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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

The How to train your dragon trilogy is about the protagonist Hiccup earning, enjoying, and letting go of his heyday. In this final part, we see him come to terms with the fact that the ''good old days'' are over.

His ''good old days'' were in the second movie. Despite some superficial similarities, this movie is much calmer than the last one. The bombastic action and metal imagery are significantly reduced, this time focusing more on the community of Berk. Everything feels just as tangible as in the first movie: the heat and murmur of crowded halls, the weariness of long flights, and the irresistible sense of wonder brought about by the Light Fury. That aspect is back from the first movie with a vengeance, but is put in a wholly different context. It used to be a sign of change, and it still is, but this time, Hiccup doesn't want things to change. Yet he knows he can't avoid it forever. That's where the bittersweet mood of the movie sets in.

I have to point out, the scenes where Toothless flirts with the Light Fury are an absolute bliss. The amount of personality and charm they managed to inject into these quadrapedal beasts, relying on nothing but growls and body language, all while keeping in line with its semi-realistic art style, is unbelievable. Buster Keaton would be proud.
It also helps that it has John Powell's score to rely on. It does the talking for both the humans and the dragons, portraying panic, infatuation, nostalgia, and in the case of the Hidden World scene, something more complex. All three movies have great scores, but this one is just flawless. It's everything that fantasy music should sound like, and then some.

As for Hiccup and Grimmel's story... I'm a little split. It's definitely entertaining, and Grimmel is way more intimidating than Drago, but it lacks the personal touch of Toothless' story. It, a part of the second film, and all of the first one, feel like they were inspired by something from DeBlois' own life, but this feels more inspired by other Dreamworks and Disney movies.
One final complaint: the story flow problem from the second movie hasn't been fixed completely. There's definitely times where you can tell the writers took the easy way out, and the two stories of Hiccup vs Grimmel and Toothless & Light Fury feel too separate.
That'd definitely hurt it more as a standalone movie, but as a part of s trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden world is great. It gives you a satisfying conclusion to its character arcs, no sequel-baiting, no chickening out.