I have loved the How to Train Your Dragon franchise since it hit theatres in 2010, but I never ventured into the numerous TV shows on Netflix and beyond. Should The Hidden World be the end of it all (which I personally doubt), it was a mighty powerful send-off.
We have grown up with Hiccup, Astrid, and Toothless so it will be hard to hold back the tears when they say goodbye. Filled with adventure and charm, The Hidden World bookends the movie franchise perfectly. In the beginning, you wonder what is to come of a boy who befriends a dragon, and this time around you are left to wonder at every turn, what a young man will do to protect his dragon.
Some will say the story is somewhat predictable with the big final showdown between Hiccup and Grimmel but with numerous mishaps in previous confrontations, you really don’t know what to expect at the end. Although every dirty trick in the book is deployed to slay the Alpha dragon once and for all, friendship and love are really the hardest bonds to break.
One of the best aspects that I loved was that Gerard Butler’s character, Stoick (Hiccup’s dad), was included in the story. We all know he passed away in the previous film, so it would have been hard to include him in this tale, but he is there in flashback form. That really made this story even better. Everyone who is important to the two main characters gets some screen time in one way or another.
The Hidden World is not perfect by any means. There was so much wasted dialogue between the minor characters like Snotlout, Fishlegs, Ruffnutt, Eret, and Tuffnutt, but they are in there for comedy relief and to keep the adults happy with their off colour humour. When the story sticks to Toothless’ new love, Hiccup’s new leadership role, and Astrid’s strength, this finale will be one of the top animated movies of 2019. 9/10