How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless' discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup's reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.
Director: Dean DeBlois
Writer: Dean DeBlois, Cressida Cowell (based upon the "How to Train Your Dragon" book series by)
Production: Universal Pictures
Released: 22 Feb 2019
Movie Video Clips
When I was a boy
What are you going to do about it
Now you can draw
With love comes loss
I am who I am today because of you
Who died and made you chief
Legend says that when the ground quakes...
And I want you to be free
The M word
Are you gonna get us a new mom
I was so busy fighting for a world that...
You're nothing without your dragon
I couldn't find a sitter
- My name is Dean DeBlois, and I am the writer, director and executive producer of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. And I am Brad Lewis. I don't have as many titles as Dean does on the
- So this opening sequence was actually designed to do a couple of things. We wanted to establish our heroes quickly for those who might have been unfamiliar with the previous films or the TV seri
- Eventually. Move out! We've got 'em all. I love the dense fog and the lights, and the way the light plays with it. I think that was really exciting. It was really nice to actually start the film
- Now, here is the last purpose of this scene, which is to introduce, in a very brief way, the Light Fury. She was one of the dragons left behind in the cages. But because of her camouflage, she
- Now, of course, we wanted to have our iconic fly into the village with the "This is Berk" speech and really use this moment to establish how far gone they are as a dragon-Viking utopia. It's on
- Gang, meet our latest Berkians.
- It was really challenging for our crowds department on this movie to populate these scenes with so many dragons and so many Vikings and still not distract the eye so you're able to follow the im
- Yeah, it was really challenging to give them all a purpose and then feel like they belong in the environment and they're doing something specific. And I think we succeeded.
- We were trying to establish some relationships here that we wanted to track through the story. This one is Snotlout wanting to be the prize student, and he's doing everything he can to suck up t
- And where do you suppose we put these ones? Ah, we'll make room.
- Astrid, don't be like that. That is a definitive no. Look, if you need a beard to cry on, just lean on my shoulder and you can cry into my... How many beard jokes did we have in the original ver
- And here we see dragons are being caged and tortured and being weaponized. And this whole idea was to show what awaits the dragons should Hiccup and his people fail to protect them. This is whe
- And another species of dragon that we hadn't shown before, these Deathgrippers are, sort of, a mixture of scorpion and strange insect-like beasts. That was really something we had to develop and
- They don't have a leader, just a boy.
- Originally, this flashback was meant to be one of, I think, six different flashbacks we had in the movie, that would show Hiccup at a young age, interacting with his father, memories that had an
- But when you're making an animated movie, you are limited by time. The budget dictates how long the movie can be 'cause it's so expensive to make these films. And so ultimately we had to choose
- You know, for me, this moment when he admits that he had a plan for peace coexisting with the dragons, to me, is a huge reveal in this flashback that really buys its way into the movie. You know
- So, in this scene, we have fun with the prosthetic, right? Where they're playing catch with the prosthetic. And I think, early on, we thought the idea in story was entertaining, but we wanted to
- Yep. And the more dragons we bring back here, the bigger of a target we become.
- You wanna get the sense that Hiccup is unaware that Astrid is his true support. And his future. 'Cause everything that Hiccup has achieved so far is largely credited to his bond with Toothless.
- rather innocently in the woods. He doesn't quite realize at the moment that this is part of a trap, and she does try to warn him right away.
- But the idea is that she's the engine of change. She's brought into the story, in a nefarious way through Grimmel, but her interaction with Toothless is pure. And his fascination with her is me
- Okay. Got it. What a night. Bud, what's gotten into you? What is all this slobbering and panting? Isn't it obvious? He's in love. Trust me, relationships are nothing but pain and misery.
- I always love watching Fishmeat in Fishleg's backpack or wherever he is. He seems to be perpetually entertained. A very happy little dragon.
- So we did a lot of hunting for animal behavior in this movie, in story and in animation. It's like, "What are all the interesting things "that different kinds of animals do to..." You know, mati
- We wanted them to feel grounded in reality and feel familiar.
