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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

DreamWork’s Dragons

Being a sequel to an extremely successful and memorable film is never an easy task, but DreamWorks Animation does this and more with its new film “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”
The film picks up four years after the events of the original “How to Train Your Dragon.” Astrid (America Ferrera) and the rest of the main cast on Berk Isle enjoy Dragon Racing. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is off exploring new lands and new dragons with his intimidating yet lovable dragon best friend Toothless.
When they discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. They are forced to stand up for what they believe in as they try to change the future of dragons and men.
I’m a huge fan of the first “How to Train Your Dragon.” Judging the quality of more recent animated sequels it was tempting to have low expectations. I didn’t want to be disappointed. Those expectations were blown out of the air (pun intended) — the characters, story line and music are wonderful, but the animation is truly magnificent.
Considering all the steps and hard work that go into making just one shot of an animated film, this film goes beyond what the first achieved in spectacle. The characters are animated so smoothly that there were moments that I forgot I was watching a 3D animation.
The dragons look incredible, showing that the team at DreamWorks took their time in making sure everything from the flight patterns to the textures on the dragons’ scales looked real. The water, cloud and fire effects (which are rather difficult to do in 3D software) all look fantastic, just as they did in the first film.
The scene where Hiccup sees the great dragon lair, with the vast assortment of dragons flying about, is a beautiful array of colors and environment design that is easily the prettiest scene in the film.
The young group of characters show signs that they’ve grown and matured from their appearance in the original.
Snotlout (Jonah Hill) and Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) are both trying to win the affections of Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig), much to the annoyance of her brother Tuffnut (T.J. Miller).
Most of the comedy in the film follows these characters while the seriousness of the story line follows Hiccup and his family. When Stoic (Gerard Butler) sees Hiccup’s long, presumably dead mother Valka (Cate Blanchett), their love for each other creates the more emotional scenes of the film.
The chemistry among Hiccup’s family is dynamic via the animation and voice acting. The main antagonist of the film is the vicious Drago Bloodfist (Djimon Hounsou), a warlord set on controlling all the dragons in the sky by forcing them into his dragon army.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” is able to balance the competing needs of moving the story in new, exciting directions while retaining the spirit and character of the original film, loved by many. While darker and more mature in tone than the original, the emotional scenes are stronger than before, implying that acts of bravery can sometimes have tragic consequences.
Fun Fact: Multiple Aggies from the visualization department worked on this film or are working on others at DreamWorks Animation.
Fun Fact #2: This is the 2nd film of the “How to Train Your Dragon” Trilogy. The third film is set for 2016.

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