REVIEW: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World [2019]

pexer99pexer99 PEx Admin
edited March 11 in Movie Reviews
The Hidden World soars visually and emotionally.


PEx Reviewer : pabzicles
PEx Rating: 9/10
Photo Credit: UIP Philippines

The long awaited sequel is finally here! Too bad that it is a finale because I believe there are greater stories to tell and we aren’t fully trained to let them go but there are things that come to a bittersweet end. How to Train Your Dragon as an action fantasy animation is also a coming of age story at its core. We follow the journey of the unlikely friendship between Hiccup and Toothless that to some, like me, the franchise has grown to us and we waited too long for another swoop to its utopian world. And now, I am very happy to announce that How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is definitely worth the wait.



Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), now the ruler and chief of Berk alongside Astrid (America Ferrera) fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon and Viking utopia until it is disturbed by hired hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham). With knowledge of the mythical Hidden World, Hiccup rallies his people and their dragons to leave Berk and fight their way in search of this world to establish a lasting utopia.

At its first installment, Vikings long believed that dragons are dangerous creatures that must be killed but that notion was changed by the small and weak Hiccup when he met Toothless. It then conceives a dream of his, high as the clouds that dragons and humans can lived harmoniously which was proven by its predecessors. But Hidden World is a converse of that narrative, this time Hiccup must face the truth with a heavy heart that dragons are not safe with the hands of human. After their partially successful rescue of dragons at the beginning of the film, Valka (Cate Blanchett), mother of Hiccup told them that they must work on their strength as a team rather on their too much reliance on their dragons. From this point on, we will sense that its writer and director Dean Deblois will on work every reason how he will take away the dragons from Hiccup.



Toothless then discovers Light Fury, his female counterpart and her appearance is coincidental with the introduction of the antagonist, Grimmel. These two characters are the ultimate reasons how the separation will unfold. Toothless fell in love at first sight with Light Fury the day they met in the woods. And the love story of two dragons eats most part of its running time but for good reasons thus it allows them to give an admirable character development to Hiccup’s best friend.

On the other hand, Grimmel is rather a monotonous one even though his grimace face and grey hair looks villainy enough. His passion for killing every Night Fury and controlling dragons seems to be a tint display of his father Stoick view before. Regardless, Abraham does best by lending his voice and if not by his character’s existence Hiccup's realization won’t happen.



In every sequel of the franchise, the map drawn by our protagonist always expands so does the film that never failed to let us swoop, soar and pivots to the most beautiful sceneries and landscapes there are in the utopia. The atmospheric conditions that serve as backdrop on courting between Night and Light Fury are really captivating. But all is due to Deakin’s visual touches who is fresh from his long hoped win of Best Cinematography from the Oscars. Combine that with photo realistic and vivid animation from ever evolving DreamWorks’s animation and visual effects departments that never cease to amaze us. The visual achievement alone is worth every peso.

The discovery of Hiccup and Astrid of Hidden World is the last reason why Hiccup’s dream won’t be possible for the world is rather designed for dragons alone. Seeing his friend finally having the love of his life and sense of belonging and taking that would be selfish of him. I love how the animation transitions to its affecting and emotional third act that displays Hiccup sacrifice for Toothless after facing Grimmel helped even more by John Powell solemn score. The central themes of Hidden World is all about love and belonging, it is unexpected that it emphasizes how love works and encourages us to do the greatest act of it, the act of letting go. That is what Hiccup did at the end and so must we even though we love this franchise so much.



Essentially, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World soars past from its predecessors visually and emotionally. A bittersweet and heart-breaking end to our beloved franchise. It teaches us how to love and do the greatest act of love – letting go.

Written and Directed by: Dean DeBlois; Based on the Books by: Cressida Cowell;
Starring Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Justin Rupple, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kit Harington, F. Murray Abraham; 
Running Time: 1 hour and 44 minutes; MTRCB Rating: PG.

#HowToTrainYourDragon : The Hidden World opens in Cinemas FEB. 20!

Check out the official discussion thread here: #HTTYD3
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Comments

  • forgforg Administrator PEx Moderator
    I saw this last night and I must say the villain's motivations were so weak and his presence didn't feel that much of a threat really compared to Drago of the second movie. The villain's arc felt more like a filler than the main driving plot point.

    I wish they explored more of the Hidden World rather than it being just the destination of the dragons. I felt like we only just had a glimpse of it but we never really knew about it. Or maybe it was intended to be that way, a mystery for the humans. Anyway, the animation for that is a visual treat! 

    I admit I got a little emotional towards the end when they were saying their goodbyes. Toothless and Hiccup's friendship is truly the movie's biggest asset. 
  • pabziclespabzicles Member ✭✭
    edited February 21
    forg said:
    I saw this last night and I must say the villain's motivations were so weak and his presence didn't feel that much of a threat really compared to Drago of the second movie. The villain's arc felt more like a filler than the main driving plot point.

    I wish they explored more of the Hidden World rather than it being just the destination of the dragons. I felt like we only just had a glimpse of it but we never really knew about it. Or maybe it was intended to be that way, a mystery for the humans. Anyway, the animation for that is a visual treat! 

    I admit I got a little emotional towards the end when they were saying their goodbyes. Toothless and Hiccup's friendship is truly the movie's biggest asset. 

     I couldn't agree more. Grimmel as one note villain is the weakest villain the trilogy ever had. 
  • RicoSato76RicoSato76 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 15
    This is a good way to end this saga. Though a little predictable, it's too cute not to be adored. I like the final scene as and the parting of ways as well. Made my GF cry (I actually almost did also). Few negative comments, the character development of the villain was not good. The motive of whatever he was doing was not presented in a way wherein the viewers will get invested and kind of feel where he was coming from. He kinda died easily also. I think it is because they needed to cut some time just because most of the screen time was given to the love affair of toothless and the white one. 

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