How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Movie Review
Sometimes sequels take a long time before being released. That time is usually used to perfect the script or improve the animation or even because of the cast's scheduling conflicts. It took five years for the new How to Train Your Dragon to be released and, wow, it was worth the wait.
The film opens with Hiccup and his trusty dragon Toothless leading a raid on a bunch of ships hauling captured dragons. Hiccup has made it his life goal to save as many dragons as possible and bring them back to his homeland, which has been turned into a dragon utopia of sorts. But when Grimmel, a notorious dragon-hunter discovers Hiccup has the last of the Nightfury dragons, he wages all out war on the Vikings with only one goal in mind - slay the dragons once and for all. With Grimmel just one step behind them, Hiccup and the Vikings must find the mythical Hidden World in order for the dragons to have sanctuary free from humanity.
Where do I even begin? There's so much about this film worthy of praise that it's difficult to find a starting point. I suppose the best way to proceed is by complimenting the story. No film is a film without a story, right? (Looking at you, War on Everyone). Writer/director Dean DeBlois has quite the vision. Sure, the movies are based on the book series by Cressinda Cowell, but the movies are very different. Dean does manage to keep the morality and themes present in the movies that made the books so wonderful, but he also stretches the material and forms it into one hit after another. Sadly, this is the final Dragon film and that's made very clear in the end.
The thing that made this series so great was how relatable Hiccup was. Okay, yes, and the dragons too. But watching an awkward kid grow into a king who has to shoulder more and more responsibility is a great lesson for life. As you get older, you do carry more responsibility. While not all of us have a kingdom to protect, we do have people that look up to us, that need our guidance, especially parents. High praise once again to writer Dean DeBlois for incorporating that into these films so that even kids can understand.
The animation itself is also impressive. Every minute detail is perfected, right down to the way the wind blows hair or Toothless' facial expressions. There were times that your heart is moved just by the animation alone and I find that remarkable.
In conclusion, whether you've been a fan from the start or just need something to do, I encourage you to definitely go see this film. The beauty, the emotion, and the lessons are for the entire family and hit home in more ways than one. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper