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How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Blu-ray Review

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“How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” will appeal to fans of the franchise.

The third and final entry in the “How To Train Your Dragon” series kicks off with Hiccup and Toothless and the other Viking dragon-riders rescuing dragons from trappers to bring to their

peaceful human and dragon filled home of Berk. Alas, the peace is short-lived, however, when a new threat emerges in the form of a group of hunters led by Grimmel the Grisly. In order to protect the dragons, Hiccup and co. must find a new home which may include the mythical and legendary titular hidden world. That’s not the only main plot here though as romance is in the air between Hiccup and Astrid as well as Toothless and a new female Fury (AKA Light Fury).

For the past 9 years, Dreamworks has been releasing films and series in the “How To Train Your Dragon” franchise and have developed a devoted fanbase in the process. To those fans, this final entry in the saga should be an emotional journey as it deals with subjects involving love, letting go, finding your place, teamwork, and forging your own path. Indeed, the sweet ending is easily the best part of the film as it gives a nice bit of closure to both the central characters and the fans.

What doesn’t work so well is the story by Dean DeBlois which feels busy and rushed. First of all, the villain Grimmel is as bland as can be. He’s the definition of a mustache twirling baddie with very little depth. As a result, the villain doesn’t seem very threatening and it hampers the story. In fact, most of the characters here aren’t as developed as they could be which is odd considering the movie is an hour and 44 minutes. Too much time is devoted to eye-rolling comedic antics or overlong sequences that overstate the obvious (see the Ruffnut capture). Even the titular Hidden World plot is barely given enough screentime when it really should have.

One element that does work wonders here is the CGI animation. To say the animation has grown leaps and bounds since the first film is an understatement. The lighting, colors, and details in the animation are truly next level here particularly in the Hidden World sequence and in the arrival on Berk at the start of the film.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p, How does it look? It should come as no surprise that the animation looks simply astonishing in hi-def. The details on each dragon alone will wow you.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? From the rousing score by John Powell to the high flying action, this Atmos track is lively to the max.

Extras:
* DVD copy
* Digital copy
* An alternate opening and 5 deleted scenes. Optional commentary on the scenes by Dean Deblois.
* “Astrid’s Whole Dragon Trilogy In 60 Seconds”- The title says it all.
* “Welcome To New Berk”- A collection of narrated scenes and images about the Berkians new home.
* 2 Dreamworks shorts titled “Bilby” and “Bird Karma.”
* “How To Voice Your Viking”- A look at the voice recording sessions.
* “Creating An Epic Dragon Tale”- A featurette on the creative choices, art and world building of this third film.
* “How I Learned From Dragons”- The voice cast talks about their characters and growing up.
* “Brave Wilderness Presents: Nature + Dragons=Awesome”- A 2 part extra that contains “Birds and Beats Are Awesome” and “Animal + Animal=Dragon.” These extras talk about observing nature for inspiration for the dragon characters.
* “The Dragon Sheep Chronicles”- Another 2 part extra that contains “Friend Vs Food” and “The Secret Sheep Society.” Hiccup talks about dragons eating sheep and how to prevent that. We also see things from the POV of the sheep.
* “A Deck Of Dragons”- Fishlegs talks about various new dragons.
* “Growing Up With Dragons”- An extra about Hiccup’s journey.
* “The Evolving Character Design Of Dragons”- A look at the evolution of character designs through three films.
* “Drawing Dragons”- A look at what was referenced in creating dragon designs.
* “Epic Villain”- A featurette on the villain of this third film.
* A solid commentary by Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis and Simon Otto that delves into story elements and technical aspects.

May 18, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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