Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of kids' movies. It's hard for me to enjoy a movie not made by Pixar, which is why I debated on reviewing this movie or not. How to Train Your Dragon was an endearing film, and obviously its success warranted a sequel. I'm a dude so I like dragons, which interested me about the first one. This one was definitely dragon-centered, but it managed to make dragons seem like wounded puppies needing a home rather than vicious beasts of prey.
My idea of this movie was soured by the trailer, which ended up spoiling the movie's biggest twist. Hiccup meets his mother, who has been living with dragons for the past 20 years. Hiccup and his mother share the bond of loving dragons, and seeing the best in them. There are hurt dragons and baby dragons in this "shelter". The reveal of Hiccup's mother is completely underplayed (possibly due to being spoiled in the trailer); there was very little emotion shown between the two. For a son who's mother was presumed dead for the past 20 years, he got over her sudden reappearance really quick. Again, it's a kids' movie, so it's not meant to necessarily be super deep, but still, you think a reveal like that would have been treated like a bigger deal.
The first film succeeded in making dragons seem vicious but tamable, but this movie takes what's remaining of dragons dignity and makes them seem like orphaned puppies who are completely helpless without human aid. The last one, despite the dragons becoming the vikings' friends at the end, still made the dragons seem like functional war machines. Now, they are viking pets, which made the plot line seem, at its core, like the plot of an Air Bud or Beethoven film. It is a kids movie, however, which makes this plot very marketable when you can disguise it with different, more diverse creatures.
I'm probably being too harsh about a movie for children, but basically, it's just not as good as the first one. The first one was something special, but this one just wasn't. It was enjoyable, but it probably won't wow you like the original did.