Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

Film Title: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Summary: 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.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a lot of characters in this movie who we know and love from the previous two movies. I’m not going to particularly talk about them all because while they’re cool, they’re not as important to me as the ones I will talk about.
  • Jay Baruchel as Hiccup. I’ve always thought his voice was a little weird, but it works for this character. Hiccup is the new chief of Berk and the initial trainer of dragons. He has big dreams for his people, he wants them to save all the dragons, but he also knows that their home has become a bigger target, so he intends to find this Hidden World, his father spoke of, and move them all there to live in harmony away from other humans who want to hunt dragons. In this movie, he has a lot of growing up to do, but not in the “be a man” type of growing he’s had to do in the past, but more along the lines of “there are hard choices to make that will be painful but they have to be in the best interest of those you love” kind of choices. I think his arc has come full circle beautifully in this film. I love Hiccup. He is such a likable character and you want him to succeed but you also know he’s going to have a hard time of it.
  • Toothless. He is not voiced by a person but Toothless is just as important as Hiccup. Toothless is like a brother to Hiccup more so than a pet or anything like that. In the first movie he’s the last of his kind and no one knows anything about them or what they really look like. When Hiccup brings him down, he loses a tail wing, so he can’t fly but Hiccup helps him and Toothless does his own thing. Eventually though they become friends and Toothless is a ride or die. In this movie, he is still the Alpha from the last movie and it’s clear that he and Hiccup are mostly on the same page but when he sees the Light Fury (that’s what Astrid called her), he’s into her because Night Furies mate for life and its super cute. Toothless is adorable and hilarious to watch and his emotions are so clear on his face that it’s like dialogue, but we just don’t need it for him. I love Toothless.
  • America Ferrera as Astrid. She is badass okay. She is an excellent fighter and in this one, Hiccup’s fiancée. She is a strong woman on her own but also in support of Hiccup who probably leans on her more than he does anyone else (other than Toothless). She is also willing to follow him and support him and speak up and question him when she’s not sure of his plans. She clearly loves his ingenuity and passion for his people and the dragons and it’s great to see how she looks at him (kudos to the animators who worked on her). America Ferrera’s voice works well in this character, it’s light and welcoming but when she’s being fierce you know she’ll kick butt, not to mention, the way she says certain dialogue pieces work so well.
  • F. Murray Abraham as Grimmel the Grisly. He is a dragon hunter and he’s after Toothless. I mean… who isn’t lol? But this was a good villain. All the villains in these movies, the main ones, have been really good and his intention is not to necessarily rid the world of dragons but to finish what he started all those years ago with the Night Furies. I liked that he didn’t have such big ambitions, he knew his advantages and he used them. The voice work was also great for his character.
Supporting Characters.
Cate Blanchett as Valka. Craig Ferguson as Gobber the Belch. Jonah Hill as Snotlout Jorgenson. Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman. Kristen Wiig and Justin Rupple as Ruffnut and Tuffnut Thorston. Kit Harington as Eret. Gerard Butler as Stoick the Vast. They all reprise their roles from the first two films and their characters are still hilarious, the voice acting is good and the moments with Gerard Butler and a young Hiccup played by A.J Kane are sweet moments.
Beautiful Animation. I think DreamWorks has beautiful animation in general for their movies, minus Shark Tale (shudders), but this movie is so beautiful because the Hidden World in general is such a feast for the eyes. I really wish I saw this in IMAX or something because I feel like it would have done it justice. But the characters look even better than before, the animation for Toothless and the Light Fury is clearly handled with care, even if Toothless looks like Stitch lol. Even the villain had such an interesting look and the animation on his facial expressions were great.
Emotional Story. Listen, I pretty much had tears in my eyes the entire time but the last act of the film I cried. This is such a good trilogy with such a strong story arc and an emotional crux in Hiccup and Toothless’ relationship that you are so invested in their bond.
Friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. Going off the last point, one of the strongest things about the movie, about all the movies, is the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. We are invested the moment Hiccup puts his hand out and turns away to allow Toothless to make the final move. You know that iconic moment…
52fy
But once that moment happens, you are invested in their bond. They both have gone through hell to save and love the other, it’s such a great brotherhood, friendship shown on screen. Probably one of the best in a long time. So, to see that continue and grow even more, with lessons being learned by both characters in different ways is such a treat.
Hiccup and Astrid. Another strong relationship in the movie is the one between Hiccup and Astrid. In the first movie, we see their friendship bloom and grown and the second one it’s a romantic relationship. In this one, it’s been a year since the last film, and their relationship is even stronger. She trusts him and believes in him wholeheartedly, but she also is willing to be the one to help him to talk things out and to make Hiccup think through his problems and give him a firm hand. I love the fact that Hiccup’s mother gives Astrid advice on how to work on being there for Hiccup and while it’s a “supporting” role, she’s still very much in the forefront because she’s the one he leans on. I loved that about them.
Cons:
I don’t particularly have specific cons and I was trying to figure out if anything really stood out to me that wasn’t as good as everything else and I settled on the fact that the movie is great overall and a great ending, but it was predictable. I knew what was going to happen and I was prepared for it because it’s emotional, but I totally called it from the beginning. I think it’s hard to close out such an interesting story with interesting leads in Hiccup and Toothless and it not feel weaker than some of the other elements. Not to mention, the stakes didn’t seem nearly as high or the tension wasn’t fully realized as it wanted it too. In the first movie, being that the villain was Hiccup’s dad, kind of and the other adults made it much more personal for Hiccup. While this villain’s intention was to get Toothless, it’s been that way for each movie so it’s a little old.
Overall, I love this entire trilogy and I think Hidden World was a fantastic ending to a basically perfect trilogy. The characters are still great, mostly the main three in Hiccup, Toothless and Astrid (the others are fine but mostly comic relief). I think the growth in both Hiccup and Toothless has been a joy to watch and the animation remains beautiful. Oh, and the music is glorious. It’s such an experience to see on the big screen. The Hidden World alone is such a treat for the eyes. I love the emotional story because this is the end of the trilogy and they must go out on a bang. I cried y’all. A LOT. I love the friendship between Hiccup and Toothless because the movie, all of them, have banked on that relationship and it’s so strong that it’s more than just a friendship, it’s a brotherhood. I also really enjoyed the strong relationship between Hiccup and Astrid… relationship goals! My minor issue if that I think the plot lacks tension and stakes like it wanted to build. The villain was a good one and I liked that he didn’t have these huge motives, but I never really felt that he was going to be this huge threat. You know? I mean it’s been the same motive for each movie. In the end, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a great ending to a great story!
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy? Have you seen The Hidden World yet? Check it out and tell me if it’s worthy to be considered one of the best trilogies of all time? I would think so.
Thanks for reading!
Advertisements

