‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ falls short

Beautiful animation fails to make up for dull plot


Fair use from Universal

Adin Zweigbaum

Back when the first “How to Train Your Dragon” movie came out, it was considered an animated masterpiece, but the final installment to this trilogy does not live up to the original.

DreamWorks Animation’s newest installment of the series begins with the small Viking town of Berk, yet again under threat of dragon trappers. Without much plot development on why they want to attack, the movie dives right into the action. This made the movie difficult to follow at first and drew my attention away from the plot itself.

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), the protagonist, and his other dragon rider friends prove to be stronger opponents than the dragon trappers had anticipated. Because of this, they seek help from the dragon trapper Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), who claims to have killed all the dragons of Toothless’ (Randy Thom) species except for him.

To save Berk and the dragons, Hiccup searches for The Hidden World, which is supposedly where dragons originate from. In the process of finding it, many small adventures take place, which seems to just be a way to take up time, as none of them really develop the plot.

Toothless has his own adventure. He finds a female of his species — which was thought to be extinct — and spends a lot of time trying to get her attention and woo her.

Once in The Hidden World, from the vibrancy of the lighting to the detail of each dragon, the movie becomes very visually appealing. The dragon dancing and mating rituals, seemingly based off of those of birds, were enjoyable to watch and were never an eyesore. Even after returning from the complexity of the Hidden World, the bright colors and friendliness of the town of Berk still gave me almost a sense of awe.

In general, the story and plot of the movie was very dry and shallow, not digging deep into the heart of any character. Grimmel seemed very similar to Drago (Djimon Hounsou), the main antagonist in the previous two films, making this movie seem very repetitive. At times even Hiccup felt like more of a sidekick to Toothless, making me feel as though they put very little focus on the character scheme as a whole.

With such a lackluster plot, it was nice to have a good amount of comic relief interspersed throughout the movie. The dragons’ personalities being similar to what could only be described as a mixture of the personalities of a dog and a toddler added a necessary humorous aspect to the film.

Jonah Hill’s character, Snotlout, also served as comic relief as he was constantly flirting with Hiccup’s mom, while at the same time wanting to be her son.

The mixture of slight comedy and artistic detail of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” saved it from its uninspired plot. The visuals of the movie made it a treat to my eyes, but sadly the absence of an enjoyable and developing plot made it difficult and boring to watch.

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World:” ★★☆☆☆