How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

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I went to see How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World last weekend. This movie, the third (and final?) film in the series, wraps up Hiccup and Toothless’s adventures fighting dragon hunters and blending viking and dragon lives. I’ll say right up front that I loved the movie.

The first film remains my favorite. There was a loose energy to the film that the subsequent films don’t have. It probably has something to do with the first film being done very quickly with a comparatively low budget. The second film was visually pretty great, but the story was choppy and not spectacular. Fortunately, the third film brings everything together nicely. As you might expect with advances in CGI and animation techniques, this most recent film is visually spectacular. Without spoilers, lets just say the dragon breath, slobber, and other visuals are outstanding. Oh, and go see it in Real D 3D on a big screen. It’s worth it.

The movie picks up where the second left off. Hiccup and his clan are still living peacefully with dragons, but as Hiccup and his crew work to rescue more dragons from hunters, Berk is near bursting with dragon overcrowding. Things get complicated quickly when a new villain shows up on the scene intent on catching and killing Toothless. That’s all I’ll say about the story because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but if you’re not sure about it, just watch this trailer:

Of course, animated films usually come with an assortment of toys and other products that capitalize on a film’s popularity. I don’t usually care about any of those things, but this particular film series does have an “Art of” book dedicated to each film. The insights in these books are fascinating to me.

I enjoy getting a glimpse at the concept work that went into these movies. I particularly like the dragon designs and animation. Toothless for example acts a bit like a dog, a bit like a cat, and who knows what other mannerisms blended into the character. I also like that the dragons come in many shapes and sizes. Some are comical, some are big and hulking, some are relatively tiny, but all of them are original. I’ve kicked around drawing many of the dragon concepts in a more ‘serious’ or ‘menacing’ style. It’s a project on the to do list. You can check out the art books for yourself here: