So here we are with the third in the instalment of the franchise, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. It was supposed to be amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. The last one to come out was in 2014 and I remember it being good but not something they could follow up. The theater was certainly full, mostly of of little kids doing what little kids do in theaters; in this case that was kicking seats and coughing with their mouths open.
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.
Apparently How to Train your Dragon was always supposed to be a trilogy. When I first heard that, I had my doubts. Not that they intended to make sequels, but that they had them figured out from the beginning. I believe it now. This was unbelievably well written, perfectly paced with excellent dialogue. It was the ideal length, coming in at 1 hour, 44 minutes. Also, How to Train Your Dragon 3 featured the best villain I’ve seen in awhile. He was scary, his motivations made sense and he was a complete and utter bastard.
How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World looked so good. And not gratuitously good (though I still like that). Every gorgeous shot had a purpose – to set a mood for excitement, sadness or awe or any of the other range of emotions that were in this film. They did such a good job on the characters. Not just their design but body language and non-verbal communication. At every moment you knew what the characters were doing, what they wanted and how they felt. You could watch this with the sound off and still have a fair notion of what’s going on.
So is How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World worth watching? Heck yes. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s beautiful – I cried a couple times. I couldn’t find much wrong with it, either, except that there might be some weird tonal disconnect in places. (Remember how they used to hate dragons in the first one? Good, because nobody else does.) Like all good sequels though, it makes me want to see the first few again. I’d definitely watch this in the theater again, right after I get over whatever cold I caught when I saw it this time.