Pleasantly surprised with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World


(Ken Lamb) #1

Ok, so this might be the most controversial post yet…I gotta say it… I liked How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. :smiley:

I know this is probably the most divisive conversation starter we’ve heard here but hear me out. :wink:

I will grant there may be shortcomings from a worldview perspective…however, I was shocked by some of the issues raised by the story line.

Namely, marriage is for life, and always is accompanied by sorrow. Marriage is a function of man’s need of a helper, but the helper is not condescending or demeaning but supports and follows. Singleness isn’t not put forward as the ideal. The main character is prodded to embrace his masculine role of, not just chief, but also husband. And it seems that his masculinity is eventually solidified as leader, husband and father.

There is a part mid-way through where the main character observes someone ascending to his duties as leader and patriarch, and the main character’s “love interest” also observing remarks “now that is a real king”. This is the moment that spurs him forward to accepting the duties of his role.

Anyone else see it? Please don’t hate on me for posting this but I just couldn’t keep it to myself. :wink:


(Nathan Smith) #2

I haven’t seen it but my wife took our boys yesterday and I asked her how it was and my response was similar to yours. I was pleasantly surprised. It sounded pretty good.


(Josiah) #3

Yes. I think it was definitely a high note to end that series on. For its faults, I think the last part in the movie were the best in that world. I hope they end it there for good. I can’t imagine them topping that.


(Jon Swerens) #4

Yes, agreed. And manhood is not seen as a function of having the “correct” alpha body type, but in taking up your responsibilities and laying down your own preferences.


(Matt Robison) #5

I’m really looking forward to seeing the third one. The first movie is one of my all time favorite movies, period. The second one was a disappointment on multiple levels.

It sounds like they did a much needed course correction.


(Dani McNeilly) #6

I just watched the first movie with my kids last night and we all really liked it. Do you think we should skip the second one?


(Ken Lamb) #7

My wife was unimpressed with the second. I missed it. There is some context in the third that probably relates to the second one but it didn’t seem all that important


(Matt Robison) #8

The second one has some serious plotting and pacing problems. There are some great moments, but they don’t come together as a whole, and the framing of one character’s cowardice and selfishness as heroic and good is problematic.

There is also a weird, creeping pantheism as an undercurrent for the whole thing. In the first movie, the dragons are just misunderstood creatures and become glorified pets. In the second, they begin to be framed as something almost sacred, and a key to universal peace. Very off-putting and clumsy and forced.

The music is still great in the second, though.


(Lucas Weeks) #9

The first one is one of the few movies that we own, and one that my kids have watched many times. I did not care for the second one - I don’t remember specifics, but it struck me as all wrong. I appreciate the reviews here. I’m looking forward to seeing the new one with my kids.


(Matt Robison) #10

Saw it, and I was pretty disappointed. Oh well. I’ll always have the first movie. I guess Chris Sanders (co-director and co-writer of the first one) was a non-optional ingredient.


(Joseph Bayly) #11

Well, now we know what @ldweeks thinks:

The question is, is there a movie Lucas would recommend? :wink:


(Matt Robison) #12

I mostly agree with that review, in that the final scene of the movie makes it much better. The scenes/flashbacks with Stoick also make it more tolerable.

I think, since @ldweeks doesn’t remember much of the second movie and what made it bad, the review misses where the third is a doubling-down of those same themes. Hiccup’s band is essentially special forces for PETA. It also unravels the gravitas of the great closing scenes from the first movie.

A shame, because the first movie is almost perfect.


(Ken Lamb) #13

I think the very things that he affirmed in this one were noticeably absent from the first, which is why I don’t agree that it’s simply a rehashing, but rather, repenting of some things. Nevertheless I do agree there are problematic parts to it, though nowhere nearly as much as Zootopia. It’s not even worth mentioning in comparison. Least helpful part of the article in my opinion. But I do agree parents need to be very cautious with these movies, but I haven’t found even one where that is not the case.


(Nathan Smith) #14

It’s almost like discernment is something you can never turn off :grinning:


(Jason Andersen) #15

That’s a helpful review. Thanks @ldweeks.