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Advance USO Screening: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Monday, June 09, 2014

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J.—In celebration of summer and the upcoming release of their new animated film, actor Jay Baruchel, actress and USO tour veteran America Ferrera and writer/director Dean DeBlois treated more than 450 troops and military families to an advance screening of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” here on June 4.

The event kicked off with an advance viewing of the film – a sequel to the summer 2010 smash hit – followed by a private question-and-answer session with Baruchel, Ferrera and DeBlois.

“There’s no way to say ‘thank you’ properly, I suppose, and this [tour] is the closest we can come to doing that and we should leap at the chance,” said Baruchel. “This is the only part of our tour that really means something to any of us personally.”

While this was the first USO experience for Baruchel and DeBlois, it was the second for Ferrera, who traveled to Iraq and Qatar in 2010 and visited with more than 1,300 troops at nine forward operating bases, combat outposts and military camps.

“When I heard we had the chance to come to a base and share this film, it felt like such a wonderful gift to us to be able to bring a happy, heartwarming and exciting film to the families because this film really does bring families together,” said Ferrera. “It’s fun. It’s adventurous, but there are a lot of deep and emotional currents running through the film and so it’s a wonderful film to bring military families together and hopefully spark conversations.”

“Anyone working for the military it is a life of sacrifice and honor and duty, and it’s definitely something we’d like to honor,” said DeBlois. “At the time we were making this film, there were a lot of troops returning home from combat in the Middle East having sustained life-changing injuries and that’s so heroic. We were trying to communicate in our film that sacrifice entails some loss and there’s great heroism behind that,” he said.

Check out some photos from the event in this Flickr set, and watch this short film to get a deeper look inside DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which will arrive in theaters June 13.


 

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