How to Train Your Dragon 2: Deluxe Edition review

DreamWorks shows the competition how to make a spectacular sequel to a great film

DreamWorks Animation has often seemed like a bit of an also-ran next to the might of Disney Pixar; a situation that has been exacerbated in recent years by a spectacular run of duds including Rise of the Guardians, Turbo and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. But, like any good story, just when things looked to be at their darkest, along comes a hero to save the day.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a wildly imaginative and riveting sequel that manages to expand on the world of its predecessor in a number of new and interesting ways. Its tell a darker, richer and more complex story than the first, albeit one that will still appeal to younger audiences thanks to its stunning visuals and goofy sense of humour. Let's just hope that the inevitable How to Train Your Dragon 3 can keep the momentum going.

Picture: With acclaimed cinematographer Roger (Skyfall) Deakins serving as visual consultant, it's no surprise that How to Train Your Dragon 2 looks absolutely majestic.

What we weren't quite prepared for, however, was the level of creativity the 'toon showcases when it comes to its stereoscopic presentation. Indeed, there are some sequences in the film (such as the dragon POV swooping over the army in Chapter 21) that rank among the most dynamic and immersive 3D you've yet witnessed in your home cinema.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: The film's DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix is equally jaw-dropping. The opening Dragon Race kicks things off in fine style, surrounding you with audio effects from every speaker in the soundfield, and as the film progresses it simply gets better, with constant use made of the full array alongside deep bass, crystal-clear dialogue and rich instrumentation.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Giving lie to the 'Deluxe Edition' tag Fox has given this UK Blu-ray release, the best of the extras from the US iteration appear to have drowned somewhere in the Atlantic.

Absent are the filmmakers' commentary, hour-long Making of… documentary and the Dawn of the Dragon Racers animated short. Which leaves us with a trio of interactive databases (Fishlegs' Dragon Stats, Drago's War Machines and Hiccup's Inventions in Flight), a brief video tour of Berk, four deleted scenes, a gallery of 32 pieces of production art and a selection of trailers.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: Disappointing extras aside, a superb stereoscopic encode ensures that this stunning sequel soars on BD.

How to Train Your Dragon 2: Deluxe Edition, 20th Century Fox/DreamWorks, Region B BD, £28 Approx