How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

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How to Train Your Dragon:
The Hidden World
How to Train Your Dragon 3 poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDean DeBlois
Produced by
Written byDean DeBlois
Based onHow to Train Your Dragon
by Cressida Cowell
Music byJohn Powell
Edited byJohn K. Carr
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
  • January 3, 2019 (2019-01-03) (Australia)
  • February 22, 2019 (2019-02-22) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$129 million[3]
Box office$519.9 million[3]

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a 2019 American computer-animated action fantasy film loosely based on the book series of the same name by Cressida Cowell, produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the sequel to How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) and the final installment in the How to Train Your Dragon film trilogy.[4] Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, the film stars the voices of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, and F. Murray Abraham.[5] The film's plot follows Hiccup seeking a dragon utopia called "The Hidden World" while coming to terms with Toothless' new bond with a female Light Fury.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was released on January 3, 2019, in Australia, and on February 22 in the United States. It is the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Universal Pictures, after the end of their distribution deal with 20th Century Fox (which is now a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company). Universal's parent company NBCUniversal acquired DWA in 2016.[6] It received widespread praise from critics for its animation, action sequences, musical score, voice acting, characters, emotional weight of the story and conclusion.[7] It grossed over $519 million worldwide, becoming the fourth highest-grossing animated film of that year, as well as Universal's highest-grossing animated film not to be produced by Illumination.


One year after the events of the previous film, Hiccup, Toothless and their fellow dragon-riders continue to rescue captured dragons in order to bring them to Berk and its bustling dragon and human utopia. Their efforts have resulted in the island becoming overpopulated with dragons. In a response to the overcrowding, Hiccup desires to find the "Hidden World", a safe haven for dragons spoken of by his late father Stoick. Meanwhile, a white female Night Fury dragon, held captive by warlords, is given to infamous dragon hunter Grimmel the Grisly as bait for him to capture Toothless for the warlords' use as an alpha.

Toothless discovers the white Fury, (a new species that Astrid dubs a "Light Fury"[8]) in the woods and the two become enchanted with each other until the Light Fury, sensing Hiccup's nearby presence, flees. Hiccup and Tuffnut later discover Grimmel's dragon traps in the area. Grimmel visits Hiccup that night demanding he hand over Toothless, but Hiccup has prepared an ambush for him; Grimmel escapes, burning down Hiccup's house and most of Berk in the process. In response, Hiccup rallies the citizens and dragons to leave Berk on a quest to find the Hidden World and safety from dragon hunters.

Mid-journey, the Berkians discover an island on which they initially plan to rest for a short while, but soon begin to settle there, dubbing it “New Berk”. Seeing Toothless's inability to fly solo hindering his growing relationship with the Light Fury, Hiccup rebuilds an automatic tail for him. Upon receiving the tail, Toothless flies off, meeting the Light Fury on his own and flying with her to an unknown land. Valka, on a scouting patrol, notices Grimmel's approaching army and quickly reports back to Hiccup. Hiccup and the dragon riders head to capture Grimmel; yet, they fall into his trap and barely escape. Ruffnut is captured, but irritates Grimmel until he lets her go and secretly follows her to the Berkians' new location.

Hiccup and Astrid, searching for Toothless, find the Hidden World and see Toothless and the Light Fury leading the dragons there as a happily mated couple. When the two are soon discovered, Toothless rescues Hiccup and Astrid and returns them to the Berkians, with Hiccup realizing his people would be intruders and unsafe in the Hidden World. Suddenly, Grimmel appears and captures Toothless and the Light Fury (who followed Toothless). Toothless's alpha status allows Grimmel to capture the rest of Berk's dragons by threatening to kill the Light Fury if any dragon or Berkian attacks.

With Astrid's encouragement, Hiccup sets out with the dragon riders to stop Grimmel and his army. Gliding on wingsuits, they catch Grimmel's army off-guard, igniting a battle. Hiccup frees Toothless, while Grimmel drugs the Light Fury into obeying him. Hiccup and Toothless give chase, but Grimmel tranquilizes Toothless midair causing the dragon to fall helplessly. Hiccup, realizing he cannot rescue Toothless alone, frees the Light Fury and implores her to save Toothless. Hiccup is fully prepared to sacrifice himself in order to save Toothless as both he and Grimmel plummet toward the sea. The Light Fury, however, returns to save Hiccup as well while Grimmel impacts the water and drowns.

