Why I Don't Like the HTTYD Sequels

Alright, get your hate mail ready. And I really mean it, because this is a very unpopular opinion. So here it is: I don’t like How To Train Your Dragon 2 and 3.

When I was 10, I liked the original movie and watched it quite a few times. When the sequel came out, I heard nothing but praise. I wanted to like it, but when I saw it, I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’ve realized the one word that describes why: Pointless.

Yes, you read that right. I think the first movie was its own completed story, and there were no plot threads that needed to be wrapped up in a sequel. Now, if a sequel has a story that’s worth telling, then it’s worth making. But HTTYD2 just doesn’t feel justified to me. The premise is that there’s some dragon hunters coming and capturing the dragons to build up an army. Okay, I guess, but the execution just doesn’t win me over. It’s just a bunch of captures, revelations, and escapes that don’t engage me. Hiccup meeting his mother is kind of interesting, but it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

Also, I hate how Hiccup has that weapon that spews dragon venom to create a flame blade. It’s just a lightsaber ripoff!

Of course, when the plot does go somewhere, it gets semi-interesting. In the third act, the Drago Bludvist guy attacks the dragon sanctuary where Valka is keeping the dragons. Drago’s Bewilderbeast killing Valka’s and then possessing Toothless and making him kill Stoic? THAT’s interesting, right there! Especially when they leave Hiccup and his friends stranded on the island. But the way they get off is SO stupid. They say that supposedly, the baby dragons were still there because they “don’t listen to anyone.”

[bangs head against the wall] Really, writers? You’re saying that the Bewilderbeast had hypnotic powers that let it control a Night Fury-A FREAKING NIGHT FURY!-and yet it can’t control the baby dragons just because “they don’t listen to anyone?” Bull. Just…just bull. Also, by that logic, then Hiccup and his friends shouldn’t have been able to get them to fly them home, right?

Then the climax comes, and it’s just as boring as the rest of the movie. Hiccup flies up to Toothless, speaks to him saying, “The real you is in there somewhere!” and then Toothless snaps out of hypnosis because of course he does. Then Drago and his Bewilderbeast leave and promise to come back for revenge (except they don’t-more on that later). Then everyone gets back to their normal lives, and we can finally leave the theater.

The third movie is a little better than the second movie, but it still has some serious problems that prevent me from liking it. First off, the title. Why is it given a colon and subtitle? The first movie was just “How to Train Your Dragon,” which works. The second movie had a “2” slapped on it, which worked as well. But the third movie is titled “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.” What? You went from numbered sequels to subtitled sequels? How very inconsistent. Especially when the plot barely has anything to do with this “hidden world.” It’s just something that Hiccup discovers on a side quest two-thirds of the way in, and then at the end, he’s like “Oh hey, Toothless, you don’t belong with us anymore, so you can just go live there!”

And the plot…uh boy. Just like the second movie, it’s just nonstop rescues, escapes, and chases. It just never seems to go anywhere! But what really kills it for me is the villain. The fact that Drago survived after the last movie made me think he’d be back for the third one. But instead, there’s just one throwaway line about “The defeat of Drago Bludvist” and then there’s this guy named Grimmel. What? Where did this guy come from? They act like he’s been practicing villainy for years, and yet we’ve never heard of him before. Goodness, he’s a lame villain!

Then the ending. To me, it felt out of nowhere. The characters basically said, “There’s been so much conflict between us because of the dragons, so you dragons don’t belong with us.” WHUT? You think just because Toy Story had an emotional ending where the main characters were forced to split up, then that means you have to do that, too? Copycats.

Plus, it basically undoes the first movie. The whole point of HTTYD1 was that Vikings saw dragons as monsters, and Hiccup had to prove that they weren’t just mindless killing machines. In the end, the Vikings and dragons learn to co-exist. But now all of a sudden you’re saying that they don’t belong together just because there were bad guys that wanted to exploit the dragons. And? People have been exploiting animals for ages. Ancient civilizations exploited horses, elephants, birds, etc. for war, transportation, and other purposes. I hardly think it’s the dragons’ fault for all the conflicts in the second and third movies. It was the bad guys’ fault for trying to exploit the dragons, so you defeat the bad guys, ergo, that solves the conflict.

To the movie’s credit, there are a couple things I like. Toothless flirting with the Light Fury was a very entertaining subplot. And the very end, where Hiccup married Astrid and went on to have kids? That’s the perfect ending to their arc. And then when they run into Toothless and the Light Fury, and the baby dragons that are mostly black with white bellies? I’m not sure if that’s genetically possible, but it still put a smile on my face. If only the rest of the movie were like that…

Well, there’s the issues I have with the HTTYD sequels. I don’t understand why everyone holds them in such high regard as the Kung Fu Panda sequels, but maybe I’m missing something. If you like the movies, then continue to do so. I’m not trying to deride your opinion, just express my own.

