How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World perfectly concludes an incredible animated trilogy

Brendan Sheardy, Staff Writer

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  How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the final chapter in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. This film continues the adventures of Hiccup and Toothless, as they venture out to find “the hidden world,” an unknown land where dragons find refuge, while also searching for a new home for Berk when a new villain threatens to attack them. This film is once again directed by Dean DeBlois and features the voices of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, and F. Murray Abraham.

  Personally, I am a huge fan of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. I can still remember going to the theater four times when How to Train Your Dragon 2, and when this film was supposed to release in 2016, so I think it’s safe to say that I have been waiting for this film for a long, long time. I tried my best to keep my expectations and hype down as much as I can, but when I got to the theater for an advance screening, I couldn’t contain myself.

  I am very happy to say that this film more than lives up to the hype. I fell in love with this film within the first few seconds. The opening scene reunites the audience with their favorite characters and dragons together once again in a thrilling rescue scene. This is such a perfect scene to introduce the audience back with these characters, and it shows how much they’ve developed together as a team.

  The relationship between Toothless and Hiccup is as charming and touching as ever. Both characters had to face tough challenges both personally and as a team, as Hiccup is struggling to find his place as chief of Berk, and Toothless finding his calling when he finds a female night fury. The journey for both characters in this film gave them a lot more development which made the audience and I connect more with them and feel more involved with them.

  Hiccup had grown so much as a character from the first film to the end of this one, and his arc in this film is a perfect continuation and ending to his character’s story. The themes of leadership and peace in this film are all told through Hiccup and his journey of becoming what he believes to be a great chief. It was a beautiful story and made this film much more emotionally resonate than most animated films.

  The voice acting is as great as it’s been throughout the whole series. Jay Baruchel brings a lot of emotional depth to Hiccup as a character, and I loved Gerard Butler’s small role with the flashbacks to Stoick. The supporting cast does a great job, mostly with the comedy.

  It’s almost second nature to say an animated film in 2019 has beautiful animation, but this film does. It’s very detailed and colorful, but what made it stand out is the way it uses lighting to set the tone and create beautiful imagery. Dean DeBlois’s beautiful and rich shot composition also makes for a visual feast for the eyes. His direction of the action sequences are excited and visceral and had me on the edge of my seat.

  The action was also much more interesting due to its thematic importance; it’s not just action for the sake of action, the action and battle sequences actually have importance to the story and the characters are aren’t inserted randomly to be mindless entertainment for the children watching, which is an issue I’ve had with many children’s films such as Trolls and The Grinch.

  This is also a very funny film. The comic relief characters such as Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Snoutlout all have plenty of hilarious lines and provide some much needed humor in between the serious scenes. There is also a lot of great physical humor as well with the dragons. The funniest scene in the film was definitely the scene where Toothless attempts to woo the female night fury on a beach. It was completely void of dialogue and relied entirely on physical humor, but it was well written and wasn’t generic slapstick humor.

  The villain of the film, Grimmel, could have brought the entire film down, since as a character there isn’t much that was special or memorable about him, but he was saved by a fantastic voice performance by F. Murray Abraham. He gave Grimmel some much needed character and it really elevated him as a villain.

  This is the first animated trilogy that has had a perfect entry each time. How to Train Your Dragon was an excellent origin story and a perfect introduction to the world of Berk and dragons. How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a great continuation of the story and expanded the world of dragons and further developed the main characters. The Hidden World is a perfect finale that finished the character’s arcs and takes the story full circle with a satisfying and emotional ending. I honestly cannot choose which entry is the best. I guess if I was forced, I would choose the second film, but each is a perfect entry in a perfect trilogy. This is my all time favorite animated trilogies, and one of my all time favorite trilogies period. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is more than worth seeing and I encourage you watch all of the films in the series if you haven’t yet.

  Rating: 10/10

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World perfectly concludes an incredible animated trilogy