Movie Review: Trolls (2016)

trolls-movie-3

Was not looking for this movie at all, I like Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake but I mean… it’s Trolls lol. But I kind of liked it lol.
Summary: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. There are a LOT of characters in this movie, that it’s pretty much really hard to keep track of who is who if they’re not a leading character, or those who directly affect the story. I actually saw that Quvenzhané Wallis was a voice of a character named “Harper”, I have no idea who that was in this movie and I love Quvenzhané Wallis so lol.
  • Anna Kendrick as Princess Poppy. So she is the princess, pink and extremely happy and optimistic. Her friends get taken by a Bergen and she makes it her plan to be like her father and save them “No Troll Left Behind”. She’s cute, brave and likable, I think it helps that Anna Kendrick plays her because she could easily be that character who is just too much and is immediately annoying. But I found myself quite enjoying her, not to mention Anna Kendrick’s delivery helps. I can’t help but to wonder if this movie was planned to be a “musical” from the beginning or if it was because they had Anna and Justin on the film lol.
  • Justin Timberlake as Branch. I think he was my favorite, I generally like the pessimistic/sarcastic characters because they usually go against the grain of the other characters. Instead of being all bright and bubbly like everyone else, he hates smiling, singing and everything else everyone does to be a troll. He pretty much keeps to himself and only comes in when he thinks they’re drawing too much attention to themselves. He’s very prepared for the Bergens if they happen to find them. I love the scene where Poppy tried to sing to him and he throws her guitar in the fire with a deadpan expression. Cute lol.
  • Zooey Deschanel as Bridget. A scullery maid in the King Bergen’s castle, she is kindhearted and befriends the trolls. She was cute, she was mostly a plot device because without her then I guess they wouldn’t have been able to figure out the ending… but I enjoyed her. Zooey Deschanel provides the voice and I almost didn’t recognize it until she started singing. Pretty nice of her to slightly change it enough for this part.
  • Other characters. There are a lot of characters but the King of the Bergens (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) was likable. I liked some of the designs on some of the other trolls. James Corden, Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand also provided voices and while I pinpointed the guys, I knew who Gwen was playing but I don’t remember hearing her talk really. But yeah, cute.
The animation. I don’t think Dreamworks is up there with Disney and Pixar, at least not consistently but their animation is usually good. I think the animation here is bright, colorful and cute for the most part. It’s very visually appealing, but there are times where it’s a bit too much but it’s good for the most part.
The underlying message. The underlying message is “find the happiness inside yourself” basically. Don’t try to find it something/someone else but find it inside yourself, now someone might be able to help you find it but it has to come from within. I think that’s straightforward and cute.
Original Songs/Score. Christophe Beck (A Cinderella Story, Bring it On, The Hangover) does the original music/score for this film, Justin Timberlake serves as the musical producer mainly for his song “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and the music is cute. At least the original songs are.
The “Feel Good/Fun Factor”. Due to the message the movie has this natural happiness factor to it, I can’t imagine anyone leaving the film not at least smiling. Even if you didn’t think it was good I think it’s enjoyable enough to at least leave you smiling.
Poppy’s Adventure Scene. I don’t know what else to call this scene but it was probably my favorite of the film. Poppy just leaves her home to go and save the trolls who were captured and she has this whole adventure song thing and it was so cute, probably the first time in the film I actually laughed. It was really cute, plus coupled with Anna Kendrick singing the song… quite enjoyable.
Cons:
Jukebox Music. I don’t dislike “jukebox musicals” but I don’t like them when the covers are obnoxious. I think the covers of the songs they used were annoying.
The Story Combination. I’m not sure why it seemed like a good idea to mix storylines. There was a bit of a Cinderella element in there, plus the whole “save my friends” thing, and the whole “find happiness inside myself” and all of that. There was a lot going on. I don’t think all of it worked, at least not seamlessly.
The Villain. Christine Baranski plays the Chef bergen who is in charge of doing a particular deed and boy was she annoying.
Little things. I thought it was weird that one of the trolls looked like a giraffe (who pooped cupcakes), and another one was completely made of glitter who was naked the entire time and kind of… spit? glitter. Soo… I thought that was weird lol.
Overall, Trolls is a cute movie and I think it’s harmless fun, Poppy and Branch are entertaining characters, the original song and music is cute, the animation is fun and the underlying message of the film is cute. Otherwise, the jukebox music is annoying, the villain was lame and there are a few little things that annoyed me. But overall cute.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Trolls? If so, what did you think about it? Do you want to see it?
Let me know in the comments!
For more reviews like this, like and follow this blog!