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YMMV / How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Was Toothless really going to abandon Hiccup forever after finding the Light Fury? While he didn't immediately come back, he didn't hesitate saving Hiccup and Astrid from the other dragons in The Hidden World and at the end of the movie it was pretty clear he didn't want to leave Hiccup, meaning he could have been simply waiting for the Light Fury to be ready to go back to New Berk.
      • Similarly, whether or not Toothless was a good alpha. He never actually does anything for his flock, goes off to the Hidden World despite knowing Grimmel poses a threat to them, and orders them to submit to Grimmel rather than risk her safety. Was his decision to take the dragons away to the Hidden World Toothless finally finding his feet as a leader or one more self-serving decision?
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    • Why did Valka believe that the riders relied too much on their dragons? Was she worried about the dragons' safety or she had come to regret her decision of abandoning her family (especially after the second movie proved it was All for Nothing) and she was now afraid that the riders were going down her same path?
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • The vikings don't seem particularly sad over the idea of abandoning their homes and leaving Berk forever to search for the Hidden World.
    • Tuffnut doesn't seem particularly upset at the idea of his sister being held prisoner and possibly tortured by Grimmel.
    • The humans are appropriately saddened as they release their dragons. The dragons, apart from Toothless, don't seem to care either way .
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Given that the first two films feature literal Kaiju battles, this reaction was perhaps expected.
    • Hiccup and his group take on Grimmel’s forces with relative ease, and release the entire village's dragons from their cages rather quickly to wreak mostly one-sided havoc.
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    • Although Grimmel manages to drug and control the Light Fury and commands several of his own dragons, Toothless takes out the latter with one powerful attack and he and Hiccup rescue the Light Fury without much aerial struggle afterward.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The movie reveals that apparently Night Furies are unable to stand cold temperatures, even if Toothless never showed any sign of this either in the first two movies or in the animated series.
    • The reveal that all the Night Furies, with the exception of Toothless, have been killed by Grimmel. Not only this was never hinted in the previous movies, but it contradicts the first movie where it was stated that nobody had ever seen a Night Fury before Hiccup. Mitigated in that Valka stated in the second movie that Toothless may be the last Night Fury and implied that she had seen them before, just not up close.
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    • Ultimately, the reason behind the dragons leaving. The reason given is that they're not safe and that the world doesn't deserve them, but with Grimmel dead, a massive flock behind them, and hints that Hiccup's ideology is spreading offered by the warlords, they're the safest they've ever been in the series. Especially since the Berks have arguably fought much more dangerous than him. Even after going into hiding, Toothless and his family hang around on the rocks outside of the Hidden World, exposed enough that Hiccup is able to find and reach them via a small boat.
    • The existence of the titular "Hidden World" also qualifies. Stoick supposedly told Hiccup stories about it when he was younger, but in the first film, his obsession was with finding the nest. If anything, the Vikings should have assumed that the nest WAS the Hidden World (albeit, Stoick does distinguish the nest he sought from the Hidden World. The nest is where the dragons raiding Berk were largely coming from, whereas the Hidden World is where ALL dragons the world over ancestrally originated).
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Grimmel's initial design shown in the first trailer was criticized by some for being too silly to take seriously, with his hairstyle in particular inviting comparisons to Mugatu and the Grandmaster. The second trailer shows that his model has been tweaked somewhat with darker eyebrows and a shorter, less elaborate hairstyle, giving him a more realistic and intimidating appearance.
    • After the second movie was criticized for keeping the other dragon riders mostly Out of Focus, the Hidden World gives them more screentime and makes them an integral part of the plot.
    • The fact that the Running Gag of Snotlout, Fishlegs, Ruffnut and Eret chasing each other in the second movie has been dropped could be easily seen as this by the fans who didn't like it.
    • The movie also seems to particularly focus on Grimmel's personality and motivations after Drago was criticized for being a Flat Character.
