How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Length: 104 minutes / 1.73 hours
I haven’t always been a fan of DreamWorks movies, but the How to Train Your Dragon series is, in my opinion, perhaps the best they’ve ever created. Of course, I’m probably a little biased because each entry in the series came at a time in my life where I was reaching a milestone. How to Train Your Dragon (2010) came out as I was settling into my life as an independent adult. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) followed me from dating into marriage. Now, the final chapter in the series, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) is on the cusp of my transition into parenthood.
Consequently, I had high expectations for the end of this trilogy. I wanted it to go out with a grand finale like Toy Story 3 (2010) did (before they even decided to make Toy Story 4 (2019), that is). Unfortunately, I did not find this to be the case. While the first movie set the stage with dragons being the enemies, the second movie evolved the conflict into a difference between slavery and collaboration. The Hidden World didn’t add anything that hadn’t already been explored in the first two films. Sure, it tied up a few loose ends, but they probably only needed a 30-minute extended cut of the second film to be resolved.
I found the main antagonist of The Hidden World (and his motivations) to be too similar to the villain in the second movie, and perhaps even more cartoonish in design than I was willing to accept. This is even to the point where this whole society of dragon hunters just seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Like, who were those other generals who interacted with the villain? Were they important? I have a feeling some of these things might have been explained in the TV show spinoffs, but I shouldn’t have to watch those to be able to understand the main series of movies.
A sufficient end to a series that could have used some more “meat” in its plot, I give How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 3.0 stars out of 5.