After doing Road To Disney, I wanted to do a similar series on one of their big competitors, DreamWorks Animation. Only problem was that I haven’t seen every DreamWorks film out there and I had other things to do. I still want to do that series, but it won’t be anytime soon. So let’s talk about DreamWorks’ best film series. In 2010, they released How To Train Your Dragon, which was based on a series of books. The movie was beloved by everyone and it spawned a franchise. Four years later, How To Train Your Dragon 2 was released and it was a really good sequel. Five years after that, we have the third film, which concludes the entire story and is the subject to today’s review. This is How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
Hiccup and his friends have been going around rescuing dragons from trappers when they come to realize that the island that they use as a safe haven for them has become overcrowded, so Hiccup decides to look for the Hidden World, a place where dragons can live in peace without human interference. Along the way, they come across another Night Fury, more specifically a Light Fury, who sparks a slow, building bond with Toothless. I’m amazed at the story that DreamWorks has been telling with this series for over a decade and how far it progressed. This goes to show that the studio are capable of doing epic, mature stories that aren’t rooted in adult humor and pop culture references. I mean, this is the studio behind Prince Of Egypt, which is an amazing film that you should check out if you haven’t.
Even more fascinating than the story itself is the characters, mainly our lead. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has gone from the dorky son of a Viking chief to becoming the chief himself. He’s burden with the responsibility of looking after his entire clan AND protecting the dragons. Helping him out is his fiance Astrid (America Ferrera), his mother Valka (Cate Blanchett), Globber the Belch (Craig Ferguson), and others. Toothless is still his adorable self and he finds a romantic interest in a Light Fury, which is basically a white, female version of him. The scene where the two court with each other is cute and I liked every scene with those two. There’s also a villain, a dragon hunter named Grimmel the Grisley (F. Murry Abraham). He nearly wiped out all of the Night Furies and he aims to finish off Toothless and he was kinda boring to me. That’s exactly how I felt about the villain of the second film. These movies don’t need a villain. I guess they added him because they needed a threat for our heroes to go up against.
This is one gorgeous movie to look at. DreamWorks put in a lot of effort into the animation, which is top-notch. This might be some of DreamWorks’ best animation to date. The attention to detail is something worth noting, especially with the unique look of the dragons. None of them look like a copy-pasted version of the other. Every flying scene is spectacular and is worth watching on the big screen. The action is also pretty good, thought I was underwhelmed by the final battle. It’s not bad, but when compared to the final battles of the previous films, it doesn’t match up. At the end of the film, Hiccup makes the decision to let the dragons go off to the Hidden World, including Toothless. Years later, Hiccup, along with Astrid and their kids, head off to see Toothless and the dragons and it’s a beautiful way to end the film AND the entire series.
I give How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World a strong 8/10. Beautiful animation, great characters, cool action scenes, some funny moments, and touching character moments. I’d compare it to Return Of The Jedi where it’s not as great as the previous two movies, but it’s a really good conclusion to the story being told. Hopefully, DreamWorks ends it right there and don’t try to make anymore sequels because there’s no need for it to continue. Don’t pull a Toy Story 4 it is what I’m trying to say. I want DreamWorks to make another movie with the same epicness as How To Train Your Dragon and Kung-Fu Panda.