How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a 2019 computer-animated action fantasy film loosely based on the book series of the same name by Cressida Cowell, produced by DreamWorks Animation with Dentsu and Fuji Television,[2][3] and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the sequel to How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) and the third and final installment in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise.[6] Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, the film stars the voices of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, and F. Murray Abraham.[7] The film's plot follows Hiccup seeking a dragon utopia called "The Hidden World" while coming to terms with Toothless' new bond with a female Light Fury.

How to Train Your Dragon:
The Hidden World
How to Train Your Dragon 3 poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDean DeBlois
Produced by
Written byDean DeBlois
Based onHow to Train Your Dragon
by Cressida Cowell
Starring
Music byJohn Powell
Edited byJohn K. Carr
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
  • January 3, 2019 (2019-01-03) (Australia)
  • February 22, 2019 (2019-02-22) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[4]
CountryUnited States
Japan[2][3]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$129 million[5]
Box office$521.8 million[5]

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was released on January 3, 2019, in Australia, and on February 22 in the United States. The film marks the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Universal Pictures. It received widespread praise by critics for its animation, action sequences, musical score, voice acting, characters, emotional weight of the story and tear-jerking conclusion.[8] It grossed over $522 million worldwide, becoming the fifth highest-grossing animated film of 2019, as well as Universal's highest-grossing animated film not to be produced by Illumination. At the 92nd Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Animated Feature, losing to Toy Story 4.[9]

PlotEdit

One year after the events of the previous film, Hiccup, Toothless and their fellow dragon-riders continue to rescue captured dragons in order to bring them to Berk and its bustling dragon and human utopia. Their efforts have resulted in the island becoming overpopulated with dragons. In response, Hiccup desires to find the "Hidden World", a dragon safe haven spoken of by his late father Stoick. Meanwhile, a white female Fury dragon, held captive by warlords, is given to infamous dragon hunter Grimmel the Grisly as bait for him to capture Toothless for the warlords' use as an alpha.

Toothless discovers the white Fury, (a new species[10] which Astrid dubs a "Light Fury")[11] in the woods, and the two become enchanted with each other until the Light Fury, sensing Hiccup's nearby presence, flees. Hiccup and Tuffnut later discover Grimmel's dragon traps in the area. Grimmel visits Hiccup that night demanding he hand over Toothless, but Hiccup has prepared an ambush for him; Grimmel escapes, burning down Hiccup's house and most of Berk in the process. Hiccup then rallies the citizens and dragons to leave Berk on a quest to find the Hidden World and safety from dragon hunters.

Mid-journey, the Berkians discover an island on which they initially plan simply to rest, but soon begin to settle there, dubbing it “New Berk”. Seeing Toothless' inability to fly solo hindering his growing relationship with the Light Fury, Hiccup rebuilds an automatic tail for him. Upon receiving it, Toothless flies off, meeting the Light Fury on his own and flying with her to an unknown land. Valka, on a scouting patrol, notices Grimmel's approaching army and reports back to Hiccup. Hiccup and the dragon riders head to capture Grimmel, but fall into his trap and barely escape. Ruffnut is captured, but irritates Grimmel until he lets her go and secretly follows her to the Berkians' new location.

Hiccup, Astrid and her dragon Stormfly, searching for Toothless, find the Hidden World and see Toothless and the Light Fury leading the dragons there as a happily mated couple. When the two humans are soon discovered, Toothless rescues them and returns them to the Berkians, with Hiccup realizing his people would be intruders and unsafe in the Hidden World. Suddenly, Grimmel appears and captures Toothless and the Light Fury (who followed Toothless). Toothless' alpha status allows Grimmel to capture the rest of Berk's dragons by threatening to kill the Light Fury if any dragon or Berkian attacks.

With Astrid's encouragement, Hiccup sets out with the dragon riders to stop Grimmel and his army. Gliding on wingsuits, they catch Grimmel's army off-guard, igniting a battle, and freeing the dragons. With help from Stormfly, Hiccup frees Toothless, while Grimmel drugs the Light Fury into obeying him. Hiccup and Toothless give chase, but Grimmel tranquilizes Toothless midair causing the dragon to fall helplessly. Hiccup, realizing he cannot rescue Toothless alone, frees the Light Fury and implores her to save Toothless. Hiccup is fully prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save Toothless as both he and Grimmel plummet toward the sea. The Light Fury, however, returns to save Hiccup, while Grimmel falls into his watery grave.

Back on the island, Toothless and Hiccup fully realize that dragons will never be safe in the human world. Hiccup bids an emotional farewell to Toothless as all the Berkians set their dragons free to live in the Hidden World, the Light Fury leading the dragons away and Toothless following them. Sometime later, Hiccup and Astrid marry and become the chieftains of New Berk.