- Yeah, the look is very much tied to the story conceit of making it appear as though dragons once roamed this world, our world. And this is the story of when they existed and, ultimately, when the
- Well, your father knew of me. Now, there was a chief. One of the greatest dragon hunters to have ever lived. What would he think of you?
- He's a very different kind of a hunter. He's not just a might hunter. The way he's eliminated Night Furies is by psychologically outthinking them. Right? It's a predator that outthinks his prey.
- These Deathgrippers were a lot of fun to design as well, but we recognized that we needed to establish a method by which Grimmel could control them. 'Cause within our world, that's important. We
- Fishlegs, have you ever seen that species of dragon before?
- Let me at him! I'll give him a piece of my mind! And by mind, I mean fists! Did you miss the part where we almost died? Have you seen my house? This is a new kind of enemy. We did so many versi
- Some of them were just with Hiccup and Astrid and Valka. Simon boarded at least three of them. Ultimately, it ended up being this town hall with everybody. And it's an important scene because it
- Little do we know that, after this scene, he loses Toothless, and then he also loses his confidence. That's, sort of, visually, symbolically important as well to the story, that Toothless is at h
- So, Simon, you should talk about the challenges of having this many dragons and people and sheep in disguise, all up in the air. - It's gotta be pretty complicated. - Yeah, yeah. And again, it's
- The sun's round. The moon's round. Stars are round. Even though they're small and stupid.
- Right? Stars. Now, these intercut scenes used to be entire scenes onto themselves, and it was thanks to our editors, a very clever idea of turning it into more of a montage by just keeping the b
- This is just one of my favorite moments in the movie. - Just tosses... - "Hey, it's nice to meet you!" That always got a laugh from the early boards, the different versions we had of it, it jus
- Which is kind of embarrassing and humbling for him, the Viking who's taught everyone how to interact with dragons and who seemingly can tame even the most wild and aggressive of dragons.
- Okay. Hold on, gang. I said make camp. From the moment I wrote that joke, I figured it would get cut out. Strangely, it's always gotten a good laugh, so it remained, but it was a groaner from th
- I love the idea that they immediately want to build an entire village. Right. That's what they do. It's not just... They're so used to rebuilding their own village. I love how they shave their a
- It was really important back in the day.
- If you're going to continue west, I should head back to make sure we weren't followed. Great idea. I'll go with you for protection. We had to make little adjustments to the Snotlout-Valka dynami
- Slowly adjusting his expectations.
- Do you still think I'm crazy or...
- And again, this was a difficult relationship to get right. We'd adjusted this several times, the Astrid-Hiccup dynamic, so that she was just supportive enough without being too sycophantic, I gue
- This is a familiar, almost clichéd situation going all the way back to Cyrano de Bergerac, the idea that a bumbling amateur might be looking to someone else hiding in the bushes for advice. But
- A lot of the core ideas in the sequence actually came out of the storyboards. Right. Yeah. Like the boards... I mean, obviously, it was recut and restaged and many new ideas came to it, but...
- It's the kind of sequence where the story points come through the script and it's clear what the scene has to be about. But it can be executed in so many different ways, that when it's just pant
- This is another thing, if you're paying attention as a viewer, you'll notice that Astrid is collecting scales that Toothless is scratching off of himself. And they dump them into this little mo
- This was one of the early sequences, as well. - Yeah. - Maybe the second one that we put in production.
- I was just gonna say that one shot where Astrid is holding the tail, and Hiccup paints it, Astrid's hair is just amazing. There's a lot of really complex hair-on-hair interaction, and hair with
- This shot says a lot about Hiccup's mindset. He was so proud to send him off and determined to help facilitate this bond between Toothless and Light Fury, but suddenly realizes and feels quite n
- This was just a quick moment that we put in to help with the pacing of the movie, and to remind the audience that Grimmel is continuing his pursuit. And so it's staged as an attack, but then we
- And it's a nice pairing, actually, with this sequence, which was storyboarded by Simon Otto, and it's a beautiful pantomime sequence of Toothless tracking down the Light Fury after an exhaustive
- I think they work really well, having the peril and then kind of the romance side-by-side, just kind of shows the two paths we're on.