Back on the island, both Toothless and Hiccup fully realize that dragons will never be safe in the human world. Hiccup bids an emotional farewell to Toothless as all of the Berkians set their dragons free to live in the Hidden World. Toothless and the Light Fury lead the rest of the dragons away to their new home. Three months later, Hiccup and Astrid finally marry on New Berk.

Ten years into the future, Toothless and the Light Fury are shown to have mated and have given birth to three hybrid dragon fledglings named Night Lights[citation needed]. Hiccup, Astrid, and their two children sail across the sea and reunite indefinitely with their dragons [9] at the edge of the Hidden World. After introducing his children to his best friend, Hiccup takes their son flying on Toothless while Astrid and their daughter fly on Stormfly, accompanied by the Light Fury and their offspring. Hiccup vows that until humankind is ready to coexist peacefully with dragons, the dragons will stay hidden while the Berkians guard their secret.


  • Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, the son of Stoick the Vast and Valka, the newly crowned Viking chief of Berk, and the one who initially trained the dragons.[10]
    • A.J. Kane as young Hiccup.
  • America Ferrera as Astrid, an excellent fighter; she is Hiccup's betrothed fiancée.[10]
  • F. Murray Abraham as Grimmel the Grisly, an infamous dragon hunter who is responsible for the near-extinction of the Night Furies.[11]
  • Cate Blanchett as Valka, a dragon rescuer and Hiccup's mother, now living on Berk after twenty years of isolation.[10]
  • Craig Ferguson as Gobber the Belch, a seasoned warrior, blacksmith and dragon dentist.[12]
  • Jonah Hill as Snotlout Jorgenson, a brash, overconfident, and fairly unintelligent, but a reliable friend of Hiccup.[12]
  • Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fishlegs Ingerman, an enthusiastic friend of Hiccup knowledgeable in dragon lore which he often relates in a role-playing game style.[12]
  • Kristen Wiig and Justin Rupple as Ruffnut and Tuffnut Thorston, fraternal twins who are friends with Hiccup.[13][12][14] Tuffnut had been voiced by T. J. Miller in the two preceding movies as well as the television series.
  • Kit Harington as Eret, a former dragon hunter who used to work for Drago Bludvist who has joined the dragon riders after the events of the second film.[11]
  • Gerard Butler as Stoick the Vast, the late father of Hiccup and Berk's previous chieftain, as seen in flashbacks.[15]
  • Julia Emelin as Griselda the Grievous, an aggressive warlord who works with Grimmel.
  • Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Ragnar the Rock, an incompetent warlord who works with Grimmel.
  • James Sie as Chaghatai Khan, a less aggressive and stubborn warlord who works with Grimmel.
  • David Tennant as Ivar the Whitless, a dragon trapper who works for the Warlords.
    • Tennant also voices Spitelout Jorgenson, the father of Snotlout.
  • Robin Atkin Downes as Ack, a blond-bearded Viking.
  • Kieran Elliot as Hoark, a Viking with a knotted beard.
  • Ashley Jensen as Phlegma, a female Viking who works as a botanist at the School of Dragons.
  • Gideon Emery as Trapper


In December 2010, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that there would also be a third film in the series: "How To Train Your Dragon is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are at least three chapters to that story."[16] Dean DeBlois, the writer and director of the second and the third film, stated that How to Train Your Dragon 2 was being intentionally designed as the second act of the trilogy: "There are certain characters and situations that come into play in the second film that will become much more crucial to the story by the third."[17] DeBlois said in an interview that the third part would be released in 2016.[18] Although the series has taken a different path of telling a story of Hiccup and Vikings, author Cressida Cowell revealed that the trilogy and the book series will have similar endings (with "an explanation as to why dragons are no more").[19]

