“How to Train Your Dragon 3” Has an Unexpectedly Bold Premise

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: DreamWorks)

Wow. I knew to expect that “How to Train Your Dragon 3” would be a tearjerker, but I wasn’t expecting the movie to take things this far.

The first trailer for the upcoming third film in the series definitely has a feeling of finality to it. From the opening narration from Hiccup to the general plot beats outlined in this teaser, it’s clear that things are going to come to a full conclusion.

From the looks of it, “The Hidden World” is a movie about all dragons, everywhere, disappearing entirely.

That’s harsh. Both emotionally, and from a franchise perspective.

It’s not impossible for DreamWorks to stick to a trilogy when making films. “Kung Fu Panda” has only had three films (thus far), but the biggest property ever produced by the studio went a lot further than that.

DreamWorks span “Shrek” out into four movies and a spin-off. Something tells me we would have got even more if people hadn’t stopped caring about Mike Myers.

So why is the studio so eager to remove all dragons from the world of “How to Train Your Dragon”? Why kill the golden goose after just three films?

Changing Perceptions

It almost seems like DreamWorks has decided to go for quality rather than quantity. Like ending the franchise as a trilogy is the best way to wrap things up.

I still fully expect the studio to walk this back in a few years, once a change in management up-ends existing movie planning. Nevertheless, I’m impressed that DreamWorks is even entertaining the idea of tying a neat little bow around the “How to Train Your Dragon” movies and continuing on to make some other kind of film.

The studio has my respect, and I’m eager to see what happens with this film. I get the feeling it could well be the best animated feature of 2019.

The Hidden World
Source: DreamWorks

Especially if Pixar continues to fart out bland, unoriginal filler movies designed to keep Disneyland rides relevant to a young audience.

Especially if Disney’s big plan for 2019 involves “Frozen 2” and the remake of “The Lion King”, neither of which will in any way change the course of human history.

Maybe there really is something to the idea of just letting a franchise die.

It’s such a shame that so few studios are willing to do what DreamWorks seems to be planning here.