Ten years later, Toothless and the Light Fury have mated and given birth to three hybrid dragon fledglings named[citation needed] Night Lights. Hiccup, Astrid, and their two children sail across the sea to visit them at the edge of the Hidden World. After introducing his children to his old friend, Hiccup takes their son flying on Toothless while Astrid and their daughter fly on Stormfly, accompanied by the Light Fury and their offspring. Hiccup vows that until humankind is ready to coexist peacefully with dragons, the dragons will stay hidden while the Berkians guard their secret.

Voice castEdit

  • Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, the son of Stoick the Vast and Valka, the newly crowned Viking chief of Berk, and the one who initially trained the dragons.[12]
    • A.J. Kane as young Hiccup.
  • America Ferrera as Astrid, an excellent fighter; she is Hiccup's betrothed fiancée.[12]
  • F. Murray Abraham as Grimmel the Grisly, an infamous dragon hunter who is responsible for the near-extinction of the Night Furies.[13]
  • Cate Blanchett as Valka, a dragon rescuer and Hiccup's mother, now living on Berk after twenty years of isolation.[12]
  • Craig Ferguson as Gobber the Belch, a seasoned warrior, blacksmith and dragon dentist.[14]
  • Jonah Hill as Snotlout Jorgenson, a brash, overconfident, and fairly unintelligent, but a reliable friend of Hiccup.[14]
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman, an enthusiastic friend of Hiccup knowledgeable in dragon lore which he often relates in a role-playing game style.[14]
  • Kristen Wiig as Ruffnut Thorston, Tuffnut's fraternal twin who is friends with Hiccup.[15][14][16]
  • Justin Rupple as Tuffnut Thorston, Ruffnut's fraternal twin who is friends with Hiccup.[15][14][16] He was previously voiced by T.J. Miller in the last two preceding movies and the TV series.
  • Kit Harington as Eret, a former dragon hunter who used to work for Drago Bludvist who has joined the dragon riders after the events of the second film.[13]
  • Gerard Butler as Stoick the Vast, the late father of Hiccup and Berk's previous chieftain, as seen in flashbacks.[17]
  • Julia Emelin as Griselda the Grievous, an aggressive warlord who works with Grimmel.
  • Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Ragnar the Rock, an incompetent warlord who works with Grimmel.
  • James Sie as Chaghatai Khan, a less aggressive and stubborn warlord who works with Grimmel.
  • David Tennant as Ivar the Whitless, a dragon trapper who works for the Warlords.
    • Tennant also voices Spitelout Jorgenson, the father of Snotlout.
  • Robin Atkin Downes as Ack, a blond-bearded Viking.
  • Kieron Elliot as Hoark, a Viking with a knotted beard.
  • Ashley Jensen as Phlegma the Fierce, a female Viking who works as a botanist at the School of Dragons.
  • Gideon Emery as Trapper

ProductionEdit

In December 2010, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that there would also be a third film in the series: "How To Train Your Dragon is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are at least three chapters to that story."[18] Dean DeBlois, the writer and director of the second and the third film, stated that How to Train Your Dragon 2 was being intentionally designed as the second act of the trilogy: "There are certain characters and situations that come into play in the second film that will become much more crucial to the story by the third."[19] DeBlois said in an interview that the third part would be released in 2016.[20] Although the series has taken a different path of telling a story of Hiccup and Vikings, author Cressida Cowell revealed that the trilogy and the book series will have similar endings (with "an explanation as to why dragons are no more").[21]

The film is produced by Bonnie Arnold[22] and Brad Lewis. DeBlois and Chris Sanders are the executive producers; Sanders was an executive producer of the second film and co-director of the first.[22] Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig returned in the third film,[22] with Justin Rupple replacing T.J. Miller as Tuffnut.[15] DeBlois revealed that Miller did initially return to voice Tuffnut, but DreamWorks recast him after the actor's sexual misconduct and assault allegations and arrest for calling in a fake bomb threat.[23] Cate Blanchett also reprised her role as Valka from the second film.[12] On November 14, 2017, it was announced that Kit Harington will reprise his role as Eret and F. Murray Abraham has joined the cast.[13] During the earlier stages of production, DeBlois stated that Djimon Hounsou would also return as Drago Bludvist.[24] It was even planned to have Drago redeemed by the film's end, but halfway through development, DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg convinced DeBlois that the story of Drago's redemption required more screen time that they could not provide, causing his inclusion to be scrapped.[25] On April 17, 2018, DreamWorks Animation announced that the sequel's title would be entitled How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.[26][27] The animation challenges of the production required DreamWorks Animation to update and invent new software to handle complex tasks, such as lighting the Light Fury dragon.[28]

