New poster for How To Train Your Dragon 2 shows a much older Hiccup

Hiccup is back! And he's got...five o' clock shadow? Hey, that's what happens when you start to sprout. It's been five years (in the story timeline) since we've seen Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) riding his trusty Night Fury dragon, Toothless, into battle, and as the boy moves into manhood you can expect things to change a bit. It's an interesting angle, really, because it wouldn't have been that difficult to keep the characters at or around the same age for a sequel, but as evidenced by the first teaser and now this new poster, Hiccup and Toothless are playing to an older audience.

Take a look:

Here's the synopsis:

It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.

Now, when I say playing to an "older audience," I don't mean the 18-36 crowd (although I fall in that bracket and am very much looking forward to this), but rather the teenage crowd, as it will have been four years since the last one hit theaters. It appears the studio is going the Harry Potter route rather than The Simpsons route for this franchise and allowing the characters to grow with their audience, instead of trying to secure a new one with each new sequel (although that's certainly still possible). Regardless, I loved the first film and am excited to see this next iteration in the series.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, starring Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Cate Blanchett, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington, and Craig Ferguson, flies into theaters on June 13, 2014.

Extra Tidbit: Do you think it's better to "age" animated characters or to keep them the same age? Does it depend on the property?
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