    • During the confrontation with Grimmel in his home, Hiccup declares that he has fought men like Grimmel before, finally confirming the events of the animated series as canon (unlike Kung Fu Panda 3, where the entire point of that film rendered its show non-canon).
  • Awesome Music: The second trailer mixes "Test Drive" with Distant Cousins' Are You Ready, and it is glorious.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Zephyr and Nuffink, Astrid and Hiccup's son and daughter, have been welcomed almost immediately by the fandom thanks to their Adorkable nature and them being the children of the main couple.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Not that these movies weren't already popular enough with teenage girls and young women already, but this movie looks to take it to the next level. Much like bearded Steve Rogers, the sight of Hiccup with a Badass Beard has rendered many fans near-catatonic.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • One image seen in the Dragon Eye in the series was a picture of what then appeared to be a Night Fury wreathed in a bright glow. With the reveal of the Light Fury, and the Hidden World where all the dragons live, many fans are now speculating that this was what the Dragon Hunters in Race to the Edge was really after, and that they were trying to hunt down a Light Fury to find the secret entrance to the home of all dragonkind.
    • Despite Dean DeBlois admitting that he did not consult the makers of the television series when making either Dragon 2 or The Hidden World, many fans have expressed hope and believe that certain characters from the series, such as Heather, Dagur or Mala, will still appear or be referenced in the film, even if only as background cameos with no dialogue.
    • After DeBlois confirmed that Drago Bludvist's originally intended return was removed in rewrites, many have speculated that Drago will still have a role in the film, even if much smaller than DeBlois' original intent note .
      • His Bewilderbeast, instantly recognizable by his missing tusk, appears in the background at the dragons' Hidden World, suggesting that he's been reformed and accepted by the other dragons and has found a new lease in life.
    • While the Dragons' disappearance is a Foregone Conclusion, fans have predictably been speculating exactly how or where they go and if they can or will ever come back.
  • Evil Is Cool: Grimmel the Grisly gained a fair bit of love for being an Egomaniac Hunter whose target is dragons, and his incredible feats of planning. Being a Contrasting Sequel Antagonist to the (often considered rather dull and generic) Drago Bludvist also helped. Of course, this didn't save him from being considered a Base-Breaking Character.
  • Genius Bonus: Toothless's goofy and flirtatious dancing is based off of the mating dances of Birds of Paradise, namely the Six-Plumed and Superb Birds of Paradise.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    Stoick: This is Berk, son. It's my job as chief to protect us, and one day, when you're all grown up, that job will be passed on to you.
    • The fact that Drago's Bewilderbeast is glimpsed in the Hidden World. The same Alpha that was tortured by Drago to become a killing machine, and was directly responsible for Stoick's death, was given a second chance and now lives a peaceful life with the other dragons.
    • Stoick, in a flashback, telling little Hiccup that Valka was the only one for him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Hidden World released a couple months before Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), while coincidentally, How to Train Your Dragon 2 released a couple months AFTER Godzilla (2014). Given that Toothless is the king of the dragons, whose dorsal spines glow blue in his powered-up mode, it's a surprisingly appropriate comparison.
      • He also gains the ability to manipulate electricity from storms, not unlike a certain three-headed dragon that Godzilla's facing against in King of the Monsters.
      • And both franchises center around a Hollow Earth populated by a multitude of species unknown to the surface!
    • Can also be seen as Harsher in Hindsight. T.J. Miller is one of only four of the main actors from the films to reprise his role in the television series. Due to Miller being involved in a number of controversies the previous year, his lines as Tuffut have been dubbed over before the film's release by Justin Rupple, thereby making him the only one of the original cast to not reprise his role in this film.
      • One of which was making a bomb threat which got him arrested. Ironically, Tuff and Ruff are known in-series for their fondness for blowing things up. Yikes.
