(This is How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World film review, which is a 2019 animated film and is the last installment of the trilogy based on the How to Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell)
It’s been 9 years since the beginning of the friendship of Hiccup and Toothless. Yes, you read that right, the first film was released 9 years ago! Back then, the two titular characters are still young and full of dreams and naivety. Now, they are faced with newer stronger nemesis and also something else much more than they expected. With the same talented cast such as Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera and directed by Dean DeBlois, together with the excellent animation team from DreamWorks Animation, could this be the epic finale that this trilogy, created originally by Cressida Cowell, is so deserved? Read on the How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World film review to find out!
As Hiccup and his friends and their dragons continue to rescue more captured dragons and bringing back to their hometown, they soon discover that their home is not getting too big and is under threat by evil forces. In order to find a utopia where dragons and humans can coexist, Hiccup strives to find the Hidden World where dragons could live peacefully away from the encroachment of humans. However, a new nemesis plans to kill Toothless and Hiccup has to find ways to get everyone to escape before it’s too late. However, when Toothless finds a female mate, he has to choose between staying with Hiccup or leaves with her. What would be its choice and could everyone survive the onslaught of attacks from the enemies?
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Film Review
The premise is based on the book, and though I have not read any of them, judging from the film alone the premise is somewhat predictable. Granted, this is a children’s book series and is not meant to be complicated, dark or full of twists. And I actually like the way the story flows and in the depiction of character growth that started right from the first film. The premise knows it is the finale and acts like it, with the perspectives shown from both the humans and the dragons, to show the deep bonds between them. Man, I almost got in tear near the ending, when I realise that all good things come to an end. This film delivers it!
Pacing wise, it’s not bad, though the middle portion can be slow and slightly draggy to implement quieter emotional moments between Hiccup and Toothless. I think they are necessary and does help in letting us see how far they have grown in the past 9 years, as it is for us fans who grow up with it. That said, when it’s being dragged, it can feel just a touch boring.
The characters are the saving grace and the main stars in this film. It’s actually never about the plot but the growth of these characters that make us love this film series so much. I still remembered the first film when everything began where dragons and humans are enemies, and then in the second film where they become friends and best buddies. Finally, this film shows that sometimes we have to split ways for the better good, and the moments between Hiccup and Toothless through these transformations is so…touching and relatable. One memorable moment is when Hiccup chooses to sacrifice himself for Toothless. It is not shown in a dramatic way, yet his expression and decision at that time almost make me let down a tear. It’s the strength of the bond that is seen and felt, and that moment is very powerful indeed. Other characters also receive some screen time though not as much, and the comedic moments between them are still funny as well.
Lastly, the soundtrack is just as good as before and it makes everything feels memorable: the fights, the wars, the love, and the split. At the end, when it plays the soundtrack that so fits the atmosphere, and when the credit rolls, it shows scenes from past films as if to tell us: It’s been a great journey, and all good things come to an end, but we will never forget them!