- The great thing about several of these first beats of these moments between Light Fury and Toothless...
- One of the reasons Toothless, I think, works so well is we thrust him into situations that we relate to, right? He's been trying to impress the Light Fury who he met, even he's out searching for
- So, we're aware that the aurora borealis does not come out on a moonlit night.
- Hey, but it's here for fantasy. And this is the idea that... We wanted to introduce this waterfall at the edge of the world, as Stoick described it, without indicating that it's actually the vol
- It's not a circular formation, it just appears to be a waterfall. Or you could think of it as the edge of the world. Yes, which Stoick described in his flashback. So that's all we're giving you
- Some beautiful animation here, through with Fabio Lignini. I love how natural and relatable Hiccup is with his worry.
- He's immediately casting doubt on the Light Fury. His anxiety over being the third wheel in this relationship is coming through here.
- And it's believable, it remains entertaining, both the way these two characters interact is always really fun. ...and let Toothless stretch his wings. Reminds me of a talk I had with Stoick abou
- Where do they keep coming from? - Who? - Those bloody Hobgobblers. I love the idea that Tuffnut was just in that tent.
- He just pops out of the tent for no reason. This was one of the gags that we were a little worried about. Because, of course, we embrace and celebrate the idea of Hiccup and Gobber and others b
- These are always tricky moments in movies when you have your villain monologuing, but we realize that we had to get a certain amount out and this is probably the best time to do it, now that he h
- Talk about your action film choreography. Early on we were encouraged by Chris and Donna to really lean into the action on these scenes and this sequence certainly shows that.
- Amazing escape, great shots that have to travel north while they're being chased out.
- The Deathgrippers were animated, or led, by Liron Topaz, and he put a lot of thought into how they move around on those claws and pincers and heavy-armored scales across the backs. It was meant
- Which absolutely serves the story mission. We need to show that Hiccup's confidence is really shaken by nearly getting everyone killed, and in fact, leaving one of them behind.
- Can't make that reaction. Again, this is a really nice, bold choice of the color palette, coming into the camp of New Berk after that fiery escape. It feels perfectly dawn, wet and dewy.
- And it's a nice depiction of this place that we haven't seen before. I really applaud POV and Dave Walvoord and Roger Deakins for establishing some really beautiful looks for the film. Okay, guy
- I remember when we talked about the decision of, "Should we have Ruffnut captured? "Should she be back at the part with Grimmel?" And we all thought, "This could be hilarious," right? Because s
- Everybody, stay put. If I recall correctly, actually, Brad, this was your idea that Ruffnut would get left behind as a captive, that, ultimately, he just lets go because she's driving him mad.
- But just like having a sequence where you have the pantomime animation and music to carry it, it's nice to also have a sequence like this where it's relied purely on just the comedic timing of
- We were sort of running up against it, and we didn't have time to really design completely new characters from scratch. So we gave ourselves the mission of taking bodies that we already had, giv
- It could be argued that Hiccup has really bad eyesight. Because this is the second time in the movie when he flies up and seems to be the last to notice a massive landmark in front of them... Mi
- Yeah. I'd just love to quickly talk about the work that the animators did and we did together to learn to animate flying creatures.
- Just as a location, it was really challenging to design but especially execute. I know that Dave Walvoord talked about this being the most difficult thing in the film to bring to life. It's a s
- All right, Simon. Now they're walking. Well, I could just quickly talk about that. So, every animator had to go through two weeks of what we called "flight school," where they had to do very sp
- This is one of my favorite shots because we've always seen Hiccup put the hand up when he tames the dragon. In this case, he throws it up there and the dragon's like, "Not having any of it." It
- That's a really fun, dynamic escape.