    • The film also draws many parallels with Thor: Ragnarok. Toothless chaining a lightning? Many jokes were made. Becomes also Harsher in Hindsight when the village of Berk has to be abandoned and both Thor and Hiccup state that Berk/Asgard is not about the land, but about the people.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Gobber, previously confirmed by Word of Gay, is rather attracted to Eret, praising his physique and acting somewhat touchy-feelie, while Eret is mostly confused. In the end Gobber accidentally throws his bouquet prosthetic (It Makes Sense in Context) at Hiccup's wedding, Eret catches it, looks confused for a second and then shrugs acceptingly. Yeah.
    • Tuffnut's eagerness to help Hiccup on his relationship with Astrid becomes rather suggestive. Tuffnut constantly pulls Hiccup's face into his "full, thick, and manly beard" against his will and is extremely touchy feely with him. He is also seen eagerly pulling Hiccup aside for some "boy talk" on two occasions and is upset when the moment is ruined by Grimmel's trap. He gives him the nickname "Hickey", slaps his butt without hesitation, and shows his support for Hiccup' decisions by shouting "I'M WITH HIM! WHO ELSE?!" and is upset when Ruffnut steals his line. Near the end of the film he pulls Hiccup into a hug saying "Now THAT'S marriage material!"
    • Though Snotlout is clearly more attracted to Valka that doesn't stop him from slapping Hiccup's butt.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The quantity of spoilers/important scenes that have been put in the trailers had this effect with most of the fandom.
    • The reveal of the Light Fury's design was rather divisive, as her design was seen as too feminine and blatantly cutesy compared to other female dragons like Meatlug and Stormfly.
    • A minor one, not towards the movie itself but rather towards its reddit page whose moderators have adopted a spoiler policy so strong that even putting Grimmel's name on the title of a post is considered a spoiler.
    • Given T.J. Miller's scandals prior to the film's release, a lot of fans threatened to boycott the film if he wasn't dropped from the cast. His lines as Tuffnut were ultimately dubbed over by Justin Rupple.
    • Toy collectors are disappointed that no highly detailed figures of the human characters have been released especially as previous lines had lacking quality figures or were non-existent. As the big finale of the series fans were expecting a bigger treatment, even more with Jurassic World including human figures to go with their toyline.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • The plot of dealing with a villain who Hiccup underestimates and gets outsmarted by but manages to beat with regaining his confidence and help of his teammates can feel somewhat repetitive to people who have watched the Netflix series and Cartoon Network run, which both had quite similar plot threads in few points.
    • The "Toothless gets captured, exploited, and then set free so he and Hiccup can save the day together" twist has also featured in the climax of all the three movies.
    • Fans of the animated series have also accused Grimmel of being simply an Expy of Viggo.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Grimmel the Grisly is the world's smartest dragon hunter with the reputation of hunting Night Furies, a dragon species no Viking was willing to face, to near-extinction. Hired by the warlords to capture Toothless, Hiccup's Night Fury and Berk's alpha dragon, Grimmel employs a Divide and Conquer strategy to separate the Hooligan Tribe from their home and dragons. He secretly releases a female Light Fury into Berk, knowing that her presence will ultimately lure Toothless away from Hiccup in the long run, and he continuously thwarts Hiccup's attempts to capture him with traps of his own. At the story's climax, Grimmel is able to capture Toothless and the other dragons by holding the Light Fury hostage, knowing that the alpha dragon would never let harm come to her. When Hiccup and his friends are able to free Toothless and the other dragons from Grimmel's grasp, Grimmel uses the Light Fury as a shield and mount to increase his chances of escape. Ruthless, pragmatic and always thinking ahead of his enemies, nothing is ever accidental when it comes to old Grimmel.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Given the Light Fury's color scheme, many Blue-Eyes White Dragon jokes have been made. It helps that, in the backstory of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the dragon is female, or at least was the protective spirit of a woman.
    • Fans joked that Toothless's kids would look like pandas or cows, which ended up being Hilarious in Hindsight when it's revealed that their children are indeed a mix of black and white, though looking more like tuxedo kittens.
