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Dean DeBlois
Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett
Writing Credits:
Dean DeBlois

When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn't the only Night Fury, he must seek "The Hidden World", a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$55,022,245 on 4259 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby Atmos
French Dolby 7.1
Spanish Dolby 7.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 5/21/2019

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Dean DeBlois, Producer Bradford Lewis and Head of Character Animation Simon Otto
• DreamWorks Shorts
• Alternate Opening & Deleted Scenes
• “How to Voice Your Viking” Featurette
• “Creating an Epic Dragon Tale” Featurette
• “How I Learned From Dragons” Featurette
• “Nature + Dragons = Awesome” Featurette
• “The Dragon Sheep Chronicles” Featurette
• “A Deck of Dragons” Featurettte
• “Growing Up with Dragons” Featurette
• “The Evolving Character Design of Dragons” Featurette
• “Drawing Dragons” Featurette
• “Epic Villain” Featurette
• “Astrid’s Whole Dragon Trilogy in 60 Seconds”
• “Welcome to New Berk” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 23, 2019)

Nine years after the first film hit screens, the How to Train Your Dragon series comes to an end with 2019’s The Hidden World - maybe. Excuse my cynicism, but I always feel that if the studios smell money, they’ll produce more movies, so a fourth Dragon down the road wouldn’t shock me.

If World acts as our last big-screen view of these Vikings and dragons, will I miss its universe? Not especially. Like its predecessors, World offers reasonable entertainment but it never develops into anything special.

In the Viking village of Berk, humans and dragons continue to co-exist peacefully, though some fissures occur due to overpopulation. New chief Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) tries to free all captured dragons, and this steady influx of creatures taxes the domain’s resources and space.

Hiccup decides to pursue a move to the potentially mythical “Hidden World”, a location that acts as a massive home for the dragons. This pursuit gets accelerated when notorious beast slayer Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham) pursues Hiccup’s pal Toothless. All involved attempt to find a new home and deal with Grimmel’s threat.

Given their box office receipts, audiences clearly enjoy the Dragon universe, but as I mentioned earlier, I’ve not been able to figure out why. While I think the movies have their merits, they just never really captured my attention.

This trend continues with the fairly predictable World. If you’ve seen the trailers, you already know much of what happens, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where the narrative will go.

I feel as though the prior movies explored these characters about as well as they could and World finds no new territory to mine. Sure, it advances the relationships, especially as it inspects the bond between Hiccup and Toothless. The movie also develops the romantic connection between Hiccup and long-time girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera).

However, the film pursues these domains in such a shallow manner that these elements don’t add much to the proceedings. Again, we know where the story will proceed, and very few surprises arrive along the way.

As such, World never seems like an especially creative affair. It gives us enough mild action and comedy to keep us with it, but the lack of truly compelling character or dramatic development makes it feel like a less than worthwhile expenditure of our time.

During its finale, World threatens to develop some emotional heft, but even there, it squanders its potential. Warning – spoilers ahead!

After the Vikings and dragons dispatch Grimmel, Hiccup allows Toothless to leave so he can be with his mate. All the other Vikings free their dragons as well to allow the beasts to live in peace in the Hidden World.

These scenes actually boast real impact, as we feel Hiccup’s sacrifice. If the filmmakers allowed World to end on the appropriately bittersweet note after the dragons’ departure, I’d admire the film much more than I do.

However, World pushes farther than it should. After the dragons leave, Hiccup weds Astrid, and I’d be fine with that ending, too. We sense that Hiccup/Astrid and Toothless/Lightfury have found their happily ever afters, even if their separation leaves us a little melancholy.

Alas, World just keeps going, so we jump ahead a few years to see Hiccup and Astrid on a boat with their two young kids. Hiccup regales his offspring with tales of the dragons and then we see a figure through the ocean mist who looks like Toothless.

For the love of God, end the movie there! We’ve already found – and lost – two good ways to finish the story, so in the name of all that’s holy, stop now!

Nope. Man and dragon reunite and all fly around as two joined happy families.

Truthfully, this seems like an inoffensive finale, but I still feel it seems wholly unnecessary – and detrimental to the movie’s emotional impact and themes. The entire movie touts the need to allow those we love to move on without us, and the story’s refusal to leave that notion well enough alone damages the simple power.

It all feels like the studio got cold feet about the more bittersweet conclusion(s) and tacked on a happier ending. Maybe others will like the cheerier finish, but I don’t.

A finale that leaves us uncertain whether Hiccup and Toothless will reunite possesses much more power. It’d be like the ending of ET the Extraterrestrial: sad but necessary, and a choice that gives the movie much more impact than a traditional happy ending would.

Maybe this perky conclusion would bother me less if I enjoyed the prior 90 minutes more. However, World never turns into an especially lively adventure, so the disappointment that comes with its misguided finish stands out even more. World seems like a largely competent tale but it doesn’t develop into anything memorable.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B-

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a fine presentation.

No issues with sharpness occurred, as the movie offered crisp and detailed images from start to finish. If any softness marred the presentation, I couldn’t find it.

Jagged edges and shimmering remained absent, and only a smidgen of edge enhancement appeared. I also detected no source flaws.

Hidden World provided a palette that featured a broad range of colors. This meant the movie offered a nice look with lively tones that showed an appealing array of hues.

