Childhood Nostalgia Reviews: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World


A promotional image for the film, featuring Hiccup and Toothless, the main characters.

Georgia Dougherty, Pulse co-editor

Editors Note: This is part two of a multi-article series about the most anticipated  children’s movie sequels this year that are sure to instill a certain degree of childhood nostalgia.

Our thrilling, friendly, dragon-filled adventures, known as the “How To Train Your Dragon” series, has now come to an end. And this ending could not have been more moving, nostalgic, and bittersweet thanks to the emotional trilogy-capper, “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.”

From the first movie, which introduced us to our goofy and underdog hero, Hiccup, and his affectionate best friend, Toothless, a rare and powerful alpha dragon called a Night Fury, to this recent film, there has been a major evolution in the animated world of vikings and dragons.

For one, the cinematic magnitude that Dreamworks took on is exhilarating. Starting with the first scene— Hiccup and the crew’s dragon-rescue mission, there is a lot going on. For one thing, it’s dragons, dragons, dragons; I’ve never seen so many and it’s spectacular! For another, the metallic, foggy, dark atmosphere foreshadows a less humorous film than the two before it, full of battle scenes, fire and doleful flashbacks of a missing main character.

If you haven’t seen the first two movies in awhile, I would suggest catching yourself up on them for two reasons. One, I was awfully confused in the first couple scenes. And two, what this movie nails in grandeur, it lacks in character development. I was really missing out on Hiccup’s classic and weak humor, and the wacky relationships between the vikings of Berk. This film is much more mature than its predecessors, which often made me forget that it is meant for children.

Onto the plot. Embedded in the fast moving and dramatic— albeit cheesy at moments— plot line, this movie tackles numerous themes. Some of which are marriage, as Hiccup and his fellow viking love interest Astrid navigate their readiness for it; leadership, as Hiccup struggles leading his viking civilization into the unknown; and friendship, as Hiccup and Toothless’ quirky and heartwarming friendship strives to overcome obstacles such as, yes, Toothless’ girlfriend, a Light Fury.

This film is very capably and stirringly final— that is, it is a daring and bittersweet conclusion to one of our favorite trilogies. I’ll be honest, it’s a bit of a tear jerker at the end. Although obviously, the first movie will remain my favorite and the one I’ll watch over and over, this film wrapped up Hiccup and Toothless’ dazzlingly quirky, fantastically whimsical, and dragon-obsessed adventures quite nicely.