Moving to a new place can feel like your own house got set on fire. Meeting someone who speaks another language can feel like you are talking to a wall. Deciding to shower in the morning instead of the evening can shift your entire sleep routine. Embracing change puts a toll on anyone, myself included. DreamWorks’ attentive conclusion to their popular trilogy presents these challenges and more in an approach that guarantees any child at heart watching How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will confront transformation greater as a result.
The screenplay to this otherwise watchable feature remains too safe by keeping the side characters to one-note comic devices, as was the problem with previous installments to the franchise. While Toothless learning how to court a white female dragon of his own species becomes a sweet scene without dialogue, the naïve bonding still may distance most others who would see this as too little-kiddish. Adults may enjoy the relatively huge clouds that progress into a powerful storm, yet the sudden splendor ultimately remains pretty hollow in its true meaning. Some older viewers may see it all as nothing but a weak tool for empty spectacle to prioritize its claims to help sincere problems. Not all kids would be totally into the experience either, as some could possibly find some of the dragons too scary, especially a couple of sabretooth venom-spitters who go on a rage in their own flames. Stuff like that could make children skip over the message.
Speaking of the message, a bland flashback copies The Lion King with an overused theme, “humans shouldn’t exercise authority over the environment,” with little added on to it that other family films have done better in the past. Its catalyst for delivering that theme centers around an unnecessary lazy old villain trope who kills Night Furies when the focus should have stayed on a true, healthy friendship. There’s the strong friendship between Hiccup and his dragon alright, but what about Fishlegs, Snotlout, Ruffnutt, Tuffnutt, and even Astrid? Nothing exploits the clear changes in each of the friends since their first appearances to display their growth… not even Fishlegs’ new braided moustache. It’s the same problem movies numbers one and two have: the gang is not fully invested to help Hiccup decide what’s best for Berk.
Now with the negative aspects out of the way, DreamWorks’ franchise still remains a wonderful investment. Considering our culture wants to build up borders, what a breath of fresh air that the big screen unites nationalities through something unanimously tangible. The Hidden World does so in a way that must be seen only in IMAX as more dragons fly than ever within neon glows, even to the extent of caressing a silent storytelling language! At a smaller scale, the white Night Fury’s slumber within radiant backlights looks pure inside her misty forest. Then she moves catlike before turning invisible: prim, independent, and well mannered.
Everyone can understand animals (that includes dragons), a truth exploited to its full potential when some green auroras grace a sky dance to contrast against other larger, uglier, beast designs. The immense range of scale guides Berk’s soft sunrise stretched from one of Earth’s corners to another that looks much stronger after the foggy rescue mission prologue gives a cold aura. To tie it all together into a cohesive unit, the franchise’s usual director adds dramatic flames beneath the magic hour moments to symbolize Hiccup’s fear of being a nobody without his pet.
To make things better, the vocal cast puts their best feet forward without any more of those fake-sounding accents! Jay Baruchel improved quite a lot after struggling a little throughout the first two installments; he carries our familiar hero to take on those new responsibilities of being chief to great success.
The wonderful continuation off past movies helps our sympathetic capacity, both in the story arcs and the quality of the animation; Toothless’ sand drawing turns out better now because the sand texture moves so realistically thanks to technological wizardry! These filmmakers clearly matured as they present a series finale that sweetens the senses, as if you too grew over the last decade.
We all must take on those risky challenges, as do I, being always caught in personal thoughts. So, I recently joined my church’s Spain mission trip as a way to enforce needed growth. In that same way, Hiccup’s sky-riding has done wonders to inspire fans the past nine years—you can do the same, whether raising a son or daughter, a dog, a cat, employees, or a workspace. Then, proper etiquette can be taught and learned to eventually help others expose the hidden.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
D’Alessandro, Anthony. “‘How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ To Fly A Week Earlier In February.” Digital image. Deadline. WordPress, 27 Sept 2018. Web. <https://deadline.com/2018/09/how-to-train-your-dragon-3-everest-dreamworks-animation-1201864844/>.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. DreamWorks. Web. <https://www.dragonshiddenworld.com/>.