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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) (1 Viewer)

Jake Lipson

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I didn't think it was nearly as good as the first film.

I agree that the first one is better, but I think the second one is still terrific. The thing is that the first one was literally world-changing. Normally, you'd want to raise the stakes for another film, but you can't top that in terms of raising the stakes because Hiccup literally and completely changed the established order of the world he was living in. So what do you do to make the sequel bigger? He can't change the world again because he already did that. Monsters, Inc. had the same problem. For Monsters, Pixar decided to go the prequel route, but Dragon couldn't do that because they needed to maintain the Hiccup/Toothless friendship. Their solution was to make the world bigger and bring the characters into conflict with people from outside Berk. I can't argue with that, but I agree the villain in the second film is its weakest aspect. I think the thing that really works about the second one is watching Hiccup mature throughout it as he deals with his mother's return and his obligations to Berk, and how those change over the course of the film. He continues to grow significantly in this one.

I can say that I think the villain in the third one is better-developed. They're still fighting him, but his motivation is less domination and more because his worldview is different than Hiccup's, which helps a lot in making him more complex. That's as much as I can say on that without getting into spoiler territory, so I'll put a pin in this discussion for now and we can revisit it when the wide release happens and you've seen it.

I don’t even think the time of year mattered. I would be willing to bet that Academy voters who don’t watch all of the animated films, which is probably more of them than not, will simply check the box next to whichever film Disney made.

I absolutely think that is the case with Pixar films. Whether Disney' Animations reputation is strong enough for them to also have the check-the-box mentality, I don't know. It took until Frozen for the main Disney branch to win one (in a year when Pixar's film wasn't nominated.) I think if Dragon 2 had come out in fall 2014 instead of the summer and it had received the kind of ecstatic critical response that has greeted Into the Spider-Verse, it might have had a shot. Certainly, it seems like Into the Spider-Verse has a good shot at winning this year. But the "ifs" in my scenario did not apply to Dragon 2, so you're right, they defaulted to Big Hero 6.
 
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Jake Lipson

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The first two films are this week's Honest Trailer from Screen Junkies. Spoilers if you haven't seen them yet.

 

Patrick Sun

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The plot wasn't too overly complicated, but the movie was beautifully rendered. Saw it in RealD 3D (Thanks, A-List), and it looked good in 3D.
 

Patrick Sun

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I would have liked to have seen it either in Dolby Cinema or IMAX 3D at AMC, but my nearest AMC theater was still showing Alita in Dolby Cinema, and the other AMC theater with IMAX 3D was too far away for me (late in the week, I'm tired...)
 

Robert Crawford

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I watched it today as the 3-D was pretty damn good while the film is a solid, entertaining film that I would give a 3.5 film grade too. A nice finish for this film trilogy.
 

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Saw it in 3D with A-list. The animation and 3D were quite good, I thought, but the jokes and story weren't quite my cup of tea. "B-"
 

Edwin-S

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The opening of the film wasn't giving me a good impression of it, but it improved rapidly after that. For what little I saw of the film, I would say the 3D was very well done. It figures that the use of 3D would improve in films just as soon as support for home releases dies.
I had to leave barely an hour into the film due to a work call. The theatre was pretty full for the 7:15 viewing. I'm going to have to go see it again in order to finish the film. I'd rather go to a late showing to avoid crowds and kids, but the theatre suddenly decided to make all of the late showings of the film in standard format.
 

Tino

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Gotta say I was disappointed by this film greatly. Was really looking forward to it after loving the first two.

I mean it was ok with a sweet ending but is by far the weakest film in the trilogy. Everything from the villain to the action to the comedy had a kind of been there done that feel.

It was certainly gorgeous to look at and the 3D was great but I left the theater with a depressing “meh” feeling. I’m bummed.
 

Jake Lipson

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Gotta say I was disappointed by this film greatly.

That's interesting. I loved it and thought it was a really great conclusion for Hiccup's maturation arc.

About the only thing I didn't like was
Snotalot trying to get with Hiccup's mother, which was weird, gross and felt like they didn't know what else to do with that character.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I agree, Tino. I went in with high hopes but in many ways it simply felt like a rehash of much of what we’ve seen before.

I liked the contrast between the first and the second films because their stories were so different. But this film’s story seemed to be more of a variation on the second film than new territory. I think I also liked it better that the first film essentially doesn’t have a villain, and I was disappointed that the third film’s villain was very similar to the second film’s.
 

Tino

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I agree, Tino. I went in with high hopes but in many ways it simply felt like a rehash of much of what we’ve seen before.

I liked the contrast between the first and the second films because their stories were so different. But this film’s story seemed to be more of a variation on the second film than new territory. I think I also liked it better that the first film essentially doesn’t have a villain, and I was disappointed that the third film’s villain was very similar to the second film’s.
Agree. The first two films were so much better in every single way.

