How to Train Your Dragon 2

Inciting Event: After the dragon trappers (briefly) capture Astrid’s dragon, Hiccup and Astrid learn that Drago Bloodfist is after their dragons and that the trappers have seen another dragon rider, not from Berk.

First Plot Point: Hiccup is kidnapped by the dragon rider—who turns out to be his long-lost mother.

First Pinch Point: Astrid and her friends are kidnapped by Drago.

Midpoint: Drago’s fleet attacks the bewilderbeast’s sanctuary (where Valka, Hiccup’s mother, lives). Hiccup, his parents, and Gobber fight, along with Hiccup’s friends.

Second Pinch Point: Drago’s enslaved bewilderbeast kills Valka’s alpha and takes control of all the dragons.

Third Plot Point: Under the control of Drago’s bewilderbeast, Toothless attacks Hiccup. Stoick, Hiccup’s father, saves him and is killed. Drago takes Toothless and rides to attack Berk.

Climax: Hiccup and Co. arrive at Berk (riding the baby dragons, which the alpha can’t control) and do battle with the bewilderbeast.

Climactic Moment: Toothless frees himself from the bewilderbeast’s mind control, and he and all the other dragons attack the alpha and scare him away.

Resolution: Everyone reunites with their dragons. Hiccup gives his dad’s dragon to the reformed dragon trapper. Hiccup takes his place as the new chief.

Notes: The plot points are all strong here, but the timing is a bit problematic. When I first saw this in the theater (when I wasn’t thinking about plot points at all), the second half seemed incredibly rushed to me. Now that I’ve gone back and timed the plot points, I see why. The first half is slightly overlong, which forces the latter plot points to be crammed together. For example, only a few minutes pass between the Second Pinch Point and the Midpoint (when, optimally, based on the total running time, there should be thirteen minutes in between). The result is a second half that flounders a bit and never quite gains the gravitas it needs.

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