- Makes you think of a theme park thrill ride. Escape from the Hidden World.
- It's a nice balance and that was the challenge of how do we take a moment that's both awe-inspiring and then turn it into something that's ultimately sad through Hiccup's eyes? 'Cause he sees t
- This is a sequence that... I just love watching it because of the work that the team put into bringing the environment to life. It's just a gentle breeze that's moving through the grass and the
- We never would've done four-foot tall grasses in a... We couldn't have made that choice in the past. And this is testament to, if your allergies are psychosomatic, this series of shots might in
- That was really nicely handled, I thought. When you're working with dragons, you don't wanna make them too anthropomorphic, in this case. And so it was, "How do we communicate that Toothless is c
- It was challenging, but the animators managed to pull it off. I think it's clear in pantomime that he has a sense of strategy and that he is having them bide their time until there's a better pla
- This was meant to be a bit of a callback to the first movie, as well, Hiccup and Astrid standing on the cliff after Stoick had sailed off with Toothless to find the nest. It's another moment wher
- This is also meant to be a payoff of the earlier idea that they as a team don't work very well together without their dragons. And so, here they are, finally covering each other's backs and work
- Yeah! Number two coming through. Surprise. Sorry about that. Come on.
- One more free. Four to go. Here again, this is one of the examples of just how well the team's working together. I got your backs. Out of the way! Yeah, it's almost like we're a team. Once again
- Now, if you noticed earlier, Toothless commands Cloudjumper, Skullcrusher and Grump to go back to the island. And that's them arriving with Valka, Eret and Gobber. Very subtle, but that's how w
- The lightning flashes here are just to help set up how Toothless is going to ultimately defeat the Deathgrippers. So, there's passing storm activity...
- How are we gonna get him off her back without hurting her?
- The worst thing that could happen to him. Such a silly idea played out for all it's worth.
- Character who can't grow a beard. - That's one... Hair all over his face. - And this is the resolution - to the Gobber-Hobgobbler storyline. - The Hobgobblers, yeah. Yeah, their growing numbers
- This is where the team always surprises me because we'll see these shots in storyboards, and then they become pretty amazing in pre-viz during the layout phase. When you see them fully realized o
- So, here they are in the spires, the snow-capped spires of New Berk.
- We have six Deathgrippers, two of them went down with the burning ship. Now he's got these two he's temporarily dealt with, and then the other two that make up the six. And now he's got four on
- And we thought, "Well, Light Fury taught him how to cloak." But for Toothless, it took more than a fireball, it took an arc of electricity. When we saw these shots coming out of the story, and th
- - See, that was your shot. - Yeah, cool. That came together well on screen. I actually hadn't seen this shot. - The idea is that the... - That shot we changed. The shot you changed last-minute.
- And ultimately, it comes down to this, that Hiccup was willing to give up his own life so that Toothless could be safe with the Light Fury. He knew that he'd be safer with her. This is.
- And intentionally we wanted Hiccup to start to lose all of his add-ons. That's my favorite shot right there. - Beautiful. Beautiful effects. - That's just gorgeous slow motion. Yeah, with the cha
- They all fall away until he himself detaches the last one.
- And that becomes Grimmel's demise.
- The design of that, in terms of the sound design, we wanted music to take over when it goes into slow motion, and for that piercing missile sound that is the trademark sound of Toothless, and as
- You're right, bud. It's time.
- I was so busy fighting for a world... The dragon animation here is just beautiful, I think. There is so much being communicated. We know that Toothless has a great loyalty to Hiccup,
- but he also knows that he doesn't belong there anymore, that there's something awaiting him in the distance. And so when he looks out to that horizon and back to Hiccup, he's really saying, "Is
- that he knows what that look means. So, I think what's being communicated, even though Hiccup is speaking, is largely understood between Toothless and Hiccup. Like the other dragons might be a l
- Essentially, I think our central cast, they all understand what's happening. And if Hiccup's gonna go through with it, then they, in solidarity, are going to let go as well.