Also I thought the end was was a bit of a cheat.

After the touching scene where Hiccup lets Toothless go and live his life. Nice and final.

Then it cuts to years later and they all reunite. It felt like a cheat to me. Like the filmmakers weren’t brave enough to end it after the first ending.
 

Jake Lipson

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@Tino:

I have no problem with the reunion because it's not like the reunion is in any way permanent. It's nice for them to see each other again, but they're still going to go back to living in different worlds at the end of that visit. However, I think the whole thing would have been even more of an emotional gut punch if the director hadn't said in interviews several months ago that the movie was going to separate Hiccup and Toothless. I would not have been expecting them to do that if he hadn't said they were going to, so it would have been even more emotional to watch the separation unfold without a head's up. There's another animated film recently that followed a similar trajectory, and I'm not going to identify it here because identifying it would be a spoiler, but if you've seen it recently you will probably be able to guess which one I'm talking about. And I was not expecting the ending to happen that way in the other film because the filmmakers kept quiet about what the third act of the film contained, so it was far more surprising to me there. Since DeBois had laid this out as the trajectory for Dragon 3 months ago, I feel like I was more prepared for it, and I wonder how the experience would have been different if I hadn't known in advance what they were going to do.
 

Tino

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@Tino:

I have no problem with the reunion because it's not like the reunion is in any way permanent. It's nice for them to see each other again, but they're still going to go back to living in different worlds at the end of that visit. However, I think the whole thing would have been even more of an emotional gut punch if the director hadn't said in interviews several months ago that the movie was going to separate Hiccup and Toothless. I would not have been expecting them to do that if he hadn't said they were going to, so it would have been even more emotional to watch the separation unfold without a head's up. There's another animated film recently that followed a similar trajectory, and I'm not going to identify it here because identifying it would be a spoiler, but if you've seen it recently you will probably be able to guess which one I'm talking about. And I was not expecting the ending to happen that way in the other film because the filmmakers kept quiet about what the third act of the film contained, so it was far more surprising to me there. Since DeBois had laid this out as the trajectory for Dragon 3 months ago, I feel like I was more prepared for it, and I wonder how the experience would have been different if I hadn't known in advance what they were going to do.
Yeah I get what you’re saying but it still feels like a cheat to me.
 

Jake Lipson

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As I said, there's another recent animated film that handled a
best friend separation story
slightly better by virtue of not announcing that they were going to do it in advance. That other film is
Ralph Breaks the Internet with the separation of Ralph and Vanellope.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Agree. The first two films were so much better in every single way.

Also I thought the end was was a bit of a cheat.

After the touching scene where Hiccup lets Toothless go and live his life. Nice and final.

Then it cuts to years later and they all reunite. It felt like a cheat to me. Like the filmmakers weren’t brave enough to end it after the first ending.

I agree with you on the ending - or endings, as it felt like it had a bunch.

The preferred ending is the
"ET"-style one you mention
, but I would've been okay with a couple of others. The movie just didn't know when to quit!
 

Colin Jacobson

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For me it never really started. :emoji_sleeping:

Yeah, I also never got into it.

Unlike you, I wasn't wild about the 1st 2, so "World" wasn't a disappointment.

Still, it was pretty meh.

I actually thought the "preferred ending" was the best part - it had some emotion involved - but then it just. wouldn't. stop!
 

Josh Steinberg

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For me it never really started. :emoji_sleeping:

Yeah. I kept waiting for it to get good and to hook me in...and it just never happened for me.

I think I would have enjoyed the film more if they would have constructed it without its mustache twirling villain. The best parts of these films have always been the emotional bonds between the characters and too often this movie put plot front and center at the expense of character. And it wasn’t a very interesting plot. It was the same plot as the second film. Bad guy wants to kill dragons, and will use his skills to manipulate other dragons into committing the violence. Yawn.

I think it would have been more interesting if the dragons needed to find a new home for reasons that didn’t have to do with an evil mustache twirling villain discovering a remote corner of the world where dragons live. What if they had simply outgrown that space? What if Toothless had simply met his new lady dragon friend and that was the catalyst for Hiccup realizing that he had basically constructed a dragon zoo for creatures that are meant to be free, and the film was about coming to that realization and then taking action to facilitate that freedom?

I loved the first movie because it wasn’t really about conventional villains doing bad things because they were just drawn that way. The second movie was less enchanting to me because they did go the conventional villain route. The third movie was disappointing because not only did they go the villain route again, but they really doubled down on making it the same kind of conflict from the previous film.

Maybe I’m just getting curmudgeonly in my old age, but I’m more impressed by stories that can be told without resorting to mustache twirling bad guys.
 

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