How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World review

 

My opinion right after watching the movie

So…….. I watched the movie when it initially came out, and……… I thought that it was fine. Several months later, I still….. think it’s fine, but very forgettable. While there was always some predictability in the prior films, there were many other standout moments that makes everything stand out. It’s clear that the main role of the movie was to separate Hiccup and Toothless, but everything else in-between kind of just drags. People just seem more useless, and everything else is just content….. Just going through the motions, but for what it is, the movie is good.

Production

Ever since “How to Train Your Dragon” was released, it was announced and planned for there to only be 3 films, and they executed it to perfection throughout the decade. Apparently Drago was supposed to return in the film, and there were plans for there to be a redemption arc for him, but Spielberg staed to DeBlois that it would take too much time that was not worth adding in the film, so it was scrapped. Apparently the voice of Tuffnut (T.J. Miller) was canned from the film due to sexual assault allegations, and being arrested for fake bomb threats.

Story

We start the film, and it’s made clear that it’s been a year since the events of the last film. The gang is continuously freeing/rescuing dragons from other areas, though we have a dragged out action scene that isn’t very funny. After returning to Berk, the sidekicks have a bunch of corny as hell jokes, and we come to learn that Berk has been overpopulated by the dragons, which is becoming hazardous as well.

Our villain of the film is named Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham), who is told that there is one more Night Fury in existence in Berk, and is going to have it happen by releasing a white Fury to lure him into the trap. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) remembers his father telling him about The Hidden World being a place where the dragons can live in peace, and the humans won’t have to fight with them anymore. Since everyone knows that the dragons are in Berk, others are doing their best to target the dragons, so the mission is on to move everyone to The Hidden World.

Hiccup and the crew meet the Fury slayer (who sat in his father Stoick’s chair), and I start to tune out of the film around here. He knows what the villain is now planning, and there are so many dark colour schemes, and the plot is kind of slow-moving. Berk realizes that Grimmel is smarter, the villains are better now, and they are more exposed, so Hiccup announces that they all need to leave.

Anyways, the crew decides to rest on an island (which the villainous crew easily predict), and there’s a bunch of weird dialogue going on. Snotlout (Jonah Hill) is trying to flirt with Hiccup’s mother Valka (Cate Blanchett), and the others are mad at Hiccup for this stupid Hidden World journey. As this goes on, the two furies start to fall in love in some sort of bootleg but cute Fantasia segment.

Toothles has his tail fixed, and I forgot to mention that there’s a subplot about Hiccup and Astrid (America Ferrera) being told that they should marry for the community’s sakes. Long story short, Toothless and the Light Fury are captured, the villains ended up finding where the crew is, Hiccup struggles with the fact that him and Toothless have different paths, so on and so forth. Hiccup is struggling as a leader, and feels like he is doing everything alone (as well as being nothing without Toothless). Anyways, they find The Hidden World, defeat Grimme’s group, the dragons say goodbye to their owners, and Hiccup marries Astrid. Some years later, there is a brief reunion between Hiccup and Toothless, who sees one another when Hiccup, Astird, and their children are on a boat, and Toothless flies with Light Fury and their children.

To be honest, I’m severely disappointed in this film. I LOVE the ending, and the epilogue of the film, and the plot for it is fine enough. My main issue is that the journey to get to the very obvious result is boring, poorly executed, and kind of monotonous. Seeing Hiccup’s development is nice, but there are so many filler characters and poor jokes that came around. Easily the weakest of the franchise, but DreamWorks tends to have third films that are always so much poorer in quality, with Madagascar being the slight exception (because the first film was so bad).

Characters

Honestly, I don’t have much to say about the characters in the film, and the only one who gets any real sense of development or interest is Hiccup. Of course they play more towards his insecurities about being a leader, feeling like he has to overcompensate, and is alone in it all. Seeing him come to terms with not always being correct, and letting go of Toothless was interesting to watch. None of the other characters were…….. much at all. Astrid was a generic love interest, Valka was a generic mother, Toothless fell in love, and the other supporting characters were more annoying than ever. This franchise has always had a hard time balancing their ensemble cast, but all of them seemed more useless than ever here.

Animation

What do I even need to say about the animation? It is still brilliant with the texturing, character designs, settings, motion scenes, texturing of water, so on and so forth. My only issue is that the color scheme is a bit too dark for way too long. Otherwise, it’s the classically great animation from DreamWorks.

Music

Nothing about the musical score stood out to me in the film, whether it was in a good or bad way. It did the job fine enough, and I did get emotional during the end. There really isn’t anything else to say about it, since it did the standard job, which is all you need sometimes.

Reception at Release

As of June 11th, 2019, it has made $161 million domestically, and $359 million throughout other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $519.6 million. Roughly the same amount as the others, and nothing unexpected (for the better or worse) took place.

It was another acclaimed film within the franchise, though it seems to be a bit less acclaimed than its predecessors. People found the film to be an entertaining family film, with good voice acting, animation, brilliant action sequences, and all that jazz. Some felt like there were too many subplots that kind of ruin the pacing, and the ending was kind of hollow.

Score

Story: 6.5/10

Characters: 6/10

Animation: 8/10

Music: 7/10

27.5/40 = 69%

2 thoughts on “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World review

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