When we’ve got a good thing going no one wants it to end. It was only in the past few months that I’ve dived headfirst into the fandom that is How to Train Your Dragon (mentioned as HTTYD from here on out). I watched the first movie when it came out originally in theaters but then I lost track of it and chalked it up to ‘just-another-kid-movie.’ After a friend recommended me to give them another chance now that I’m older, I realized how wrong I was. Sure, it’s animated and that for so long meant that it was just for children but let me remind you that there are so many works out now that are enjoyable for all ages and not just children.
When I began the franchise over again I watched HTTYD, followed by all the short films, Riders of Berk, Defenders of Berk and Dragons: Race to the Edge. These shows and short films were meant to act as supplement material between movies 1 & 2 due to the five year time jump. I think these pieces were brilliant, my favorite being Netflix’s Dragons: Race to the Edge because it was in this show that we watched the characters really grow up and saw Hiccup and Astrid become our beloved couple.
If you didn’t watch the shows here are some points you may have missed out on
- Stoick and Hiccup’s relationship really flourishes in the shows, and it makes his death in HTTYD2 that much more painful. We see Stoick more in the shows and we get to see his first dragon; a Thunderdrum named Thornado who we don’t get to see in the second film. We also see him and Toothless actually bond and work together which once again, makes his death hurt that much more. I’m a big fan of Stoick and I think Hiccup learned a lot from him.
- Dagur and Heather the berserkers! I’m still so gutted that they weren’t a part of the films because these two characters are beyond interesting and some of my favorites so the fact they aren’t even mentioned?? I didn’t like that. They are such a major part of the story because Dagur is the Chief of the Berserkers, Heather is his sister and was even a dragon rider with the gang for a while. She and Fishlegs were even together briefly.
things that the Hidden World did that didn’t make sense to me
- Ruffnut being shown as nothing more than a dimwitted annoying girl that her twin can’t stand to be around. Sure, they tease the hell out of eachother but to make it so he wasn’t worried when she was left behind? Wasn’t accurate.
- Hiccup being depicted as someone who wanted to keep Toothless all to himself? It wasn’t a selfish desire, they had each other’s backs for years at this point, of course he would be upset if he didn’t think Toothless was going to come back.
- The riders not being able to work together as a team? After doing so for the past, what? Like six years? Also not accurate and frankly super annoying.
Overall, I think it would have been really hard for this movie to keep all of the fans happy. I don’t think it was a perfect ending to a franchise I love so much, but it could have been a lot worse. In some aspects I can understand the route that the writers and everyone behind the scenes decided to take in terms of making it so all the dragons disappeared into the hidden world. They probably wanted to keep some mystery alive so that it could be said that dragons still existed but that they know the humans don’t deserve them. On the other hand, it could be said that this was an easier route than trying to come up with an ending that would make sense with no one trying to hurt the dragons while they were at New Berk. Easier doesn’t necessarily mean better in this case, because I just find it hard to believe that after everything Toothless and Hiccup have been through together that they would only reunite ten years later and take one final ride before saying goodbye forever. It’s a painful thought and I’ve elected to ignore it.
That’s a wrap on the HTTYD franchise but it has sparked a renewed love for animation so I’m looking forward to finding new series to watch and fall in love with.