With How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World One of the most successful series in the history of modern animated films comes to an end. In our review we reveal why this is an almost ideal cinema adventure for the whole family.
The Plot Summary
Hicks is the new Viking chief of Berk after the death of his father. Always at his side are the nightshade dragon Toothless and Hiccup’s clever, tomboyish friend, the young warrior Astrid. With a lot of enthusiasm, the tribe frees many of Toothless’s peers from captivity by unscrupulous dragon hunters and takes them in. But there are already so many that the village is slowly becoming too small. Meanwhile, Hiccup’s opponents plan to get rid of him by sending the infamous dragon slayer Grimmel after him and Toothless. After an initial, almost fatal encounter, Hiccup decides that the Vikings should leave Berk and set off with their fire-breathing friends towards a legendary new world where they can all live in peace. But Grimmel is already one step further. He has found a young, female Dayshadow who will be irresistible to Toothless…
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Movie explanation of the ending
It’s not just the human main character, the Viking offspring Hiccup, who is slowly growing up. Which is about time. Because a year after the turbulent events of “How to Train Your Dragon 2”, Hicks now has significantly more responsibility. Of course, there are still plenty of reasons to laugh – on and in front of the screen. Overall, however, the third and final part of the trilogy is much more serious than its two predecessors. This is not only reflected in the story, which is no longer primarily about the boy and his flying dragon growing up. Meanwhile, the themes are romantic love, but primarily an existential struggle for the survival of the entire village, including the associated losses of home and even loved ones. And the third part also takes another big step forward visually.
Hiccup and Toothless must once again protect the world of dragons.
The captivating opening scene shows Hiccup and his strange group of other young Vikings freeing mythical creatures locked in cages by evil dragon catchers. A much darker atmosphere is noticeable here. In addition, the quality of the camera work represents a quantum leap compared to part two and even more so to part one. There is no doubt that they are still nice to look at today. However, the look, which was quite suitable for children’s and young adult films, was often extremely simple and sometimes very playful. The camera either held straight on or did wild capers, for example when Toothless, who was still very clumsy at the time, made his first attempts to fly in the air. For example, now that he has grown up and become an experienced flyer, the images above the ground seem much calmer, suitably epic and even majestic. Dialogue scenes are also no longer visually as simple. Perspectives are shifting. The viewer gets a much better impression of the environment in which these conversations take place than was previously the case – and all in magnificent 3D footage. This development, both gratifying and necessary, is Dean DeBlois (“Lilo & Stitch”), the mastermind behind the hugely successful series. The Canadian, who had already written, produced and directed the first and second films, obviously takes his audience seriously.
He knows that not only his characters, but also the kids who saw the previous films in the cinema have become older and more mature. In order to take this into account and not to underwhelm the regular viewers, he once again hired probably the best live-action cameraman of the moment as a consultant. Roger Deakins can compose canvas pictures like no one else at the moment. The Brit was nominated for an Oscar a total of fourteen times over the course of his sensational career – including for “The Condemned”, “Fargo”, “No Country For Old Men” and “Sicario”. In 2018, he finally received the long overdue gold statue for his work on Blade Runner 2049. DeBlois didn’t want another one “typical cartoon” but one that has the emotional range and visual impact of a great drama, a gripping adventure epic. That was absolutely successful. Fans of the camera genius will undoubtedly recognize Deakins and his style. And yet “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is not without small errors. There are some overly long scenes in which you want to shout out to the characters and therefore to the filmmakers: “Yeah, we got it. Keep up the story!”
Toothless falls in love…
The moment when Toothless, who is head over heels in love, behaves very clumsily during courtship is one such moment. His clumsiness is, of course, endearing and entertaining for a minute; but not for what feels like five. Especially since a second, similar episode of this kind follows a little later. In the overall picture, however, these small lengths are never really annoying. In this respect, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is actually close to being the perfect family film. Because despite the more serious topics, it is undoubtedly still ideal for children. The plot is easy to understand and invites you to get excited. There are lots of funny and cute sequences to discover, as well as lots of wonderful little details in the foreground and background. But DeBlois also knows how to captivate and emotionally involve filmgoers beyond their very young ages. Parents, grandparents and even the little ones’ older siblings, who may feel too old and too cool for animated films, will be amazed by the visual complexity of the Viking world. The end of the plot and thus the entire series is not only touching but also brings everything together harmoniously. It remains to be seen whether and how things can continue with this world that has grown dear to millions of people around the world over the years. However, if Hiccup and Toothless finally come to an end at this point, this would be an absolutely worthy finale.
Conclusion: The creators of the immensely popular animated adventure series have always respected and taken their viewers seriously – no matter what age they are and were. In none of the three parts is this more evident than in this visually stunning – and in terms of plot – emotional and absolutely satisfying finale.
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from February 7th – also in fantastic 3D!