We recommend our top five picks to watch after you’ve seen the finale to this dragon-centric animated adventure.
Not many animated films are successful enough to spawn a sequel, let alone a trilogy. In fact, only a few come to mind and while some are fantastic (Toy Story) others are certainly underwhelming (Cars). Thankfully How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World falls more on the former’s side with a formidable finale to Hiccup’s adventure (review here).
For this week’s list of movie recommendations, I’ve looked at films imbue the same story elements and thematic tone of this fantasy franchise. These films aren’t all cinematic masterpieces by any means, but they certainly quench the craving that How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World might leave you with after two hours of Viking adventure.
TOY STORY 3 (2010)
If you like this fitting finale to the Dragon franchise then it’s best to take a look at the finale of the other equally successful animated trilogy. Toy Story is known as the best animated series of all-time and it temporary trilogy ended on quite the high. It follows the story of Andy’s toys who are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of his attic. This leads them to convince themselves they weren’t abandoned and to return home. Its themes grew with its audience as children came to terms with growing up and finding their independence. That’s the staple of a strong animated film. If you enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World‘s themes, tone, style or atmosphere then you might like Toy Story 3.
Its fantasy elements are more fairy tale based, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as good. It follows the story of an ogre who agrees to rescue a princess from a castle prison to reclaim his land. Shrek took the world by storm with its meta all-ages humour, instantly lovable characters and hilarious take on these typically tame tales. While it doesn’t resemble The Hidden World much, its atmosphere alone gives the same fantasy feel. If you enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World‘s themes, tone, style or atmosphere then you might like Shrek.
LILO & STITCH (2002)
The only other animated film made by writer-director Dean DeBlois, it is an obvious choice to watch if you enjoyed Hiccup’s journey. It follows the story of a Hawaiian girl who adopts an unusual pet who is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive. DeBlois proves that lightning can strike twice as he creates two of the most lovable animal sidekicks of the 21st century. It deals with very similar themes and has the same atmosphere surrounding family and friendship. If you enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World‘s themes, tone, style, atmosphere or writing then you might like Lilo & Stitch.
This film is definitely the most similar of any on this list. It follows the story of a teenager who finds herself transported to a forest where she bands together with a rag-tag group in a battle of good versus evil. While the protagonist is different, the circumstances and situations are similar enough to have the same feel to the Dragon universe. That’s without even mentioning the eerily similar rag-tag group and flying creatures. Oh and Beyonce is in this one. If you enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World‘s story, characters, themes, tone, style or atmosphere then you might like Epic.
THE IRON GIANT (1999)
The final film on this list is the oldest, but certainly a classic animation. It follows the story of a young boy who befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy. The Iron Giant has the similar friendship between the protagonist and a mute creature who is misunderstood. It started the revolution for these types of films in animation. Without it, most of the films on this list wouldn’t exist. It may seem outdated, but do not underestimate this gem. If you enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World‘s story, characters, themes, tone, style or atmosphere then you might like The Iron Giant.
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