The popular How to Train Your Dragon franchise that began in 2010 is finally coming to an end. The children’s novel created by Cressida Cowell in 2003 has built itself a nice little following, while still almost seemingly being underrated at the same time. The How to Train Your Dragon franchise may not be on the same popularity scale as franchises like Toy Story or Shrek, but it still has a massive following spawning smaller budget short films as well as a TV series Dreamworks Dragons. Overall the story of Hiccup and Toothless is one of heart, friendship, and the lengths you will go to to protect what you love. The final movie How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, hits all the thigns you expect to see from the franchise, but lets dive into it with our highs and lows. As always this article is SPOILER filled, so if you haven’t seen it turn away now!
High: Toothless & Hiccup’s Relationship
The core story of How to Train Your Dragon is the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless. The two quickly became close friends in the first movie, relying on each other in good and bad times, always there to have each others back. In this final chapter of the movie it emphasizes the bond and relationship between the two characters. We learn quickly that after the discovery of a female light fury, Toothless quickly falls in love and Hiccup has to learn to let go of his friend so that Toothless can pursue his own future. It is a heart breakingly real story that a lot of us face in life, but what they learned in the movie is that just because we go on separate paths in life, doesn’t mean that everything is lost and the friendship is over. You really get to experience the genuine love these two friends have for each other and you can’t help but just relate this in some way to your life. It is really one of the best parts of the movie.
When we meet Hiccup and Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, we find them rescuing dragons from poachers. After this we see that Beck has become over populated with dragons and living together dragon and humans has become a lot harder than it looks. In the process we learn that an evil dragon hunter named Grimmel has made it his mission to hunt dragons, especially night furies. We soon learn that he is controlling a female light fury in order to lure Toothless away for him to hunt. All of this is going on while Hiccup wants to find the hidden dragon world and move Beck to it. The story for the movie is fantastic. There is so much more going on then just the brief summary you just read. The story gives real life problems involving friendship, loss, love and many other things. The story is everything that has made this franchise great. They consistently tell meaningful stories that hit you right in the heart.
One of if not the only complaint I had about the movie was the villain, Grimmel. Now here is the thing, I liked the villain as a character. I liked his story of being a dragon hunter and how he uses dragon poison against them. That was all cool and went well with the story. The problem I had was with the voice actor who played Grimmel, F. Murray Abraham. I found his performance to be very boring and really nothing special. I honestly felt that anyone could have voiced him the way he played him. The whole time I was wondering who is this guy and thinking how many different actors would have been a better choice. A voice like Jeremy Irons or Benicio del Toro would have been awesome for this role. His voice just kind of fell flat to me and didn’t really deliver. I think if the voice was have been better and more menacing it would have made him that much better. But honestly this is nit picking because this movie was fantastic.
When How to Train Your Dragon began in 2010 visually it was pretty awesome. The franchise has never been one to shy away from being bright, colorful and visually pleasing. In the final chapter of this story they pulled out all the stops and made sure to make the story beautiful as well as everything you see on the screen. This time around you see so many different types of dragons, you even see them so closely that you can pretty much see the detailing in their scales. The most colorful and vibrant part of the movie was definitely when the found the hidden dragon world. When they are flying through the Hidden World the colors and the attention to details is something you don’t see often. Even in the official images, you see the visuals and it brings you in. It truly is an amazing movie.
High: Franchises Ending
While there have been two featured films before this one, a TV show, as well as a handful of smaller short films, the franchise is sadly coming to an end. While it may not have reached the popularity of movies like Toy Story, it is still beloved by many and is easily one of the most underrated animated franchises we’ve seen. The story from the first movie to the last flowed perfectly and never felt like a dumb sequel. It told a story of progression from the first movie which taught the people of Beck to overcome their fears of dragons while we met Toothless and Hiccup becoming friends. The second movie reunited us with Hiccups mother who we didn’t have in the first movie while slowly introducing us to dragon hunters. We also got to see the love and friendship between Hiccup and Toothless grow and really show us how much they meant to each other. Then we have this final movie, which introduces us to the worlds most fearsome dragon hunter and Toothless finds something he never thought he was going to find, love. Hiccup learns that nothing lasts forever, but just because one chapter closes, doesn’t mean it won’t start something new. The franchise is more than just a series of movies. They teach life lessons and have deeper meaning. And the way they chose to end this franchise was perfect.
Overall this movie was a perfect ending to a beloved franchise that has touched many children’s lives, as well as adults and people who grew up with it over the last nine years. The story of Hiccup and Toothless is easily one that can be related back to your everyday lives with the story of true friendship. It is more than just your average animated movie made for kids. It is made for adults as well as kids. The one word that keeps coming to mind is heart, because this is what the franchise has. It is a beautiful way to end the franchise and it deserves the recognition as one of the best animated franchises of all time.