MusicEdit

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack AlbumEdit

John Powell, who composed the previous two films, returned to compose the film's score.[29] In addition, Powell's collaborators Batu Sener, Anthony Willis, and Paul Mounsey are credited as additional composers. Also returning from the previous films, Jónsi wrote a new song for the film, titled "Together From Afar", which was released as a single on January 31, 2019.[30] Jónsi also provided vocals for a track titled "The Hidden World".[31]

No.TitleLength
1."Raiders Return to Busy, Busy Berk"5:26
2."Dinner Talk / Grimmel's Introduction"3:53
3."Legend Has It / Cliffside Playtime"4:21
4."Toothless: Smitten"3:15
5."Worst Pep Talk Ever"2:40
6."Night Fury Killer"3:35
7."Exodus!"4:38
8."Third Date"6:48
9."New 'New Tail'"1:28
10."Furies in Love"3.03
11."Killer Dragons"5:04
12."With Love Comes a Great Waterfall"2:08
13."The Hidden World" (feat. Jónsi)5:16
14."Armada Battle"8:40
15."As Long As He's Safe"6:29
16."Once There Were Dragons"5:45
17."Together From Afar" (Written and performed by Jónsi)3:17
Bonus Track
No.TitleLength
18."The Hidden World Suite"6:40

Piano Solos AlbumEdit

In May 2020, John Powell released a new album titled "Piano Solos from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World."[32] The album features nine tracks from John Powell's original score that were newly arranged and are performed by Batu Sener, who provided additional music to the third installment in the How to Train Your Dragon series and collaborated with Powell on numerous other scores. The arrangements from this album are printed and distributed by Hal Leonard Publishing Company. The album was released by 5 Cat Studios, which is the record label owned by John Powell.

No.TitleLength
1."Legend Has It (Arr. for Piano Solo)"4:36
2."Toothless: Smitten (Arr. for Piano Solo)"3:09
3."Exodus! (Arr. for Piano Solo)"4:42
4."Third Date (Arr. for Piano Solo)"1:23
5."New 'New Tail' (Arr. for Piano Solo)"1:27
6."Furies in Love (Arr. for Piano Solo)"3:24
7."With Love Comes Loss (Arr. for Piano Solo)"1:10
8."The Hidden World (Arr. for Piano Solo)"2:07
9."Once There Were Dragons (Arr. for Piano Solo)"6:03

Release and marketingEdit

In September 2012, 20th Century Fox, the studio's then-distributor partner, and DreamWorks Animation announced the film was originally going to be released on June 17, 2016.[22][33][34] In September 2014, the film's release date was pushed back a year from its original release date of June 17, 2016 to June 9, 2017.[12] DeBlois explained the release date shifts as such: "It's just that these movies take three years. I think it was a little ambitious to say 2016... As is normally the case, they kind of throw darts out into the future and wherever they land they call that a release date until we start talking about it in practical terms, and then it's like, 'Uh yeah that's not enough time'. So knowing that they take three years from this moment, from outlining and writing the screenplay through to the final lighting of it, it's just a process of building models and doing tests and animating, storyboarding, the whole thing just adds up to about three years."[35]

In January 2015, the release date was pushed back a year from June 9, 2017 to June 29, 2018 following DreamWorks Animation's corporate restructuring and lay-offs meant to maximize the company's "creative talent and resources, reduce costs, and drive profitability."[36][37] On June 18, 2016, the release date was moved up from June 29, 2018 to May 18, 2018, taking the release date of the Warner Animation Group's The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.[38] On December 5, 2016, the US release date was pushed back from May 18, 2018 to March 1, 2019.[39] The release date was moved up for a final time from March 1, 2019 to February 22, 2019, taking the slot of The Turning, a live-action DreamWorks film which in turn was pushed back to January 24, 2020.[40][41]

Home mediaEdit

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was released on digital and Movies Anywhere on May 7, 2019 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, with Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD releases following on May 21. All releases included the 2018 short films Bilby and Bird Karma.[42][43]

Video gamesEdit

Unlike the first two films of the trilogy, The Hidden World does not have a tie-in game based on its plot. Instead, there are two games set before the events of the film, which are the top-down action adventure game DreamWorks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders available on consoles and personal computers (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows)[44] and the match-3 game Dragons: Titan Uprising for mobile devices (iOS and Android).[45] Both games play as RPGs, and the latter is free-to-play, while offering in-app purchases.

