yes, I am really excited. I mean, it's only 100 days away. I can remember when I was excited because it was only a year away, I can remember being excited two summers ago because we were halfway there! It's been a long, long wait, and honestly it has made me put HTTYD2 into a category of "things that are super far away but will be nice when they get here". Now that it is no longer far away, now that it is closer than other movies that I am seeing advertised, and I honestly don't know how on earth to handle it! I mean, come on people we are getting HTTYD2 adds on our macaroni! It's exciting! It takes me back four years when HTTYD was actually still pretty popular for everyone, not just fans. I watch the adds and look at the images, and I honestly don't know how to handle my emotional response. This is a full blown second movie. This isn't DoB or RoB where we are super limited on how much the characters can be developed or on how big the plots can go. There really are just about no holds barred in a sequel like this. Stoick could die, Hiccup could lose another limb, Toothless could be injured, Berk could be overrun, Hiccup's mom could (and apparently will) return, and Hiccup and Astrid could even get married! So much can happen, and they have and hour and forty five minutes to do it. That is just so exciting, to think that we will be getting just as much gloriously well animated material as we got in the first film. After RoB/DoB, this film is 1. Going to feel SO LONG. and 2. Going to feel so brilliantly animated. Long story short, I am excited, just by the concept that we are getting a second film.
Second, am I worried about anything? Yes and No. Honestly, I've spent a good amount of time worrying about just about EVERY fact that gets revealed about this movie. I can remember when it bugged me so much that Hiccup was older. I felt like a lot of the emotional and even physical vulnerability that Hiccup had in the first film (which I related to) would be stripped away and he would become too heroic for me to really enjoy. I worried that changing his look would make me feel suddenly like I had to meet the character over again, have to like him all over again, and I LOVED the way HTTYD1 Hiccup looked. I didn't want the change. I didn't want it at all. But now that I see what they have done with it, see what the potential is, I'm really pleased. I'm not going to say that it was an amazing decision until I see how the entire movie handles it, but let's just say I think it really has the potential to be (plus Hiccup and I are the same age again XD). But that's not the only thing I've worried about. I've worried about too much getting crammed into one plot, I've worried about Hotccup (sigh), I've worried about Toothless only being cute (because that is his more merchandisable side), I've worried about Eret and Ruffnut's subplot, I've worried about the film having one purely evil antagonist, I've worried about there being another massive dragon (two of them apparently), I've worried about Valka's return being cliche, I've worried about Hiccup losing his dorkiness (and become a RoB extrovert), I've worried about Toothless simply becoming a secondary character (or worse a superweapon in the dragon war), and I've worried a lot that this massive war and scale would steal away the heart of the first film. Am I still worried about these things? Yes, and more than just these. I could give my responses to each of them to try and prove to you and myself that I don't need to worry, but that would take too long, and I've honestly got a single thing that I am keeping in mind that helps me not to be as apprehensive.
I have this mindset, and it is hopefully a mindset that will make me enjoy this movie even after waiting four years for it. I came into HTTYD1 not expecting much, I'm coming into HTTYD2 expecting what I believe will be delivered: a great sequel. And the reason I am most confident about that is the director. Seriously, I am so, so pleased with what Dean has said he is doing in the sequel. RoB honestly scared me in that it showed how sort of off-balanced HTTYD stuff could be taken, but it wasn't run by Dean. Every smidgin of plot that I have seen so far, every Hiccup or Toothless mannerism, it seems to live and breath like the first movie, and that makes me excited. You could even plow back and find my Valka post to see that I think that there will even be worldview conflicts in this tale, and that is so exciting because that was a major issue in the first film: People trying to do what was right, but actually doing the opposite things because they differed on one crucial aspect: the dragons. I honestly think and hope that the sequel will continue that, and it's very exciting. Aging Hiccup has opened up tons of doors for deeper character development, and if that is in their, then the epic scale of the plots that we have been shown will weave themselves together into a deep story of a man maturing as opposed to a cheap action flick that kids can watch. I think Dean knows what he is doing, so I don't freak out when I hear things that make me nervous. I just trust that he will make it all work, and that is how I keep calm. He is a good director, and it will be a good film. It will NOT be the first film, and that is something that I have to constantly remind myself of. It will be different, and in many ways that is good, and then in the ways that it is the same I will also be pleased. I want to see a movie that develops Hiccup and Toothless differently than the first one did. What if that means it isn't as incredible as the first film (Forbidden Friendship really can't ever be repeated!)? Then I am fine, but I want to see the characters and stories grow. In some ways, it will have to have a slightly different heart because Hiccup and Toothless will be dealing with different times, but I want it to be a natural progression of their characters, and I really do think it will be. It won't be the first film, and some things we love about the first film really only can work in the first one, but I do really think it will be a great second step in Hiccup's story, it will be a continuation in the lives of our heroes, and that is exciting to see them growing even through struggles that they have never faced before.
Now, do I think it will live up to what we have been hoping for? Haha, honestly, NOPE. I really don't. I've written out or dreamed out little bits of what I wanted to see in a sequel, Glory has too (read the webnovel people!), and so have many others of us. We all have hopes, we all have favorite aspects of HTTYD, so we start envisioning the sequel the way we would like it. For some people, that's lots of Hiccstrid, for me it would be a whole, whole lotta Hiccup and Toothless developing, responsibility issues with Stoick, and probably a Skrill as the antagonist! But that's not what we are getting. Others may want really epic dragon fights, others may want it to be a lot darker than the first one, others might want to see the rest of the teens develop into more well rounded characters... it just depends on your tastes and what appealed to you in the first film. HTTYD was very multifaceted in its appeal (a 98 from Rotten Tomatoes gives us a hint at that!), and so many people come away really liking slightly different things about it. I know full well that not all the things I like about it will be celebrated as much as I want in the second film, but I'm ok with that. I'm confident that it will be different from what I am expecting, but it will probably be better. Again, the director is very talented. HTTYD was my ideal story, but I would never have dreamed it up myself, so if I couldn't come up with the first one, why should I think that my ideas of what the second one should be like are good? I am very happy to say that I believe I will be pleasantly surprised at some elements, and I actually already have been! It won't be what I've dreamed, but if I'm lucky, and if I come at it expecting to see a really wonderful film, I think it will be better than what I imagined (haha! The playfight in the trailer was already enough of a dream come true! I'd pay ten bucks just to see that full clip in theaters!).
So, that's my mindset about the second film. It will be good because the man behind it is actually devoted to doing a good job, and it will not be what I expect, but it may very well be better. 100 days from now... who knows? I could be disappointed, but I'm hopeful that I won't be.