How To Train Your Dragon 3 Is A Straight-Forward & Complicated Film

Over the course of the 15 years between Toy Story and Toy Story 3, Pixar Animation Studios underwent a monumental evolution from a computer company to an industry-changing powerhouse taking its first steps into animation. Over the nine years between How to Train Your Dragon 3 and the latest trilogy-caper How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World, DreamWorks Animation came through a much more disturbed development with fast development, economic difficulties, shifts in management, and a possible sale to NBC Universal. Both businesses produce more advanced, ambitious movies than ever before, but where Pixar has discovered a strong creative and commercial foundation throughout its signature trilogue.

Just like Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World is about growing up and letting go — somewhat suspiciously, given that Toy Story 3 received such high praise for managing the theme almost a decade ago, and Hidden World has not much more thoughts than that. In the third installment of the series, young Viking chief Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) must discover that his identity is not completely bound up in Toothless, the dragon partner he had friends with in the first installment of the series. Because of their profound and fulfilling relationship, it sometimes feels like a strange message. Metaphorically speaking, it feels like the film telling individuals to let go of their beloved animals to grow up. But at least Dean DeBlois, writer-director, loads the tale with graphic style and a lot of heartfelt wonder.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 Video

As the film starts, Hiccup and his Viking town of Berk are threatened again by dragon trappers who want to capitalize on the huge dragon population of Berk by whisking them all away to some uncertain destiny. Since Hiccup and his dragon-rider colleagues are formidable enemies, the trappers are enlisting the assistance of legendary dragon-killer Grimmel (Amadeus ‘ F. Murray Abraham) to remove Toothless, as he has obviously eliminated every other member of the species of Toothless. The reaction of Hiccup is an effort to discover the legendary Hidden World from which dragons come, hoping to relocate Berk and his dragons. For the first time, Toothless meets a woman of his species and begins to try to woo her.

How much of Hidden World feels like a unique National Geographic monitoring the sexual habits of dragons is slightly odd. The sheer quantity of time DeBlois spends on dragon mating dances (highly influenced by real-life bird mating dances) and court rituals suggest he is much more interested in this film’s visuals than in any narrative weight.

The tale often feels rushed and thin, with Grimmel strongly echoing from the past installment in the series as a threat to the dragon trapper Drago, and the multiple human friends of Hiccup each becoming brief, irritating personality sequences that never amount to anything. Hiccup’s mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) has at least a little more purpose in this film than she did in her introductory film, even though it only amounts to hunting, giving wise advice, and strangely not discouraging the arrogant child Snotlout (Jonah Hill) who has a loudly aggressive crush on her and an equally strong interest in depositing and substituting her child.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 Fairly Beautiful

How to Train Your Dragon 3

These rituals of dragon mating are fairly beautiful. As Toothless chases and attempts to impress his female equivalent, they participate in goofy comedy routines and charming aerial ballets, both reminiscent of comparable scenes in Pixar’s Wall-E, but nevertheless visually impressive. The minimalism of the plot of Hidden World leaves plenty of room for long, wordless sequences of dragon dancing and dragon flight, and the sheer expressiveness of the dragon characters (still behaviorally midway between cats and dogs, with a little bit of eager kids thrown in) makes their interactions particularly memorable and accessible.

All the Hidden World looks remarkable for that matter. The first return to Berk, now a tumultuous metropolis of brightly colored houses full of similarly brightly colored dragons, is an amazing display of how ambitious and wild CG animation has become. Every frame of the Berk film is distractingly busy with neon colors and independent movement, zany architecture and wildly designed life. There’s plenty of beauty here for spectators content to just lean back and let the movie wash over them, some of it awe-striking.

How To Train Your Dragon 3 Movie

Rarely does the narrative component find similarly impressive bases. While Toothless is cozy up to the first woman of his species he’s ever seen, Hiccup tries to figure out his friendship with his crush Astrid (America Ferrera) under pressure from a town that expects them to get married.

This is possibly unusual territory for a children’s film, and DeBlois handles it by shorthanding it, feeling that Astrid is too young to get married… Until she does not do it suddenly. It’s remarkable that he never returns to a large cliché time when Hiccup saves her life and she understands dramatically how she feels about him. Out of working together on the same cause, their connection develops quietly and organically. But their plot receives far less attention than the frenzied efforts of Toothless to wing-waggle or soar quietly into the core of a female. Like so much about the film, with such extremely simple execution, their story is a complicated idea that it doesn’t resonate completely as real.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 Film

Train Your Dragon 3

Throughout the film that dynamic arrives. It’s not that in any specific respect, Hidden World is a profoundly difficult film. It just seems too fundamental in its outline, and too familiar in its execution, both from Pixar movies following strikingly comparable lines and from the two previous Train Your Dragon movies. His story aspirations are great — including, for example, a villain who is obviously all but wiped out a whole species by himself— but he seldom completes the information. It’s uncertain why Grimmel has so much hated Toothless or why he’s not taking any of his various chances to kill the dragon. He’s just an Evil Villain, with no sense of trying to explain more than that the film requires.

The conceptual familiarity of Hidden World and the inability to live completely up to its own thoughts shows an animation that DreamWorks has always had. In its early days, the studio straight copied Pixar, trying to ride the coattails of A Bug’s Life and Finding Nemo with films like Antz and Shark Tale. More lately, in an effort to get on more strong economic ground, DreamWorks has fallen back on pumping out franchise installments and endless associated spin-offs. The studio has never had much of a signature or identity equal to the strong grounding of Pixar in richly emotional tales, and Hidden World does nothing to cement the identity of DreamWorks or even indicate where it could go.

How to Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World

How To Train Your Dragon 3 Movie

All the bold things about the movie— the readiness of DeBlois to spend lengthy sections on wordless sky-dancing or exploring some of the painful methods of discovering an adult identity — feel cribbed straight from other films. The eye-candy of the film is endlessly compelling and a worthy reason to watch the film in a theater, but it is never as memorable as genuine, distinctive moments of story like the first association of Hiccup with Toothless in the first installment of the series. Hidden World is a plausible end to the Train Your Dragon series, which hits all the anticipated beats and discovers plenty of art moment. It just doesn’t go that far in completely realizing its universe and its personalities as related or even plausible individuals.

The original How to Train Your Dragon 3 was a wonder, a happy, funny, heartfelt movie that for DreamWorks felt like the start of a whole fresh age. Instead, keeping churning out familiar job is becoming a platform for the studio. This movie feels like the studio wanted it to be the next step towards more ambitious tales in its growth. It’s a beautiful hangout film instead. There’s worse stuff to be. But there are also stronger ones, and that has been demonstrated by DreamWorks a