4YE Review: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on Blu-Ray Is A Gorgeous and Poignant End To A Excellent Trilogy

Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Almost ten years after How to Train Your Dragon made us all fall in love with Toothless, Hiccup, Astrid, and all types of dragons, the fantastic animated trilogy has come to a close. DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is available now on Digital and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

In case the first two films weren’t a clue, you need to have a box of tissues close at hand. The Hidden World is the final chapter for the epic friendship between Hiccup and his Night Fury, Toothless, as both fulfill their destinies as leaders of their own kind. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has grown from an awkward adolescent Viking to the incumbent chief of Berk, an island he has transformed through his intelligence and open arms approach to dragons. The latter is tested when Toothless discovers his soulmate, a Light Fury who may divide Hiccup from his best friend forever. Plus, another threat is creeping closer. Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) is a dragon hunter who has a particular interest in Night Furys. Hiccup, Astrid (America Ferrera), Toothless, and their friends must find a way to stop Grimmel and save Berk and the dragons once more. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World also features the incredible voice acting of Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Kit Harington, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.

Closing out a story that has spanned three movies, a TV series, and ten years is a difficult task. Doing it in a believable way that shows the growth and development of each character is even harder. But The Hidden World succeeds in every way. Even though Hiccup is not the clumsy boy he once was, he’s still kindhearted, thoughtful, and full of wonder for the world around him. Despite the setbacks and tragedies, he’s endured, he hasn’t become a hardened warrior but led Berk with compassion and love. His relationship with Toothless is the perfect symbol of growing from childhood to adulthood. They’ve been instrumental in each other’s journey but there comes a time to go separate ways.

Every How to Train Your Dragon movie has made me cry and The Hidden World was no exception. In fact, I cried multiple times and even on re-watches. Writer/Director Dean DeBlois found the perfect balance of a coming-of-age story that touches your heart, no matter your age. With this final installment, DeBlois has created a lasting trilogy that rivals anything Disney/Pixar has ever released.

The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital versions of The Hidden World feature over an hour of exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content including an alternate opening, two DreamWorks animated shorts, deleted scenes and more. The alternate opening is a fun moment between Hiccup and Toothless as they attempt to bring yet another dragon to safety on Berk. Also, the animated short, Bilby, is one of the cutest and best animated shorts ever. Definitely give it a watch. I would absolutely watch a feature-length film based on this short.

The deleted scenes were also fun and many showed flashbacks to a young Hiccup with his father. Although more Stoic would’ve been nice in the final film, it’s understandable why these scenes were cut. It’s nice to get to see them now.

The highlights of the special features are hearing from the cast and creative team about building the How to Train Your Dragon world and growing up in it. In “Creating an Epic Dragon Tale” and “How I Learned From Dragons” the filmmakers and cast discuss why these stories are so special to them. Baruchel has spent ten years voicing Hiccup and crafted the character into something special and personal to him. Ferrera had never done voice work before Astrid and through these films, she’s developed that skill.

Then in “Growing Up with Dragons”, DeBlois talks about the story they chose to tell in this final film. He mentions that the first line in Cressida Cowell’s book series is, “There were dragons when I was a boy.” DeBlois felt it was time to tell the story that led to Hiccup becoming a grown man and reflecting back on his time with Toothless. That leads nicely into “Drawing Dragons”, which reveals how the design of the dragons evolved over time. Each dragon that was paired with a specific character became a way for the audience to identify that character, and so as the Vikings grew and their style changed, so did their dragons.

 

All of the Bonus Features included are:

  • Alternate Opening with Intro by Writer/Director Dean DeBlois
  • DreamWorks Shorts:
    • Bilby – Directed by Liron Topaz, Pierre Perifel and JP Sans; produced by Jeff Hermann and Kelly Cooney Cilella. Threatened daily by the deadly residents and harsh environment of Australia’s Outback, a lonesome Bilby finds himself an unwitting protector, and unexpected friend, to a helpless (and quite adorable) baby bird.  
    • Bird Karma – Directed by William Salazar and produced by Jeff Hermann, the beautifully artistic 2D short film Bird Karma tells a delightfully lyrical and fully unexpected tale of a long-legged bird’s journey of blissful joy, inescapable greed and the accidental discovery of the consequences when too much is not enough.
  • Deleted Scenes with Intros by Writer/Director Dean DeBlois
  • How to Voice Your Viking – Go behind the scenes with the cast as they record the Viking voices of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
  • Creating an Epic Dragon Tale – Discover what filmmakers learned while crafting this epic dragon trilogy.
  • How I Learned from Dragons – The diverse cast of characters reveal why they think the dragon trilogy is so special.
  • Brave Wilderness Presents: Nature + Dragons = Awesome – Join Coyote Peterson, host of Brave Wilderness, as he explores what it takes to make the dragon’s characters come to life.
  • The Dragon Sheep Chronicles – Protecting sheep from the dragons of Berk is no easy task but Hiccup has a plan.
  • A Deck of Dragons – Observe four new dragons as Fishlegs unveils his original deck of dragon trading cards.
  • Growing Up with Dragons – After years of being with these characters, hear the lasting effects of the dragon trilogy from the filmmaker’s perspective.
  • The Evolving Character Design of Dragons – Cast and crew reveal what it was like to evolve not only the characters of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, but themselves as well.
  • Drawing Dragons – Get a glimpse of what goes in to designing a DreamWorks dragon.
  • Epic Villain – A different kind of villain, Grimmel brings great challenges to the village of Berk. Go behind the scenes as filmmakers breakdown this epic character.
  • Astrid’s Whole Dragon Trilogy in 60 Seconds – Hold on tight as Astrid sums up the whole dragon trilogy in a legendary 60 seconds.
  • Welcome to New Berk – With Hiccup as your guide, get a firsthand look at the updated Viking village of New Berk.
  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Dean DeBlois, Producer Bradford Lewis and Head of Character Animation Simon Otto

Complete your dragon collection with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, available now on Digital, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.

 

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Stephanie Coats

Stephanie Coats is the Lead Events Editor at 4 Your Excitement. She has a B.A. from Hope International University and an undying passion for all things geeky. In addition to 4YE, she also writes for TheFlickcast.com, FlickDirect.com and works full-time as a communications coordinator.

You can follow her on Twitter for nerdy posts about Doctor Who, Agent Carter, Agents of SHIELD, Harry Potter and more.
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