“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is marketed as the third and final chapter of the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise. This film is directed by Dean DeBlois, a co-director behind the first film in the franchise who eventually went on to direct its follow-ups by himself. The film stars Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, Knocked Up), America Ferrera (Superstore, Ugly Betty), F. Murray Abraham (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Homeland), Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), and Craig Ferguson (The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Hot in Cleveland). This film continues with the characters audiences have come to know in recent years. As the movie begins, it is revealed that Toothless, Hiccup’s loyal dragon, is not the only one of his kind. After all, there is one other female dragon who meets up with Toothless and the two form a relationship with each other. Meanwhile, there is an antagonist by the name of Grimmel who is trying to find “The Hidden World.” Our heroes must find the same place as their island, Berk, is becoming overpopulated.
I cannot believe I am saying this. It took me over two full weeks to actually sit down and review this movie! I will admit that I managed to go out and see it on its opening weekend, where I went by myself in a crowded theater full of families and children. OK, you know what? It doesn’t mean I can’t be part of the target audience, because this animated franchise has not only proven to be watchable for older audiences, but its first installment came out when I was ten years old. And while my childhood may not have been devoted to this franchise as much as other animated franchises like “Shrek” or “Kung Fu Panda” or “Madagascar,” this was something I’d watch from time to time. Because it is a good movie. When it comes to the second installment, that is the one out of these three films that I remember the least. But I will point out that I have only seen that movie one time. Over these past couple of weeks, the same could be said for “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and I would not mind seeing it again. If you saw my last review, specifically for “Fighting With My Family,” I called it the first lovable movie experience of the year. I might as well have been exaggerating, because “The Hidden World” FLOORED me. And I think a tremendous amount of kudos goes to the brilliant screenplay and direction done by Dean DeBlois. As I was watching this film, I could tell that there was no interference from DreamWorks, everything flowed as it was meant to, there were no efforts to rely on silly gags to make kids happy and adults cringe. This felt like a perfect ending to a solid trilogy. In fact, given how much that I wanted to watch this movie after seeing it once in the theater, I think it might be my favorite installment in the “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise.
This movie focuses heavily on the endlessly developed relationships throughout the franchise. Hiccup and his dad. Hiccup and Toothless. Hiccup and Astrid. OK, let’s stop before I get the hiccups… Nevertheless, this movie’s entire progression focuses on the connection between all of its layered and lovable characters. You have Hiccup who is the charismatic young man who loves his dragon. You have Toothless who is loyal to Hiccup as a practical pet. You have Astrid who is actually a pretty admirable love interest for Hiccup as well. In fact, this movie plays a bit on that love story because there’s constant jokes about the couple getting married. Speaking of love…
It is constantly seen in the film’s marketing that Toothless meets another dragon of his kind and the two manage to fall in love. This actually manages to deliver a couple of the film’s highlights. Aside from the relationship itself, there is a scene that shows Toothless trying to impress this dragon by writing in the sand and dancing, which is more like frolicking from my point of view. Regardless of what it was, I thought it was very heartfelt, and the opposite of cringeworthy. Although part of me imagines it is because I have grown up with this franchise. The first film released when I was ten, the second released when I was fourteen, and now we are here with the third releasing when I am nineteen. And I’ll be perfectly honest, this movie came out at the absolute perfect time for me.
For those of you who know me, there are no conspiracy theories behind the fact that I am currently in my first year of college. I still live at home, but I am out of the house for an extended periods of time. There is a moment of the movie that defines the meaning behind this entire movie, which is shown towards the end. Now let me tell you about my history at the movies. I have seen several films at the theater. I have been a movie-goer since 2006. I will go to see certain films multiple times. But when was the last time I ended up crying during a movie? There’s not one I can easily remember… But damn you, Dragon move. You had me in mantears. When your movie can get a grown man who likes big action, obnoxious rock music, and buffalo chicken that gives you the sweet taste of victory to release tears in a public auditorium. You have done your job. That is just a part of the absolutely phenomenal ending to cap off this trilogy. Let me just say something. “Toy Story 3” made me feel certain emotions towards the end. I was actually crying when I saw this. And the thing that made me really glad about this ending is that the crew behind this film was not lying, they actually set out to make a trilogy capper. I enjoy the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies, but it is made by a group of people catering to a certain market: Kids. As much as some kids would probably want to see another “How to Train Your Dragon” movie, I don’t see a purpose for another one. The crew behind this movie set out to conclude a story that has sort of defined a generation. It has also defined a decade for animation. Think about it, what other animated movie franchises got trilogies this decade? Well there’s “Cars,” which some would argue doesn’t even deserve to exist (haven’t seen the third one so I can’t say much about the trilogy as a a whole). “Despicable Me,” which a lot of people like, but I personally think minions are annoying. “Toy Story” got a trilogy, but that is soon becoming a quadrilogy so that ship has sailed. Plus, “Toy Story 3” came out very early in the decade so it is almost even questionable if that movie is relevant enough to make the trilogy define said decade. The only real debatable solid animated trilogy I can come up with is probably “Kung Fu Panda.” The first movie came out in 2008, it was fun. 2011 gave us the first sequel, a lot of people enjoyed that. And the same can be said for “Kung Fu Panda 3” in 2016. I admittedly have to give the one up to “Kung Fu Panda” over “How to Train Your Dragon,” but both franchises have created visionary works of art that are likely to stand the test of time.
My only real problems with the movie might be the cliche villain who just wanted to do villain things and one other notion that some people may agree upon.
SPOILER ALERT: “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World DOES NOT show you how to train your f*cking dragon. Hypocrites.
In the end, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is f*cking satisfying. It is a film that shows the inconsistency of connection between a parent and child as they age. It shows what people will do for friends, family, and loved ones. And that animation… Quite beautiful if you ask me! Also, THAT F*CKING ENDING. I have seen a lot of great endings this decade. “Interstellar,” “Rogue One,” “Colossal,” “Blade Runner 2049,” “Inception,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Grand Piano,” “Toy Story 3” as I recently mentioned. This movie’s ending is an a guaranteed position to compete with these endings for best ending of the 2010s cause holy crap! I will say, if you watched “How to Train Your Dragon” as a kid and are starting to think you are getting too old for animation, give this movie a chance, it is absolutely worth it. If you are an adult who wants a babysitter to take the kids to see this movie that way you can have a night out, I wouldn’t say no, but don’t shy away from this film entirely. It will make you feel something, I guarantee it. And I am definitely feeling something right now, because I am going to give “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” a 10/10! This is the first 10/10 of the year, and damn this movie deserves it! To me, this is the perfect way to describe what it is like to lose someone you love. It is an absolute A+. Thanks for reading this review! Guess what guys? The latest controversy in the comic book movie world has arrived! For those of you who don’t understand, here’s Layman’s terms. “Captain Marvel” is out in theaters! No, not “Shazam,” the other one. Can’t wait for “Shazam” by the way. I will actually be away in California because it is Spring Break so I’m not sure exactly how my schedule will pan out. However should I get a chance to watch the film in the state, I will most certainly take it. There are certain movies that I define as “work” for Scene Before, and blockbuster comic book movies are part of said category. I just gotta do what I gotta do. Be sure to follow Scene Before either with a WordPress account or email so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World?” What did you think about it? Or, what is your favorite “How to Train Your Dragon” movie? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!