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…
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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!
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Why Him? (2016) Review

I honestly had low expectations for this film, I mean it didn’t look all that good. Comedy films like this can go either way, so thank goodness I saw a free screening. Below are my thoughts.
Summary: A dad forms a bitter rivalry with his daughter’s young rich boyfriend.
Pros: 
Cast and Characters. This film has a variety of characters and all of them are likable people. I think.
  • James Franco as Laird Mayhew. This character is a trip but he’s not a jerk like the trailers portray. At least not to me. His character is an honest dude, he tells it like it is, he uses a lot of profanity but he’s pretty entertaining. I think you can tell he loves Stephanie and he really wants to impress her family, but he doesn’t really know how to do that with people who aren’t “free spirits”. It’s pretty funny the way he tries to impress them but does it wrong. This character is perfect for James Franco, he’s weird and his character is weird. There’s something about Franco that makes him likable but at the same time come off as a total douche, even if it’s unintentional which is what Laird was. Sometimes he came off as naive douche but it wasn’t on purpose. By the end of the film, he grows up a bit even though he keeps certain qualities that keep him a current and kind of unique character. Plus, that big goofy smile of his is great for this character.
  • Bryan Cranston as Ned Fleming. Bryan Cranston is a great actor, his comedic timing is fantastic and I think he’s great in this fatherly role in which he’s worried about his daughter and a bit overprotective. He doesn’t know about Laird in the beginning, and because he is very close to his daughter, he does make the attempt but after seeing who Laird is, the type of life he lives and he’s so annoyed by him and so worried about her. His overprotectiveness takes over. Similar to Steve Martin in Father of the Bride but a bit more “closed minded” than George. Cranston is really good here, probably the best actor in the film, I love how funny he is even if it’s not an obvious funny moment. I like his chemistry with his wife and his daughter and even his moments with Laird. His facial expressions, that was more funny than the obvious funny parts.
  • Megan Mullally as Barb Fleming. She is hilarious. She is most notable for her role in Will & Grace but she is very different from that role. Just like her husband, she’s a bit on the conservative side but seems to be a bit more accepting of things compared to him (as mothers in films most times are). She also loosens up a bit before Ned does. Megan is so funny, so charming in this role, she was probably my favorite character in the movie. Her expressions, the little comments she would make after a moment, were usually funnier than the funny moment.
  • Zoey Deutch as Stephanie Fleming. Ned and Barb’s daughter, she doesn’t tell her parents she’s dating Laird as she thought it’d be best for them to just meet him as he’s a unique person. She has hopes that them coming to visit her while she’s away at school would be a better way for them to get to know him. There are a few secrets she has to tell her parents, but she wants to find the right time, as she wants them to see she’s an adult and can make her own decisions. Her love for her family is evident, her love for Laird is also evident, but she also is very much wanting to be her own person. I think Zoey Deutch is cute, I liked her here and I liked her relationships with her family, her chemistry with everyone and just like the rest of her family, she’s likable and you want to root for her, for everything to go her way because she’s great.
  • Other characters. You have Keegan Michael Key as Gustav and Griffin Gluck as Scott Fleming. Keegan is funny in this role, he’s not always funny personally, but he is definitely enjoyable in this role. His random moments of tackling Laird… those were funny, or the fact that he was a voice of reason in the silly moments, those were great. Griffin Gluck is Step’s younger brother and he starts off like his parents, smart and wanting to run the business they own but as he spends time with Laird, he becomes a bit more bold. It was cute.
The story. It’s not original, but it’s cute. Considering the fact that it’s the parents meeting their daughter’s weird boyfriend, this could have gone in many different ways and I think this way is fine. It does have a nice little heart at the center of the madness, it’s all about family and love.
Cons:
Stephanie Fleming. I liked her but it’s more of the fact that her character is kind of left in the background. I recognized what they were doing with her inclusion but at the same time, everyone else’s reactions to things are considered so much more important than hers are. While I understand her character, she isn’t given much to do other than complain about how her father doesn’t like her boyfriend etc. It was unfortunate.
The Humor. Obviously with comedy, it depends on the person. In my theater, laughter filled the room quite often, but I didn’t laugh at everything and neither did my friend. Some of the “gross” stuff, I Didn’t laugh at while others did etc. So this really depends on the person but to me, it was funny but not as funny as it was made out to be. Some of the humor is really juvenile or just like shock humor more than actually being funny.
Rivalry? I don’t think there was really any sort of rivarly. There could have been, probably should have been but not really. It was more along the lines of Father of the Bride instead of Monster In Law. The trailers make it seem like there is going to be some type of thing between the Cranston and Franco and while there is it’s not like… the focus to be honest.
The ending. I don’t think it was a bad ending, I think it was more or less… “overly sweet” in the way it was handled. A nice little bow was put on it and I just thought it kind of wrapped up quickly… maybe that’s just me? lol
Overall, I enjoyed Why Him? It was cute, it was funny and I think if you like this type of humor (like most of the people in the theater) you will love it. It’s a sweet film at it’s core, and while the story isn’t necessarily new it’s still nice to see. Plus, it’s a Christmas film. It won’t become a classic like Father of the Bride but it’s fun to watch with your friends.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Let me know your thoughts on Why Him? When you see it, did you like it? Did you laugh? Let me know in the comments below! Also don’t forget to like and follow this blog!
Side note: At the screening, there was this lady, the ENTIRE time tapping her feet behind me and my friend’s head. Like seriously tapping. She would stop in like 30 second intervals and then pick up. THE ENTIRE MOVIE! It drove me freaking crazy. If you’re going to do stuff like that, then you need to sit on the floor so you’re not annoying the people in front of you. GAH!