Review of “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” – The Hidden Shrek?

Only a very few minutes of this final HTTYD (The Hidden World) movie, make sense in the context of the entire story up to this point, starting from the first movie in 2010.

Futurama's Fry and HTTYD's Hiccup with attached Brainslugs
Montage. Hiccup, Brain Slug. DreamWorks Animation

Whatever remains, appears to be dedicated towards somehow legitimising unusual personality changes to the Viking and dragon characters.
These personality changes, appeared to have been required in order to push an unusually large amount of modern-day mainstream-media-style themes that simply don’t fit into a “mythical Viking and dragons story from long ago”.
An entire hour of this movie, is spent watching the Dragon Riders either running away like panicked insects and leaving their ancestry, friends, lives and livelihoods behind, or farewelling their dragons.

In the real world, the toxic compromises and concessions the characters of this movie make, would mean the collapse of the society that gives in to them.

The Dragons TV series used to be officially described as the events between the first and the second movie. Unfortunately, the unusual changes in this final movie appear to be so major, that now the TV series was “supposedly” never canon (not part of the official “universe/story”), after all.
Even ignoring the TV series, doesn’t help in explaining the now frequently daft and nonsensical actions made, by this movie’s Berkians.

There is heavy and omnipresent marketing of this movie, which relies mostly on calling upon the positive feelings that viewers of the first hit movie had. The professional “reputation management” that is being done wherever the movie is being discussed, is increasingly obvious and overwhelming.
Willing suspension of disbelief when viewing this story, is strained too much for the movie to be enjoyable – an experience as forgettable as yesterday’s screaming news headlines.

Ferengi alien meme, text: "Profit"
“PROFIT” – Ferengi: Paramount Pi.

The movie is clearly a brilliant triumph of modern 3D animation and movie-artistry, with a story seemingly taken over by an army of Vampire-Dragons movie lawyers, bankers, accountants and marketing-psychologists – all with permanent frowns on their faces. What innocent story could withstand such an onslaught?
Sadly, not this one.

My score is 4/10, plus 2 because I’m still a HTTYD fan.

Update, 18th of June 2019:
Wow, well today is the day I finally put this website on the Internet. I Wrote this review shortly after seeing the movie in the cinema, on the third of January 2019.

It turns out that the DVD/Blu-Ray release of this movie had several scenes cut or animated again, to tone down some of the more unsuitable-for-kids content that was present in the theatrical release. For example, the brutal and confronting final fight scene between Hiccup and Grimmel, that no doubt shocked or traumatised many little children, who had to watch it.

In the movie theater, I had witnessed a young boy climb over his seat and curl up on his mother’s lap, during that disturbing scene.

The movie’s makers are some of the finest experts in the industry, so they would have been aware of the effect on younger audiences, by some of the material which was later removed or toned down. This doesn’t sit quite right with me.

The practice of “pushing the envelope as far as it will go” in the theatrical version of a movie, and then toning things down for the home movie release, for children’s movies, is not something that I see as positive.
In my opinion, the content that was removed or altered should not have been shown in the first place.

Obviously, if you haven’t seen the theatrical release but only the home video release, then some things I have mentioned in my review (especially the bigger “Bewilderbeast” version) won’t make sense to you. If only the unbelievably huge effort that went into the marketing of this movie, had instead been invested into creating a story that made sense in the context of the “HTTYD universe” – it would have been a very satisfying and meaningful conclusion.
However, apparently that was never the aim of this movie.

Update, 10th of July 2019:

Toothless holding up the script to "HTTYD: The Hidden World" and saying "What the hell is this?"
DreamWorks? More Like DreamsCrushed – by GoldyLawk

It has come to my attention, that this movie not only had the home video release altered, but also the theatrical release in some regions. I had no idea, that movie studios had become so adept and forceful with their targeted brainwashing tweaking of their products, so that it’s possible to push things as far as they will go in one region, and dial them back perhaps just a little bit, in other regions.
No doubt, this was a lot more difficult to do when movies were still distributed to cinemas on massive spools of film, rather than digitally.

Whatever happened to creating one movie, for the entire world to see? Instead of tweaking and altering it according to region. Why can’t things remain simpler?
We’re all humans who share the same feelings and goals!

The person who wrote a review of the movie in one region of the world, saw a different movie to someone reading the review in another. I’m not talking about the “professional” reviews by people who possibly hadn’t even seen the movie for themselves, but everyday viewers.

Judging by a review made by a popular HTTYD fan, who had seen the movie in Denmark, (much of) the inappropriate content that I myself had witnessed was also shown there.

The review is on YouTube here: “How to train your Dragon: The Hidden World | Movie Review! (Spoilers)“.

Mira X Shrek thing, pulling and pushing levers
Montage. DreamW. A., Konami

To see the Bewilderbeast-sized (thirty-one thousand words) version of this review with pictures, animations, plot holes uncovered and several “how it could have been done better” suggestions, you can find it here.

"Spoiler Alert"
Pacific Western P., Universal P.

There’s also a 10 minute video  I put together, “spoiling the ending, and dragons’ reminders and return”. However, this shorter review generally sums up my opinion of this movie’s story, and how it was presented to the audience.

Speak your mind…

So, do you agree or disagree with my review or want to add your own take on the story or my point of view? Let us know in the comment section below.
(Please mark spoilers)

Simpsons scene: Lisa "Aww, look at that cute little baby axe."
Robot Axes: 20th Century Fox

If you decide to leave a comment, please put extra effort into it and try to back up your opinions with reasonable arguments or facts. This review is my own independent opinion, and I’ve tried to back them up as well.

The reason I mention this, is because while my review is somewhat unfavourable, I don’t want attract low quality professional “reputation management” and “reputation attack” comments. A lot of reviews and “opinions” anywhere (forums, blogs, social media, review sites) for any business, product, service, place or movie and TV series (and more) are faked by supporting and competing “reputation management” services.

Simpsons scene: Marge "It's cute, but I'm sure it's very sharp and probably dirty." Guard appears: "Dirty, maybe. Dangerous, hardly."
“Reputation Management”: 20th Century Fox

It’s really quite a “questionable” (and growing) industry, but when the success of a product, business or message depends largely on superficial online reviews/opinions (which it often does), then those playing clean can be overwhelmed by those playing dirty.

Simpsons scene: killer robots attacking the Simpson family.
Killer Robots: 20th Century Fox

It would just create a huge mess of spam to clean up, if the average comment hasn’t had some reasonable effort put into it, no matter where it came from.
Thank you!

By Beinir (Ben) Madbear - Hairy Fansite Founder and Owner.
Passionate dog person, but also likes cats and animals in general. Web developer and online producer, who became a “How to Train Your Dragon” fan after coming across it on TV back in 2018.

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