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

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019), PG, 1h 44 min - The third installment of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise has been out for a few weeks already and while I saw it myself a week or two back, I've been dragging my feet a bit in regards to getting my review together.  You see, my review for the original How to Train Your Dragon (2010) was the first post I ever made to this blog.  That just so happened to have been nine years ago this week (April 10th to be exact).  So I couldn't help but sandbag a little and make this a 9th Anniversary post of sorts.

The Hidden World continues to follow the life and adventures of the inhabitants of Berk, a viking settlement that has embraced dragons and given them a safe haven after having been feared and hunted for years.  Their outlook and appreciation for dragons has changed dramatically over the series of films.  If you have not seen the first two movies, I highly recommend that you do so before going into this film.  There have also been a couple of spin-off tv shows, but I haven't seen those.  I've been able to follow everything just fine having only seen the movies. 

I know that this is going to be very vague, but I really don't want to give away too much of this film's plot.  I really have loved these films and each one builds on what came before.  The character development and world building in this series has been really well done.  This installment sees Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Astrid (America Ferrera)  - with the help of their dragons Toothless and Stormfly - come into their own as the leaders of the village of Berk, having earned the trust of the rest of the village so much as to lead an unprecedented relocation of the settlement in an effort to move the inhabitants and the dragons 'off the map' and out of the cross-hairs of legendary dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham).

The continuity of the voice cast over the years - led by Baruchel and Ferrera - has been excellent.  Almost everyone reprised their roles: Cate Blanchett (Valka), Gerard Butler (Stoick), Craig Ferguson (Gobber), Jonah Hill (Snotlout), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Fishlegs), Kristen Wiig (Ruffnut), and Kit Harington (Eret).  As far as I can tell, Tuffnut was the one exception (now voiced by Justin Rupple, taking over for TJ Miller).       

As one would come to expect from this series, the animation and effects are great.  This is actually the only film in the trilogy that I didn't see in 3D.  I'm not a big fan of 3D in general, but the first two films implemented the effect wonderfully and I honestly wouldn't expect anything different this time around.  The 3D showtimes around here just didn't work out with my schedule.

I'm not positive, but I think this was supposed to be the final chapter in the How to Train Your Dragon story.  If it was, I feel that it provided good closure for the franchise.  It also piqued my interest in the tv spin-offs as I'm kind of interested in seeing what went on in between these films (now if I could only find the time to actually put a dent in my 'need to watch' list).  I really enjoyed The Hidden World and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, heart warming animated film (after you've seen the first two of course).

I'm honestly not sure where the last nine years have gone, it really does feel like I just saw the first film and made my first blog post not that long ago.  I may not see movies or post with the same regularity that I used to, but I'm happy to still be contributing to my little corner of the web after nine years.  Whether you are a long time follower or new, thanks so much for taking time out of your day to check in to see how this nerd feels about the things he enjoys!

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