Sunday, February 24, 2019

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World - Movie Review

The Movie: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

The Director: Dean DeBlois

The Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harrington, Justin Rupple

The Story: When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn't the only Night Fury, he must seek "The Hidden World", a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.

The Review:
One thing that has remained true with this franchise is how Dreamworks keeps putting out frame after frame of absolutely beautiful animation and this third and final installment is no exception. If you are a fan of the previous films, you will definitely enjoy what the creative team has put together for a finale. And it is a real, true ending that doesn't even hint at the possibility of an extension to the story. For the most part. I only add that in because writers can always find a way to give us more but I really feel like this trilogy is complete.

The main topics that are dealt with in this film is Hiccup having to deal with his own insecurities and self perceived shortcoming, Toothless being introduced to the possibilities of true love and freedom, and the dangers of humanity taking advantage of and exploiting limited resources and environments like we always have. The writing team of Dean DeBlois and Cressida Cowell do a great job of exploring these topics while also touching the proper nostalgia buttons and of course hitting all the proper feelings and emotions you might expect. DeBlois then, as director, puts it all on screen in a way that is the type of enjoyable and fun experience we were given with the first two films.

Going back to the quality of the animation I have to tell you to please go see this in a movie theater and preferably one that has a really big screen because there is so much to see, so many lush environments, so many epic action sequences, and all of the gorgeous backdrops and skylines your eyes can handle. I did not see the movie in 3D although I'm sure it looks great, Dreamworks Animation always puts in a good effort.

The one thing I looked at as a negative with the movie is how all of the villain characters are given some sort of ethnic look to them, some subtle, some more overt. I feel like it's time we put that type of stereotyping to bed, especially when it comes to stories intended for young, impressionable minds.

The Verdict:
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a fun movie. It does what it sets out to do and wraps up one of the better trilogies we've seen in a while. I'll also say this again: Go see this movie in the theater on a big screen. You want all the bells and whistles for this one.

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