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I never watched the third one so I can’t speak for it but they all look the same. When I saw the trailer for the third one I thought that it was the second movie. Hiccup only worked in the first movie his character doesn’t make sense.

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I though the first movie alright, and didn’t care much for the second, and didn’t waste my time on the third. Then again, the movies were already ruined for me because I read the books first.

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Just a couple comments:

Because it’s DreamWorks. It’s been a theme from them. Look at Shrek.

I’ll have to disagree on that, other than Drago just disappearing. I really liked the villain in #3. He is what Hiccup would have become if he had killed Toothless.

I will agree with some of your other criticisms though. Were the sequels necessary? Not really. Are they worth a watch? I would say so.

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At least Kung Fu Panda didn’t fall victim to this…

I read the first four books a year or two before the first movie came out. I wasn’t expecting the movie to be so different, but it was so good, I didn’t care.

Huh. I didn’t think of it that way.

I feel like this is more a subjective thing, there are reasons to like the sequels, you’ve pointed out a few, but if you’re gonna nitpick the naming convention of the second and third movies, perhaps it’s just you reading into it too much?

A few things:

  • Covenant Energy Sword
  • Doomslayer’s Crucible
  • Beric Dondarrion’s Fire sword
  • Optimus Prime’s Axe

it’s not a rip-off, energyblades or fireblades are not a unique thing to the lightsaber and Hiccup’s dragonfire sword is a logical progression of his character, utilizing more dragon related stuff in his tinkering.

You misunderstand this, the point is that humans hunt dragons, only those of Berk learnt to co-exist (that we’ve seen in the movies), so as long as there are dragons, humans will hunt the dragons and thus the dragon riders. The conflict ends if the dragons all disappear and so Hiccup sends them to be free in their natural habitat. Not the best plot but better than mass extinction of dragons.

Again: it’s not the dragons’ fault. They’re just minding their own business when they’re flying about our world. It’s the dragon hunters’ choice to hunt them and exploit them. If everyone can learn to coexist with the dragons, rather than pushing them away, then that’ll solve the problem.

That would solve the problem indeed, but do humans coexist? In the books, the vikings fight the Romans and in history fight each other. Dragons that steal livestock and can destroy settlements don’t make it easy to co-exist, especially since only Hiccup learns how to communicate with and understand them.

Yeah it’s not the dragon’s fault, but there will always be bad apples in humanity and convincing all these people to coexist is a feat even Hiccup is incapable of. It’s also a bad movie idea.

Uh…the whole point of the first movie was that the dragons were only stealing livestock was because the Red Death was forcing them to do it. And that all the Vikings had to learn how to communicate with and understand them. Really, that’s where this story should’ve ended, rather than dragging in these Drago Bludvist and Grimmel thugs.

Dragons still gotta eat my dude, the fact that Dragons attacked Drago’s village as a child explains this.

All of the Vikings… of Berk, not the rest of the world, the point of the first film was that the Berkians could get along with the dragons, I think you’ve misunderstood some elements.

Also it was obviously gonna have sequels, there are over 10 books in the series, so it’s not like there was a lack of source material.

You act like it payed any attention to the source material.

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Wait, have movie directors ever payed attention to the source material? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

On occasion.

Uh…yes, directors have paid attention to source material. Must I remind you of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, literally every Marvel movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Divergent, Twilight, Detective Pikachu, Godzilla…

Also, of course dragons have to eat. That’s why in the second movie, the Vikings have all-you-can-eat buffets set up for the dragons.

You got me there, my point was more that sequels were possible if they decided to loosely base a movie on a vague concept of the books.

Yes some movies are based heavily on source material and some aren’t, the point I was trying to make was, the story could bring in Hiccup getting kidnapped, Kamikaze, the windwalker, the romans etc. A good movie does not have to be based accurately on source material.

Agreed. Though, these movies shared almost nothing but a few names.

Yes please.

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And Alvin the Treacherous as well.

I only read the first four books when I was…seven? Eight? Nine? I don’t remember exactly. I remember at the end of the fourth book, it said that there was another book after that. I wondered for a while, but I forgot after a while. Then years later, while the movies were going on, I found out that there were twice as many books as I’d read. Wow.

But yeah, the movies had virtually nothing to do with the books. Like, Astrid wasn’t even in the books! Not to mention, Fishlegs was Hiccup’s best friend, Snotlout was his cousin, and Toothless 1.) could talk (in Dragonese, anyway) and 2.) was too small to ride. Perhaps if the movies had actually followed the books, they would’ve turned out better.