The film is produced by Bonnie Arnold[20] and Brad Lewis. DeBlois and Chris Sanders are the executive producers; Sanders was an executive producer of the second film and co-director of the first.[20] Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kristen Wiig returned in the third film,[20] with Justin Rupple replacing T.J. Miller as Tuffnut.[13] DeBlois revealed that Miller did initially return to voice Tuffnut, but DreamWorks recast him after the actor's sexual assault allegations and arrest for calling in a fake bomb threat.[21] Cate Blanchett also reprised her role as Valka from the second film.[10] On November 14, 2017, it was announced that Kit Harington will reprise his role as Eret and F. Murray Abraham has joined the cast.[11] During the earlier stages of production, DeBlois stated that Djimon Hounsou would also return as Drago Bludvist.[22] It was even planned to have Drago redeemed by the film's end, but halfway through development, DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg convinced DeBlois that the story of Drago's redemption required more screen time that they could not provide, causing his inclusion to be scrapped.[23] On April 17, 2018, DreamWorks Animation announced that the sequel's title would be entitled How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.[24][25] The animation challenges of the production required DreamWorks Animation to update and invent new software to handle complex tasks, such as lighting the Light Fury dragon.[26]


John Powell, who composed the previous two films, returned to compose the film's score.[27] In addition, Powell's collaborators Batu Sener, Anthony Willis, and Paul Mounsey are credited as additional composers. Also returning from the previous films, Jónsi wrote a new song for the film, titled "Together From Afar", which was released as a single in January 31, 2019.[28] Jónsi also provided vocals for a track titled "The Hidden World".[29]

1."Raiders Return to Busy, Busy Berk"5:26
2."Dinner Talk / Grimmel's Introduction"3:53
3."Legend Has It / Cliffside Playtime"4:21
4."Toothless: Smitten"3:15
5."Worst Pep Talk Ever"2:40
6."Night Fury Killer"3:35
8."Third Date"6:48
9."New 'New Tail'"1:28
10."Furies in Love"3.03
11."Killer Dragons"5:04
12."With Love Comes a Great Waterfall"2:08
13."The Hidden World" (feat. Jónsi)5:16
14."Armada Battle"8:40
15."As Long As He's Safe"6:29
16."Once There Were Dragons"5:45
17."Together From Afar" (Written and performed by Jónsi)3:17

Release and marketing[edit]

In September 2012, 20th Century Fox, the studio's then-distributor partner, and DreamWorks Animation announced the film was originally going to be released on June 17, 2016.[20][30][31] In September 2014, the film's release date was pushed back a year from its original release date of June 17, 2016 to June 9, 2017.[10] DeBlois explained the release date shifts as such: "It's just that these movies take three years. I think it was a little ambitious to say 2016... As is normally the case, they kind of throw darts out into the future and wherever they land they call that a release date until we start talking about it in practical terms, and then it's like, 'Uh yeah that's not enough time'. So knowing that they take three years from this moment, from outlining and writing the screenplay through to the final lighting of it, it's just a process of building models and doing tests and animating, storyboarding, the whole thing just adds up to about three years."[32]

In January 2015, the release date was pushed back a year from June 9, 2017 to June 29, 2018 following DreamWorks Animation's corporate restructuring and lay-offs meant to maximize the company's "creative talent and resources, reduce costs, and drive profitability."[33][34] On June 18, 2016, the release date was moved up from June 29, 2018 to May 18, 2018, taking the release date of the Warner Animation Group's The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.[35] On December 5, 2016, the US release date was pushed back from May 18, 2018 to March 1, 2019.[36] The release date was moved up for a final time from March 1, 2019 to February 22, 2019, taking the slot of The Turning, a live-action DreamWorks film which in turn was pushed back to January 24, 2020.[37][38]

The movie's poster was released on May 31, 2018. Its first trailer premiered on June 7, 2018, while its second trailer was released on October 25, 2018.[39][40]

In some countries, the film is plainly called How To Train Your Dragon 3, dropping "The Hidden World" subtitle.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was released on digital and Movies Anywhere on May 7, 2019 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and was subsequently released on Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD on May 21. All releases included the 2018 short films Bilby and Bird Karma.[41][42]

Video games[edit]

Unlike the first two films of the trilogy, The Hidden World does not have a tie-in game based on its plot. Instead, there are two games set before the events of the film, which are the top-down action adventure game DreamWorks Dragons: Dawn of New Riders available on consoles and personal computers (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows)[43] and the match-3 game Dragons: Titan Uprising for mobile devices (iOS and Android).[44] Both games play as RPGs, and the latter is free-to-play, while offering in-app purchases.


