MOVIE REVIEW: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Makayla Archambeault, Staff Writer

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*This review contains major spoilers for How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2.

On Feb. 22, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the final installment of the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, made its way into theaters. From Dean DeBlois, the director of Lilo and Stitch as well as the previous How to Train Your Dragon movies, came a film that sparked bittersweet nostalgia for many viewers who had gone to see the first movie upon its release in 2010.

The first movie centered around the conflict of the Vikings and the dragons living at that time, as Hiccup Haddock (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon, Toothless, made unlikely friends. This ultimately resulted in an alliance between the Vikings and the dragons, but not after some setbacks, such as Hiccup’s father, Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler), not exactly agreeing with his son’s lifestyle choices. This conflict carried over into the second movie where Hiccup, with the help of his mother, Valka (Cate Blanchett), who was previously thought to be deceased, fought for the dragons in a war that they ended up winning but suffered heavy losses, including Stoick.

The Hidden World takes place one year after How to Train Your Dragon 2 and wastes no time throwing the audience into the world of dragons, which have now been fully integrated into the Vikings’ lifestyle on their island, Berk. The integration of the dragons is a stark contrast to the first movie, therefore giving it an entirely different plot and atmosphere.

The voice cast of the film delivered with just as much enthusiasm as the first installment, which can be a difficult task, especially after two movies, four short films and a TV series. America Ferrera (Astrid Hofferson), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs Ingerman), Jonah Hill (Snotlout Jorgenson), T. J. Miller (Tuffnut Thorston), and Kristen Wiig (Ruffnut Thorston) are all movie and season regulars, as they have appeared in every installment of the How to Train Your Dragon universe along with Baruchel.

The songs chosen for the soundtrack fit in with the movie’s atmosphere seamlessly. This includes “Together From Afar” by Jónsi, “Learning to Fly” by Hills x Hill, and “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran.

The movie’s score was also able to convey its own new sound while also weaving in some tunes from scores in earlier installments of the series. This was especially significant in allowing the audience to feel the nostalgia from nine years prior, as well as convey that the movie was its own.

The How to Train Your Dragon trilogy has a habit of integrating heavier topics into their films that tend to go deeper than the surface of a world of dragons. This aspect makes the movies enjoyable for the younger as well as older audiences.

Throughout the trilogy, the theme of trust was greatly displayed and usually ended up being what turned the tide for the protagonists in the end. This theme is no different in The Hidden World, as from the lighthearted beginning of the movie to the tear-jerking end, it was clear that the events could not have played out without the trust established between relationships in the movie.

Overall, the film was enjoyable to watch and allowed older audience members remember their childhood for two hours, but was also just as enjoyable for younger kids to see a fantasy/action film that isn’t your typical children’s film. The bittersweet ending of the movie certainly may leave some audiences in tears but overall, it’s a satisfying end to the trilogy.