‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ is Worth the Five-Year Wait

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Published February 6, 2019
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The Montclarion
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" releases in theaters on Feb. 22. Photo courtesy of Dreamworks Animation

After five years, audiences are finally able to see the highly anticipated conclusion to the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy. Since the first two films were well received by critics and audience members, this film had a lot to live up to.

I had the privilege of seeing an early screening this past Saturday, and I can confidently say that “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is a satisfying conclusion to one of the best animated trilogies ever.

In this film, we follow the character Hiccup, who is now the leader of his tribe. His daily routines consist of trying to maintain the peace between everyone and the dragons, as well as going on rescue missions and fighting enemies who threaten that peace.

Things start to take a turn for the worst when a hired tyrant named Grimmel wants to kill every dragon possible. This causes Hiccup and his tribe to go on a quest to search for the hidden world, which is a utopia for dragons. From then on, the adventure ensues.

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” was undoubtedly my most anticipated animated film of the year. As someone who loved the first two films, I wanted to see where the story would go and how it would wrap up.

I left the theater not disappointed because it had so much going for it: Stellar animation, a lot of heart, great characters, humor that mostly works and a lot of emotional beats that hit hard. However, this film is the weakest in the trilogy, but that is saying a lot considering how great the first two films are.

As I stated before, the animation is absolutely mind-blowing. If one were to watch the first two films today, the animation for those movies would hold up very well. In this film, the animation is nothing short of top notch.

I can imagine that a 3D or IMAX screening would amaze any viewer. However, even in a regular screening, it’s beautiful to look at. The film opens up with an exciting action scene that sets the tone of a fun animated film that people of all ages could enjoy. Additionally, it has a very consistent pace that never drags nor does it get boring. It’s entertaining throughout.

The characters in the film are also very likable and easy to relate to. It’s amazing to see how much Hiccup has grown from the first film up until this conclusion. The character has matured and has gone through a lot of obstacles, which makes his character that much more powerful than most of the other protagonists in animated films.

Most of the characters in the film provide comic relief and have arcs that are continued from the previous two films. There are admittedly some characters I wanted to see more of, such as Hiccup’s mother, who was a very important character in the second one but is unfortunately not given much to do in this film.

The weakest aspect of the film was the villain. This is disappointing to report since the villain from the second movie was not only intimidating but memorable. This villain was unfortunately disposable and had a very weak motivation.

While most of the humor landed, not all of it did. There is a running joke between one of the characters and Hiccup’s mother that seemed to get repetitive after a while. Other than that, there really is no other issue with the film’s humor.

If you have never seen a “How to Train Your Dragon” film, then I highly implore you do so. Not only are they great animated films, but they are just great films in general. This conclusion to the trilogy comes out on Feb. 22, and I highly recommend seeing it, especially if you have been a fan of the franchise thus far.

 

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