Film Review

Review: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – GRADE: A

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

The third installment of How to Train Your Dragon is as entertaining and magical as the previous two. This is one of the most underrated children’s franchises and deserves more accolades than it has been given.

My fear for this film was that the mystique would have disappeared now that Hiccup, has grown into a leader and Toothless, the lead dragon, is the clear alpha of city of dragons.

But the film understands, not only how to expand a story and theme, but also how to conclude conclude them. I don’t know that Dreamworks is done with this world or concept but too often successful film franchises get watered down when companies see them as cash cows. They find a way to squeeze every last bit out of a concept and leave quality on the back burner. Dreamworks has been guilty of this with the Shrek franchise. But the studio gives their slightly less popular How to Train Your Dragon series a far better third film treatment.

Enough that I’ll miss these characters and this world of dragons. Enough to hope we get a spin off film that doesn’t rely on the story of Hiccup and Toothless.

Astrid is still the strongest personality on the screen. Hiccup is great too but Astrid is a strong woman figure that still gets inserted as a supporting role even though she seems much stronger in personality and leadership skills than her staring love interest Hiccup. It’s minor complaint but still a clear hole in the narrative.

Dreamworks hasn’t been the best studio as of late but this franchise has always delivered and is animated film that avoids the heart string pulling that Pixar films excel at and gives us legitimate action that you can comfortably watch with your child. That’s a big deal to me. Shrek is hilarious but there were adult jokes there that were inserted with an eye wink. Pixar is batting near 1.000 with their offerings over the last couple of decades but there is always a standard make adults cry plot development with everything they do.

How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World is just a fun animated action comedy that will help your children (and you) believe in yourself work hard and succeed. Also it has cool as dragons.

This movie has light romance, mixed with comedy, mixed with the aforementioned action, but no one element is overbearing. That balance gives this film a high level of rewatchability. And as a parent it’s nice when something is age appropriate but also not grating (I’m looking at you baby shark). This is the exact kind of movie that will inspire me to follow the book series with my child.

This film and its predecessors will be always be welcome on my television screen. And I hope Dreamworks isn’t done with the world of How to Train Your Dragon, even if they are finished with the Toothless and Hiccup story.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this review and am genuinely interested in what you thought of the film in your own context. You can find me on twitter: @chrissarda