5 star rating
The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2
By Linda Sunshine (text)
ISNB# 978-0062323354

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele

how to-train-your-dragon-2-linda-sunshineSynopsis:

Here is a look behind the frozen fjords and ice caves of Berk at the making of the sequel to a beloved animated classic. This full-color, lavishly illustrated book features more than 650 paintings, drawings, sketches, models, film stills, lighting studies, color keys, story boards, and photographs. Along with quotes from all the principal filmmakers there is also an introduction by the writer/director Dean DeBlois and a foreword by Gerard Butler, the voice of Stoick.

In this brilliantly conceived sequel, we are on a journey of exploration to new lands, four-winged dragons, long-lost love, vicious and powerful enemies, and ginormous Bewilderbeasts.

How does a movie of such imagination and magnitude come into creation? Well, you begin with an incredibly talented team of artists, writers, engineers, animators, modelers, and tech wizards and you let their creativity soar. The result is a stunning, original vision—bigger, better, and fiercer than ever—of an earth-shattering, fire-breathing sequel to the legendary story of Vikings and dragons in the frozen north.

Hold on to your dragons, fans and friends, you’re in for the ride of a lifetime. (Goodreads)


The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a fine example of an art book.  At one hundred sixty pages, it is not too small to display on your coffee table or on your bookshelves.  It is bursting with full color movie stills, sketches, paintings, models, photographs, and story boards.  It gives fans of the movie franchise a behind the scenes look at what went into making the film.  More than 500 people had a hand in this endeavor, and snippets and explanations in their own words are peppered throughout the book…from production members, actors, and the director to name but a few.  It is evident that this was an intensive, time consuming labor of love for all involved, and their passion comes through.  There are also quotes from the characters, one of my favorite being:

    “Five Things You Should Know About Dragons compiled by Hiccup

  1. Once you’ve earned his loyalty, there is nothing a dragon won’t do for you.

  2. Dragons are not the enemy. They are kind, amazing creatures that can bring people together.

  3. A happy dragon is an exfoliated dragon.

  4. Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things.

  5. Never take a toy away from a dragon.” P. 111

One of the most interesting sections explained how the designers chose to age the characters five years from movie one to two.  This is relatively unheard of in the world of animated story telling.

The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a wonderful companion to the movie, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to fans of the movie franchise, those interested in animation, and dragon lovers everywhere.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*