‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,’ an appropriately artificial ending to the saga
For nearly a decade, DreamWorks Animation ruled the industry with what may arguably be their most acclaimed franchise, “How to Train Your Dragon.” Featuring stunning visuals, in-depth world-building
The film follows Hiccup who, now chief of his Viking village of Berk, must face a new challenge as the evil-doer who killed all the Night Furies has reared his ugly head to take down Toothless. At the same time, Toothless meets a female Night Fury who he begins to grow a fondness over, leaving Hiccup behind more often. Now Hiccup must figure out what the best decision is, whether it’s to stay and fight, move his beloved home to a
Like the previous installments, the film looks beautiful, to say the least. The time and craft put into developing this world on a visual level alone
The way it ends this trilogy feels spot on for the most part. At this point, it truly does feel like these films have embodied a larger, grand story that, by the end, feels complete. Each of the characters has more presence and receive their own time to shine and develop. In particular, the scenes focusing on Toothless and his mate are the best parts in the movie. The development of their relationship is well-paced and the moments between them are plain adorable. Each of these moments are executed using masterful visual storytelling, allowing the creativity of the animation and dragon behavior take over.
Despite ending this trilogy off very nicely, this entry is probably the weakest installment of the three. This is largely due to the plot ultimately lacking the sense of consequence that the first two had, which make some of the sequence of events harder to invest into. Serious questions, world-building moments and concepts do introduce themselves into the narrative, but they don’t feel explored enough to leave an impact.
The villain, as well, is very weak. Not only are his characteristics reminiscent of the villain from the second film, but his motivations are not fleshed out well enough to make him intriguing. It would have been better if the previous films had hinted or mentioned of this character, especially given his connection to the Night Furies. Alas, this is not the case, so his involvement felt largely out of left field and we don’t get enough time with him to make a connection.
The very ending, without giving much away, does do its job right, but still feels shaky in its execution. Trying to go with a “Toy Story 3”-
In the end, this is a mixed bag. There are elements of this film that were outstanding and help make it a nice way of capping off this series, but it takes some steps back in the process that ultimately make the film slightly disappointing. Regardless, it has been a fun ride through the skies of Berk — this won’t be a franchise we will be forgetting anytime soon.