- It was all building up to the moment of that hand coming away from Toothless's muzzle. Wanted to repeat that in reverse. 'Cause it was such an iconic moment from the first movie, and it seemed l
- Our world doesn't deserve you. Yet. So, hats off to Dane Stogner and the team who handled Toothless. I think there's just some really gorgeous stuff here. And, honestly, that tear is an artful
- It's a delicate thing to bring the audience to this moment where they accept that this is the right course of action.
- Yeah, that was the great challenge in all of this, we recognize that our fans really like Toothless and Hiccup together, and the other characters with their dragons. So, how were we going to tel
- And that Hiccup's sacrifice is inspiring.
- Really, it all comes down to... The ultimate inspiration behind all of this was meeting Cressida Cowell, toward the end of the making of the first movie. And she said that her last book was gon
- to suggest a time in which dragons roamed this world and that they had disappeared,
- and their whereabouts is a mystery.
- I really loved the idea of getting to that opening line of Cressida's first book, which is Hiccup, as an older man, reflecting back on his youth. And the line is, "There were dragons when I was
- on a horizon that's no longer teeming with dragons, and over that we would hear those opening lines, and that's exactly what we have coming up.
- - It's so beautiful! - Gross.
- Okay, you win. I like sensitive guys.
- There was also a goal to have a Viking funeral and a Viking wedding in this trilogy. And so, that moment fulfilled that goal.
- This shot was an intentional callback to Hiccup. The close-up on Hiccup when he was in Stoick's arms in that first flashback, we wanted to repeat it and kind of dupe the audience, so they expect
- What's fun about one of the conceits of this epilogue is there's these little cards where curtains were pulling back, "Oh, is that young Hiccup?" "Oh, my gosh, it's his son. Oh, they have a son
- And we wanted them to have a combination of traits. So, if you look at them closely, they'll have some of Toothless's features, some of the Light Fury's features, as well. You always talked abou
- This next shot, I think it was rough layout, in our early screenings, had this super frightened little girl, the expression, and the audience used to crack up every time it looked at her, and i
- So, this sequence, also, definitely softens the blow of saying goodbye to the dragons, to know that they went back there, had one last joy ride with them, were able to have their kids experience
- Right, we wanted a bittersweet ending, but we didn't want to depress our audience either, and I think this really helps leave people feeling hopeful and like they went on the rollercoaster of em
- Yes, the world believes the dragons are gone... And just this idea that the dragons could still be waiting there for us, once we figure out our own problems as human beings. There's something u
- Lastly, the concept for these end credits is that we wanted to revisit the relationship. So, we went right back to Hiccup and Toothless having their first moment of communion and that first cont
- and getting to know one another. And it's just moments throughout all three movies, connected together against a beautiful song by Jónsi,
- who's been part of all three films writing music for us.
- I think that the lyrics are particularly poignant.
- All right, this is Dean DeBlois, signing out. Hope you enjoyed our commentary and learned a few things about the movie.
- Yeah, and this is Brad, as well, and just thanks to everybody for watching the movie, loving the movie. We put it out there like our children, and we hope that they're loved. Thanks for the incre
Hiccup - Jay Baruchel
Astrid - America Ferrera
Grimmel - F. Murray Abraham
Valka - Cate Blanchett
Stoick - Gerard Butler
Gobber - Craig Ferguson
Snotlout - Jonah Hill
Fishlegs - Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Ruffnut - Kristen Wiig
Eret - Kit Harington
Tuffnut - Justin Rupple
Ack (voice) - Robin Atkin Downes
Hoark (voice) - Kieron Elliott
Griselda the Grevious (voice) - Julia Emelin
Trapper (voice) - Gideon Emery
Phlegma (voice) - Ashley Jensen
Young Hiccup - AJ Kane
Ragnar the Rock (voice) - Ólafur Darri Ólafsson
Chaghatai Khan (voice) - James Sie
Spitelout / Ivar the Witless (voice) - David Tennant