How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best animated movies of the decade, and it has spawned a successful franchise including a sequel and TV spinoffs. But all of it will be coming to a close with the upcoming How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. EW reports that the new movie will function not only as a closing chapter to the trilogy of movies, but a bittersweet conclusion to the entire Dragons franchise.
“We thought about it for a long time and came up with what we think is a bittersweet way to say goodbye to these characters, but the right way,” says DeBlois, who also co-wrote and directed Lilo & Stitch with former HTTYD collaborator Chris Sanders. Hidden World not only marks the end of Hiccup’s trilogy but, to DeBlois’ knowledge, also the end of its television spin-offs. The writer-director likens the trilogy’s finale to the way Cowell signed off her book series when she ended it in 2015: “You will understand why Hiccup says, as you heard in the trailer, ‘There were dragons when I was a boy.’ And by the end of this film, you’ll have answered the question [of] what could have happened to them.”
EW also learned some surprising new tidbits about The Hidden World. Despite the death of Hiccup’s father, Stoick, in How to Train Your Dragon 2, the character will return via flashbacks:
This movie plays with time more than its predecessors, utilizing flash-forwards as well as flashbacks, and in doing so, brings Stoick back to help guide Hiccup in his chiefly responsibility as protector of Berk. One early but pivotal scene finds Hiccup recalling his (unfathomably adorable) toddler self first hearing Stoick’s tale about a secret home of dragons hidden behind a great waterfall somewhere at the edge of the world. Stoick’s dream was to seal it off and stop the fighting between humans and dragons. Hiccup, however, sees the utopia as a potential new home where the people (and pets) of Berk can safely relocate; he’s proudly, if inadvertently, turned Berk into a bustling Viking metropolis of human-dragon cooperation, but with each dragon Hiccup rescues from trappers, he increases the target on Berk’s back to a less tolerant outside world.
Also, as we saw in the trailers, Toothless is going to find love in this movie with the Light Fury. However, their romance is more than just a subplot, and serves a narrative function for Toothless:
“What we’re seeing in this story is Toothless learning to trust his own instincts,” says the producer. “It’s not just a B-story. This is a potential agent of change that forces Hiccup to consider what sort of leader he wants to be, or even can be, without Toothless.”
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World opens in theaters on March 1, 2019, and features the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington, Craig Ferguson, and F. Murray Abraham.