How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World— Repeat or Retweet?


Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation.

Sydnie Ager, Reporter

From director Dean DeBlois, the third “How to Train Your Dragon” movie was released in theaters on Feb. 22 this year as the most recent film in the storyline. Young chief Hiccup faces a new problem on his home island of Berk, now a flourishing dragon sanctuary. Although Berkians have converted to the belief that dragons can coexist peacefully with humans, others in the Viking world have not. A new menace by the name of Grimmel has reemerged from the shadows with aspirations to rule over all of the dragons and finish his mission to kill all of the world’s Night Furies. Hiccup’s new challenge: save the dragons from Grimmel’s plan— even if that means losing Berk’s new best friends permanently.

DeBlois’s team created one of the most visually appealing films of the year. With new designs for dragons and the introduction of a whole new world of vibrant colors, it kept my eyes glued to the screen. The hidden world that Hiccup and his girlfriend Astrid discover, where all dragons originate, is the pinnacle of the movie’s visual effects. Fluorescent orange, yellow, pink, greens and blues flood the screen, lighting up new crystal-lined scenery and new dragons alike.

The director was able to weave in new smaller stories involving old characters, which evolved into keep parts of the overall storyline. During his time as chief, Hiccup’s father Stoic aspired to find the hidden world, the realm from which all dragons came from, by mapping out the known part of the world in a patchwork map. When Grimmel’s threat becomes reality to Hiccup, he follows in his father’s footsteps in the hopes of finding this hidden world, and saving the dragons by sending them home.

Whilehe movie’s ending didn’t leave the audience dangling on a cliffhanger, it still left a warm feeling in the chest by reuniting Hiccup and Toothless’s families at the edge of where their new worlds meet. This reunion simultaneously gave the movie a fairytale ending, while leaving an opening wide enough to continue the story in the future.

The only major flaw with the movie was the villain; Grimmel’s motives were incredibly similar to that of the villain in the second movie, Drago Bludvist: to control all of the dragons. Though Grimmel was given a personal desire to exterminate the entire race of Night Furies, his grabs for power over the rest of the dragons easily mirrored Bludvist’s goal. Grimmel’s desire to kill Hiccup’s Night Fury, Toothless, who is coincidentally the last of his kind, balances the dragon control craze so the connection to Bludvist isn’t as similar. This coupled with the other aspect of adventure to find the hidden world of dragons aids in hiding the obvious villain connection to viewers.  

Despite the semi-repetitive trial for the main characters, the movie overall was one of the best I have seen in a while. The fantasy and imagery swept me out of my seat into the Viking realm for the best 104 minutes of my day.