Blacks came across as deep and rich, while shadows presented good clarity and visibility. This was a very satisfying transfer.

Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, I also felt very pleased with the Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Hidden World. With flying creatures and all sorts of action sequences, the movie boasted many opportunities to feature all the speakers, and it did so quite well.

Various effects elements zoomed around the room to create a fine sense of immersion. The pieces meshed together smoothly and transitioned well.

Localization was clean and precise, and the score featured solid stereo imaging. The mix turned into a broad, encompassing piece.

Audio quality also was very good. Speech seemed crisp and distinctive, as I noticed no flaws like edginess. Music seemed warm and full, while effects added a real bang to the proceedings.

Those elements showed good clarity and accuracy, and they offered tight, deep bass as well. The track seemed vibrant and dynamic as it accentuated the movie.

We find a slew of extras here, and these start with an audio commentary from writer/director Dean DeBlois, producer Bradford Lewis and head of character animation Simon Otto. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, editing and deleted scenes, music, visual choices, design and animation.

Expect a good but not great commentary. The participants cover the subject matter in a reasonably informative manner and we get some useful notes.

However, nothing ever really seems all that insightful. While worth a listen, this doesn’t develop into a terribly memorable chat.

Under DreamWorks Shorts, we get two cartoons: “Bilby” (8:01) and “Bird Karma” (4:48). The former features a tale of survival in the Australian Outback, whereas the latter focuses on a bird who eats all the fish he can find.

“Bilby” seems entertaining but not especially novel or ambitious. “Karma” brings a more creative affair, though, and stands as the superior of the two.

In addition to an Alternate Opening (3:19), we find five Deleted Scenes (9:15). The “Opening” offers an action scene that hints at the evolution of the Hiccup/Toothless relationship. It’s fun but not necessary.

As for the “Scenes”, they tend toward expanded character beats. In particular, we get additional flashbacks to Stoick and young Hiccup. Like the “Opening”, these offer some good material but nothing that stands out as particularly memorable.

Note that the “Opening” and all the “Scenes” can be viewed with or without commentary from DeBlois. He offers decent notes about the segments.

We get a glimpse of the actors via How to Voice Your Viking. While this sounds like a tutorial, the one-minute, 33-second clip simply shows the performers at work in the studio. It’s fun for what it is.

Next comes Creating an Epic Dragon Tale, a four-minute, 25-second reel with notes from DeBlois, Lewis, Otto, producer Bonnie Arnold and production designer Pierre-Olivier Vincent.

“Tale” discusses story/character areas as well as design choices. A few decent details emerge but the reel feels fairly superficial overall.

During the three-minute, 42-second How I Learned From Dragons, we hear from DeBlois and actors Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Kit Harington, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Gerard Butler.

They cover cast and performances. Though brief, some decent comments emerge.

Hosts of a nature program appear via Nature + Dragons = Awesome. Its two segments last a total of seven minutes, 52 seconds and present host Coyote Peterson as well as DeBlois, Otto, and Vincent.

In these, we learn of real-world influences on dragon design. Despite Peterson’s annoying remarks, these offer nice insights.

Two clips pop up under The Dragon Sheep Chronicles: “Friend Vs. Food” (1:21) and “The Secret Sheep Society” (1:18). These mix movie snippets and in-character narration from Baruchel to discuss sheep-related complexities. The snippets seem fun.

A Deck of Dragons lasts three minutes, 29 seconds and includes in-character notes from Mintz-Plasse as he discusses the movie’s new critters. It becomes another decent little addition.

After this we find Growing Up with Dragons, a three-minute, 34-second piece. It features DeBlois, Arnold, Baruchel, Ferrera and Lewis.

“Growing” touches on a few cast and character insights. It seems fairly superficial.

With The Evolving Character Design of Dragons, we see a three-minute, 18-second program that features Vincent, Otto, DeBlois, Baruchel, Lewis and Ferrera.

As the title states, this one discusses changes in character design across the three movies. It brings a few good notes that like most of its peers, it lacks a lot of substance.

Art comes to the fore via Drawing Dragons. It lasts three minutes, nine seconds and offers comments from Vincent, DeBlois and Otto.

“Drawing” works the same as “Evolving” except it concentrates on dragon design. Expect another decent but unexceptional reel.

The film’s baddie becomes the focus of Epic Villain. In this one-minute, 44-second clip, we get notes from DeBlois and Lewis. They discuss the Grimmel role in this forgettable piece.

A rapid-fire reel, Astrid’s Whole Dragons Trilogy in 60 Seconds spans one minute, nine seconds. It mixes film clips and narration to deliver a brief overview of the three movies’ stories. It’s cute but too short to act as a real summary.

Finally, Welcome to New Berk fills two minutes, 13 seconds and offers narration from Baruchel as Hiccup. He just offers a short history of his clan’s new home. Yawn.

The disc opens with ads for She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and Universal theme parks. No trailer for World appears here.

After nearly a decade, the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy wraps up via The Hidden World. If this truly acts as the end of the road for Hiccup, Toothless and company, it feels like a disappointment, as the movie lacks much real spark or emotional impact. The Blu-ray brings very strong picture and audio along with a long but often superficial collection of supplements. While competent, Hidden World seems lackluster.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 12
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