How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World Parent Guide
A highly entertaining film with a good mix of action and humor - and wonderful positive messages.
Parent Movie Review
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World continues the saga of the people of Berk, whose lives are so bound up with dragons that they have turned their community into a sanctuary for the creatures they rescue from captivity. All is well under the leadership of their young chief, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), until dragon-hungry warlords band together and hire the infamous hunter, Grimmel (voiced by F. Murray Abraham), to kill Hiccup’s sidekick. His dragon is special: Toothless is a night fury, the alpha whose rule is acknowledged by all other dragons. With Toothless dead, his subjects will be disorganized and easier to capture.
After some frightening encounters with Grimmel, Hiccup decides that the only way to keep the dragons safe is to go on a quest for a mythical land he heard about from his late father, Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler). The Hidden Kingdom is the rumored ancestral home of the dragons and is a place where they can be safely separated from violent, greedy humans. Hiccup and his friend Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera) persuade the Berkians to make the journey. But then a female night fury turns up and Toothless falls in love. As it usually does, love makes everything more complicated…
Sadly, love also slows down the film. There are extended scenes of Toothless’s wooing of the night fury (named Bright Fury by Astrid) which break up the momentum of the plot and go on for far too long. But this is a minor flaw in what is otherwise a solid kids’ movie. The only potential area of concern for parents is violence, of which there is a significant amount. But the action is heavily sanitized, without any blood, gore, or visible suffering. The showing I attended was full of very young children, and only one became so frightened he had to be removed from the theater. (I can’t say how many of the little moviegoers are going to have nightmares later.) Counterbalancing the violence are some truly lovely scenes when Hiccup and Astrid fly into the Hidden Kingdom and travel through a cavern with bioluminescence and another with flying, glowing baby dragons.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden Kingdom is a highly entertaining film, with a good mixture of action and humor. But it’s worth watching for more than just amusement – it has numerous positive messages that parents will want their kids to absorb. As Hiccup matures as chief and as a man, he learns to trust himself and his fellow Berkians, to think beyond his own perspective on the world and the future, and to put the needs of others ahead of his own. He learns about loyalty, friendship, sacrifice, courage and love – virtues that are too often hidden in movies. But thankfully, they are clearly visible in this enjoyable family film.Directed by Dean DeBlois. Starring Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, and Kit Harington. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release February 22, 2019. Updated February 22, 2019
Watch the trailer for How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World
How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World
Rating & Content Info
Why is How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World rated PG? How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World is rated PG by the MPAA for adventure action and some mild rude humor
Violence: There are multiple scenes of armed conflict between dragon thieves and the people of Berk who are trying to protect them. People fight with swords and battleaxes. Dragons breathe fire and spray combustible green slime. Ships burn and sink. Dragons are forced into cages against their will and are shown chained. A man’s posterior catches fire. A dragon knocks a house over, which falls, domino-style into another, resulting in several homes falling into the sea. A man drugs dragons with their own venom to enforce their obedience to him. Dragons are shot with a crossbow. A dragon is shot in the neck with a dart and is taken hostage to force her mate to obey the abductor. A character breaks into an opponent’s home to threaten and intimidate him. On a few occasions, characters flying on dragons are attacked in mid-air. None of these scenes feature blood, gore, or indicate that anyone is suffering.
Sexual Content: A young man and his girlfriend kiss occasionally. A young man gives his friend “Hickey” as a nickname. Dragons have a mating dance.
Profanity: There is no swearing in this movie. There is rare name-calling and exasperated references to “the gods” – but not to deities in any real world religion.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters occasionally drink from large tankards filled with what is presumably ale.
Page last updated February 22, 2019
How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World Parents' Guide
Hiccup is willing to let Toothless and all of the dragons leave forever – even though it will make life much more difficult for the people of Berk. Why? Are there benefits for Hiccup’s people, despite the costs?
Hiccup tells Bright Fury to save Toothless and falls to what he assumes will be his death. Why do you think he is willing to die for his friend?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
This movie franchise is based on the ten volume How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell.
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Margaret Hodge’s Saint George and the Dragon, with its lavish illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, is a wonderful introduction to the world of dragons.
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George puts a girl at the heart of the story. Young Creel’s stepmother suggests she be sacrificed to a dragon in the hopes that a chivalrous knight will rescue and wed her. But Creel has her own ideas about her destiny.
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke features a quiet young boy and a dragon on a quest to find a peaceful home for dragons.
A novel written by Christopher Paolini when he was still in his teens, Eragon tells the story of the hero of the same name and Saphira, the dragon with whom he forges a powerful bond. The two must fight the forces of a powerful ruler which are arrayed against them.
Seraphina is the tale of a young woman who discovers that she is a half-breed – part human and part dragon. Rachel Hartman’s novel is an exciting adventure tale about a courageous young woman who discovers and learns to value her unique gifts.
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Based on the novel series, Eragon takes considerable liberties with the story of a boy and his mystical bond with a dragon.