Animated stars hit Cannes

'How to Train Your Dragon 2' bought some star power to Cannes on Friday.

Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou pose with an inflatable dragon at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May. Picture: AFP.

CANNES- _How to Train Your Dragon 2 _brought some animated Hollywood star power to Cannes on Friday.

The sequel to the animated blockbuster about a boy who bonds with a dragon was being shown to the press out of the main competition, on the same day as three more of the 18 films vying for the top Palme d'Or prize to be awarded on 24 May.

Dragon fever was evident on La Croisette, Cannes' palm-lined beach boulevard, as the second installation of the animated film about dragons and the vikings who love them was set to premiere on Friday night.

Under sunny skies, director-writer Dean DeBlois, with stars Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera and even dragon Toothless posed for photographers in advance of a news conference.

Excited hoots and enthusiastic applause capped a screening for the press, underscoring the anticipation for the new film whose first version was nominated for a best animated film Oscar in 2011.