Goodbyes are never meant to be happy. It will always be a bittersweet moment. Each farewell carry more weight with time. Without sounding too emotional about this, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is one of the saddest moments in modern cinema. Sure, Disney-Pixar Up crushed my heart and Marley and Me had me bawling my eyes out. DreamWorks How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, however, destroyed me emotionally. Bingers, here is my piece about the beautifully tragic conclusion to this much-beloved movie franchise.
Last Sunday, February 16, United International Pictures invited us to the special screening of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World at the IMAX Theatre in SM Megamall. Celebrities, lucky fans, and us, the media attended it. The finale continues where the sequel left off. Hiccup is no longer the boy that we knew him, especially now that he is the head of their village. His family and friends are with him to reduce the burden of the responsibility, though. Toothless, Hiccup’s Night Fury is now the alpha of the pack of dragons, following the incident in How To Train Your Dragon 2.
Aging With Time
For a highly-acclaimed movie franchise, How To Train Your Dragon aged beautifully. The developments in the characters and themes became more apparent with each installment. For the finale, it broke away from the animated film for children template and instead explored topics that will resonate more with its young adult audiences, or in other words, us millennials. Among of which topics is the price of growing up.
Hiccup’s priorities are now more refined and more focused towards one thing- raising a future for him and his family with Astrid. While he has already found someone to spend his life with, Toothless on the other hand is still the lone Night Fury in existence. Or so they thought. That was until one night, a female Night Fury emerged out of nowhere and smitten Toothless right off the bat!
Just as things were going cheery, an imminent danger lurks from the horizon. Grimmel, an infamous dragon hunter, has set his eyes on slaying both Fury. This danger fuelled Berkians’ need to move somewhere else to both address the growing population of dragons and to search for the utopia only referred to as “The Hidden World”.
Leaving on a High Note
Dreamworks consistently did a great job with this franchise. The quality kept on elevating with each movie and so does the emotional impact of the plots. As for the finale in the trilogy, How To Train Your Dragon went off in tugging on everybody’s heartstrings during the screening. Personally, I felt like I was being attacked the entire time! Hiccup is now a man and has to step up on bigger responsibilities but in doing so, he has to let go of some other important things in his life.
Right from the start, Toothless has been a part of Hiccup’s life and adventures. But just like him, Toothless also has to find his own path and start a family of his own. This sad and extremely painful realization hit Hiccup yet he knows deep inside that he has got to do the right thing by letting Toothless find himself with the Light Fury.
The whole fleeing for survival part of the plot was nothing but mere device for the characters to have these realizations. It is not necessarily bad but it took away some of the screen time that could’ve been used to further strengthen the friendship between the two main characters or to setup a future for the people of Berk. But hey, at the end of the day, this is for children and there has to be an adventure of some kind.
With all that said, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a nearly flawless conclusion to a consistently great movie franchise. It is rich with character developments that made them seemed real. The boldness of the story gave it a particular charm that evoked emotions- laughter, fear, and genuine tears. The film successfully managed to do that while sharing a narrative on a backdrop of visually-stunning animation. If anything else, this just shows that How To Train Your Dragon will leave on a high note with The Hidden World.
Director: Dean DeBlois
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, America Ferrera
Binge-level: 5 out of 5 stars