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.