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World grossed $160.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $361 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $521.8 million, against a production budget of $129 million.[5] Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $130 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[46]

In the United States and Canada, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World held early screenings at 1,000 theaters on February 2, 2019 and grossed $2.5 million, one of the highest advance showing totals ever.[47] It was released alongside the wide expansion of Fighting with My Family, and was initially projected to gross $40–45 million from 4,259 theaters in its opening weekend.[48] After making $17.5 million on its first day (including $3 million from Thursday night previews), weekend projections were increased to $60 million. It went on to debut to $55 million finishing first at the box office.[5][49][50] The film made $30 million in its second weekend, retaining the top spot, before being dethroned by newcomer Captain Marvel in its third.[51][52]

The film grossed $1.5 million on its opening day in Australia, setting a record for a DreamWorks Animation film in that country (surpassing Shrek 2). In New Zealand, the film grossed $173,000 on its opening day, ranking as DreamWorks Animation's second biggest opening day in the country, behind Shrek 2.[53] By its third weekend of international release the film has grossed a total of $41 million.[54] As of March 24, 2019, the film's largest markets in other territories were China ($53.7 million), Russia ($26.8 million), France ($25.0 million), United Kingdom ($24.8 million) and Mexico ($21.0 million).[5]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 90% based on 261 reviews, and an average rating of 7.26/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion."[55] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[56] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale (the same score earned by the first two films), while those at PostTrak gave it a 90% positive score and a 77% "definite recommend."[50]

Jennifer Bisset of CNET praised the voice performances of the main characters, while also citing the visuals and action sequences, and singled out the development of the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless, saying, "Continuing a series-long focus on family and love, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World narrows on what those values mean for Toothless. He experiences romance. He grows up. And with heavy, satisfied hearts, we let him, and Hiccup, go."[57]

Michael Nordine of IndieWire gave the film a B, saying, "Directed once again by Dean DeBlois, “The Hidden World” strikes a bittersweet chord in reminding its young audience that all good things — including the age of dragons — must come to an end." He later went on to applaud the CGI, lauding the "arresting visuals", and stating that "The animation itself is striking — an early sequence in which the sky is filled with dragons is an early sign of the visual treats to come — and ends up being the film’s highlight."[58] Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times gave a positive review of the characters and emotional messages of the film, writing "More bittersweet and less triumphal than its predecessors, and directed by a returning Dean DeBlois, “The Hidden World” concerns the exigencies that Hiccup faces as a leader, both politically and personally. If you truly love that dragon you trained, its message says, let him go."[59]

Conversely, some critics felt the film had the presence of too many juggled sub-plots and an obligatory ending, with Movie Crypt concluding that "Fans will enjoy seeing their characters grown and progressing as story arcs are closed, but the final resolution rings hollow. Ultimately, none of it appeared necessary other than a need to say goodbye; the dragons and their champions certainly earned a better conclusion than that."[60] Kerry Lengel of Arizona Republic says that "The plot is thin and holey and the characters are mostly just a single gag set on repeat" and calls it "a lazy effort."[61]

AccoladesEdit

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Golden Trailer Awards May 29, 2019 Best Animation/Family TV Spot Universal Pictures, Inside Job Productions Nominated [62]
Most Original TV Spot DreamWorks Animation, mOcean Nominated
Best Original Score TV Spot DreamWorks Animation, Buddha Jones Nominated
Saturn Awards September 13, 2019 Best Animated Film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [63]
World Soundtrack Award October 18, 2019 Public Choice Award John Powell Won [64]
People's Choice Awards November 10, 2019 Family Movie of 2019 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [65]
Animated Movie Star of 2019 America Ferrera Nominated
National Board of Review Awards December 3, 2019 Best Animated Film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Won [66]
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association Awards December 8, 2019 Best Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Awards December 9, 2019 Best Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [67]
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards December 9, 2019 Best Animated Film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [68]
St. Louis Film Critics Association Awards December 15, 2019 Best Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated
Golden Globe Awards January 5, 2020 Best Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [69]
Hollywood Critics Association January 9, 2020 Best Animated Film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [70]
Critics Choice Awards January 12, 2020 Best Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [71]
Producers Guild of America Awards January 18, 2020 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [72]
Annie Awards January 25, 2020 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Dean DeBlois Nominated [73]
Annie Award for Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production Dane Stogner Nominated
Rani Naamani Nominated
Annie Awards for Production Design in an Animated Feature Production Pierre-Olivier Vincent
Kirsten Kawamura
Woonyoung Jung
Iuri Lioi
Nominated
Annie Award for Writing in a Feature Production Dean DeBlois Nominated
Annie Award for Editorial in an Animated Feature Production John K. Carr
Mark Hester
Mary Blee
Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards January 29, 2020 Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Chris Grun, Ronnie Cleland, Ariel Chisholm, Philippe Brochu (for "The Hidden World") Nominated [74]
Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Derek Cheung, Baptiste Van Opastal, Youxi Woo, Jason Mayer (for "Water and Waterfalls") Nominated
Casting Society of America January 30, 2020 Animation Christi Soper Hilt Nominated [75]
Art Directors Guild Awards February 1, 2020 Animated Film Pierre-Olivier Vincent Nominated [76]
Satellite Awards February 7, 2020 Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [77]
Academy Awards February 9, 2020 Best Animated Feature Dean DeBlois, Bonnie Arnold, and Brad Lewis Nominated [78]

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