Box office[edit]

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World grossed $160.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $359.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $519.9 million, against a production budget of $129 million.[3]

In the United States and Canada, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World held early screenings at 1,000 theaters on February 2, 2019 and grossed $2.5 million, one of the highest advance showing totals ever.[45] It was released alongside the wide expansion of Fighting with My Family, and was initially projected to gross $40–45 million from 4,259 theaters in its opening weekend.[46] After making $17.5 million on its first day (including $3 million from Thursday night previews), weekend projections were increased to $60 million. It went on to debut to $55 million finishing first at the box office.[3][47][48] The film made $30 million in its second weekend, retaining the top spot, before being dethroned by newcomer Captain Marvel in its third.[49][50]

The film grossed $1.5 million on its opening day in Australia, setting a record for a DreamWorks Animation film in that country (surpassing Shrek 2). In New Zealand, the film grossed $173,000 on its opening day, ranking as DreamWorks Animation's second biggest opening day in the country, behind Shrek 2.[51] By its third weekend of international release the film has grossed a total of $41 million.[52] As of March 24, 2019, the film's largest markets in other territories were China ($53.7 million), Russia ($26.8 million), France ($25.0 million), United Kingdom ($24.8 million) and Mexico ($21.0 million).[3]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 91% based on 244 reviews, and an average rating of 7.25/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion."[53] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[54] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale (the same score earned by the first two films), while those at PostTrak gave it a 90% positive score and a 77% "definite recommend."[48]

Jennifer Bisset of CNET praised the voice performances of the main characters, while also citing the visuals and action sequences, and singled out the development of the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless, saying, "Continuing a series-long focus on family and love, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World narrows on what those values mean for Toothless. He experiences romance. He grows up. And with heavy, satisfied hearts, we let him, and Hiccup, go."[55]

Michael Nordine of IndieWire gave the film a B, saying, "Directed once again by Dean DeBlois, “The Hidden World” strikes a bittersweet chord in reminding its young audience that all good things — including the age of dragons — must come to an end." He later went on to applaud the CGI, lauding the "arresting visuals", and stating that "The animation itself is striking — an early sequence in which the sky is filled with dragons is an early sign of the visual treats to come — and ends up being the film’s highlight."[56] Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times gave a positive review of the characters and emotional messages of the film, writing "More bittersweet and less triumphal than its predecessors, and directed by a returning Dean DeBlois, “The Hidden World” concerns the exigencies that Hiccup faces as a leader, both politically and personally. If you truly love that dragon you trained, its message says, let him go."[57]

Conversely, some critics felt the film had the presence of too many juggled sub-plots and an obligatory ending, with Movie Crypt concluding that "Fans will enjoy seeing their characters grown and progressing as story arcs are closed, but the final resolution rings hollow. Ultimately, none of it appeared necessary other than a need to say goodbye; the dragons and their champions certainly earned a better conclusion than that."[58] Kerry Lengel of Arizona Republic says that "The plot is thin and holey and the characters are mostly just a single gag set on repeat" and calls it "a lazy effort."[59]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Golden Trailer Awards May 29, 2019 Best Animation/Family TV Spot Universal Pictures, Inside Job Productions Nominated [60]
Most Original TV Spot DreamWorks Animation, mOcean Nominated
Best Original Score TV Spot DreamWorks Animation, Buddha Jones Nominated
Grammy Awards Jan 27, 2020 Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media John Powell Nominated
Best Instrumental Composition John Powell for Third Date Nominated
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella John Powell for Once There Were Dragons Nominated
Saturn Awards September 13, 2019 Best Animated Film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [61]
World Soundtrack Award October 18, 2019 Public Choice Award John Powell Won [62]
People's Choice Awards November 10, 2019 Family Movie of 2019 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Nominated [63]
Animated Movie Star of 2019 America Ferrera Nominated


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External links[edit]