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    • Many jokes have been made comparing the film to Avengers: Infinity War, with Toothless summoning lightning being compared to Thor's thunder mode, and Hiccup's Badass Beard being compared to bearded Steve Rogers.
    • Along with the references to Steve Rogers mentioned above, Hiccup's older appearance has prompted comparisons to John Krasinskinote  and Jake Gyllenhaal. And PewDiePie.
  • Moe:
    • The younger Hiccup shown with Stoick in flashbacks is adorable.
    • Zephyr and Nuffink, Astrid and Hiccup's son and daughter, are very cute in an Adorkable way.
    • Like their parents, the babies of Toothless and the Light Fury are quite the adorable dragons.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Good luck guessing when Grimmel crosses it, though it was as late as when he tried to off Toothless himself, ignoring the other hunters who believed he would let them at the Night Fury.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Toothless and the Light Fury meet, court, and fall in love within the space of several days. He not only chooses her over Hiccup, but orders the hundreds of dragons occupying Berk to submit to Grimmel rather than risk her life.
  • The Scrappy: While the feeling isn't universal, not many fans seem to like the Light Fury. Already unpopular thanks to her character design, the fact she is the main source of the Romantic Plot Tumor afflicting the movie, her lack of any real personality beside being "Toothless's girlfriend" and her being ultimately a Damself In Distress used by Grimmel to capture Toothless and the other dragons didn't earn her much love from the fandom.
  • Sequelitis: While the quality of this film depends on who you ask, and the epilogue is widely-loved, the film is ultimately agreed as a whole to not stand on its own as well as the first two did.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Fishlegs and Ruffnut end up together at the end of the movie, even if she never showed any interest in him during the second movie and they barely interact with each other in the third one.
  • Tainted by the Preview:
    • The design of the Light Fury, as well as the fact that Toothless is getting a love interest at all. Word of God revealing that she pulls Toothless away from human influence in some capacity and generally serves as an engine of change... suffice it to say, this has proved to be a very divisive upcoming movie.
    • Many fans don't like the idea of the humans and dragons going their separate ways regardless of how good it may be executed, given how the last two movies and multiple seasons of the show (plus comics) have been about coexistence with dragons being the best option.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: As this reddit post points out, the writers seem to have deliberately either ignored or changed numerous elements of the franchise to allow the plot of The Hidden World to happen. Some examples are:
    • Having Toothless suddenly go back to be a wild being, ignoring his Character Development, significantly downplaying his intelligence and changing his motivations for coming back to Berk at the end of the Gift of the Night Fury short from him not wanting to fly without Hiccup to him simply not finding a suitable mate.
    • Changing the relationship between Vikings and Dragons to one that is advantageous for both groups to one where the dragons are described as wild animals who need to be free (including Cloudjumper, even if he was the one who chose his rider and not the other way around) and the vikings are said to rely too much on their dragons, even if the movie doesn't show the audience any evidence of this.
    • Renouncing the series'message about how friendship and collaboration make us stronger and replacing it with a more generic one about finding your strenghth inside yourself.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Outside of a throwaway line about how his defeat was made public among rival warlords, Drago Bludvist never shows up in the whole movie. Apparently, the filmmakers aborted his intended arc in the film. However, his Bewilderbeast is shown to be living in the Hidden World, so make that of what you will.
    • The Night Furies. They were teased in all the other entries of the franchise but the movie reveals that with the exception of Toothless they all have been killed. We will never see Toothless interact with another Night Fury and we know almost nothing about the species.
    • Valka has even less screentime than the second movie, meaning we see almost nothing of her relationship with her son, her reintegration into human society, how she is dealing with Stoick's death or her reaction to the dragons leaving — even Cloudjumper, her companion of 20 years.
    • Grimmel's Deathgrippers. Drugged into compliance, they're both natural predators and the embodiment of everything ugly about humankind's treatment of dragons. Toothless electrocutes them in the climax and they fall to the ocean, never to be seen again.
    • Only Gobber, Valka, Hiccup and the other riders are shown fighting against Grimmel and the warlords' forces, while the other Berkians simply stay behind and watch. Eret joins the fight once the dragons are freed, but appears in a single scene where he is decked in an armor and is recognizable more or less only by his mount.
    • The Warlords. They are Drago Bludvist's successors who can be considered evil counterparts to Hiccup and his group and the fact that at least one of them is from outside the Barbaric Archipelago could be used to show how the rest of the world views Berk and its peace with the dragons. They are ignored in favor of Grimmel as Big Bad of the movie and they are sidelined during the final battle with their final fate left ambiguous.
    • As this review points out, even if the other riders have got more screentime compared to the previous movies, they are still mostly used for funny scenes and lack of any real Character Development unlike Hiccup and Toothless.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • We see glimpes of Berk as a dragon-human utopia only for half an hour before the Berkians are forced to leave to search for the Hidden World.
    • Mixed with Malignant Plot Tumor, the fact that the movie doesn't seem capable of deciding why exactly the dragons need to leave: not only it introduces multiple and sometimes contradictory reasons, but it also never completely develops them, causing the final separation to come across as a case of Ass Pull rather than the logical conclusion of the events shown in the movie.
    • The movie almost immediately skips to the reunion between Toothless and Hiccup, not showing us the consequences of the dragons' departure, or its emotional impact on Hiccup and the other riders.
    • The fact that after the time skip we only see Hiccup, Toothless and their families. What happened to the other riders and their dragons?
  • Tough Act to Follow: The first two films are some of the crown jewels of Dreamworks Animation's entire filmography and are both remembered fondly by fans as part of the company's "Golden Age." This film ultimately had a lot to live up to.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Throughout the movie, Toothless seems all too keen to leave his best friend of 6 years behind for some dragon he's just met, and does so at the end (albeit with justified motives this time. The worst of it comes in the climax, when he's willing to sell out every single dragon from Berk into a life of slavery simply to save the Light Fury's life. What a great king.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The whole movie is gorgeous to look at, with some of the most fluid and detailed animation ever put to screen. The sequence at the titular Hidden World, in particular, looks essentially like a Design Student's Orgasm come to life.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • The warlords' decision of trusting Grimmel in capturing Toothless alive, even if he has them in clear contempt, he is driven by Fantastic Racism against dragons and is responsible for the almost complete extinction of the Night Furies. He promptly betrays them the moment he decides to kill Toothless and they are unable to do anything about it.
    • Hiccup's decision to attack Grimmel in his own base rather then starting to look for The Hidden World again, even if he doesn't know the place or if Grimmel is actually there, resulting in the capture of Ruffnut.
    • Somehow no one of the riders immediately noticed Ruffnut missing after they had managed to escape Grimmel's ambush, including her brother Tuffnut, even though the two of them share the same dragon.
    • Ruffnut revealing the position of New Berk to Grimmel by mistake, not being suspicious of the fact that he let her go and not making sure she hadn't been followed by him and the warlords, causing the capture of Toothless.
    • Toothless knows that Grimmel's weapons of choice are his Instant Sedation darts. Toothless knows that his plasma blasts take a fair bit of time to charge. Upon seeing the Light Fury hit by one, his strategy is to run up and stand there slowly charging inches away from Grimmel, who shoots him easily.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The response to the Light Fury has been... mixed. Some love the bright white color scheme, streamlined appearance, and the fact that she resembles a beluga whale while others dislike the much smoother, subtly sparkly and overall less angular design, and have accused DreamWorks of designing her like that in an attempt to pander to little girls. That none of the other female dragons we've seen look anywhere near as overtly feminine doesn't help matters in this regard. On the other hand, she is a different subspecies of Fury, and several others that look identical to her (except for varying sizes) are glimpsed in the Hidden World, making this a case of divergent evolution.

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