Snoggletog came early for any How to Train Your Dragon fans, featuring an earlier than promised release date for Hiccup, Toothless, and the rest of the Berkians. As one of DreamWorks Animation’s most well-known and successful franchises (in the running with Shrek and Kung Fu Panda), How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World doesn’t disappoint. Though the trilogy vastly deviates from the books, it sticks to its own established canon admirably well and brings the series to a beautifully emotional close.
It’s been a few years, so a rewatch of the previous films and maybe some of the Netflix series is definitely recommended for full enjoyment of the final installment. That being said, here are the top 10 Easter eggs to look out for.
10 This Is Berk
Oh look, our story starts with an action set piece on a boat! So where’s the Berk monologue?
Nope. There it is. Ten minutes later.
But this is a very different Berk, even from the sequel. After establishing Berk as the first successful dragon-Viking civilization, things are colorful, hectic, and very overcrowded. The population of both dragons and Vikings increased since the sequel, and the buildings both expanded upwards and got a new paint job.
9 Gobber’s Love Life
Originally ad-libbed as a joke, Craig Ferguson effectively made Gobber gay in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and it totally stuck. In the film, Gobber says it in the middle of Valla and Stoick’s reunion, so everyone was a little more focused on Hiccup’s parents reconciling and recovering the years lost between them. But that throwaway line comes back with a vengeance in The Hidden World.
Eret, Son of Eret, seems to be the objective of affection. Who wouldn’t swoon for a Kit Harington character? But seeing as Eret catches Gobber’s bouquet during Hiccup and Astrid’s wedding, maybe it’s not so one-sided, after all...
8 John Powell Strikes Again
Let’s face it, How to Train Your Dragon has one of the best film scores in the last decade. The sequel expanded upon and added new themes to the franchise, blessing our ears and hearts with "For the Dancing and the Dreaming," and subsequently breaking both when Stoick died.
Powell’s amazing work continues in The Hidden World. Nothing about the music is understated, but it definitely hits home in the last act of the movie. The score helps perfectly bookend the series, especially since the last 15 minutes or so only contain tracks from the first movie. With the ending of the film dedicated to a final flight between friends, good luck keeping the tears at bay with "First Flight" blasting over the speakers.
7 Fireproof On The Outside
As we know from the first movie, dragons’ scales are fireproof while their innards are not. But we didn’t really see that aspect applied in classic Hiccup flare until now.
We were probably meant to assume that Hiccup was already using dragon scales to create his armor, but it’s specified better this time around. He even makes Toothless’s new tail fin out of the scales Toothless sheds. Crushing them into a paste (with the addition of Night Fury saliva...ew), he uses the mixture as paint and then has Toothless set the liquid with fire.
6 Still The Last Night Fury
It’s a little fuzzy on the relationship between Night Furies and Light Furies, but make no mistake: the Night Furies are gone. Our big bad Grimmel hunted them all — but not the Light Furies. In fact, we see a family of Light Furies living in the Hidden World.
Most of this is used to describe more of Toothless’s god-tier status among the dragons, but despite being a different species (Spoiler Alert!), he can breed with his Light Fury girlfriend. The babies are shown to be something of a crossbreed. Now we’re left questioning if those babies are fertile or if they’re closer related to ligers.
5 Stoick’s Words Of Wisdom
Did you cry your eyes out when Stoick died? Did you cry even more when you realized Gerard Butler wouldn’t appear in The Hidden World? Let your fears be erased. Stoick the Vast is a huge part of the story without truly being there. We’re treated to a series of flashbacks through the film, including the family after Valla’s dragon abduction.
Probably the most touching scene is watching Stoick break down, letting himself be emotional when no one is looking. And instead of telling Hiccup to not show such weakness or deny crying, he addresses the sadness of losing Valla in a way young Hiccup can understand. He then goes on to explain that he holds onto the good memories of Valla. "For the Dancing and the Dreaming" anyone?
4 Happy Snoggletog!
If you remember the How to Train Your Dragon Christmas special, Gift of the Night Fury, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Unlike a majority of franchises that overlook their tie-in series, The Hidden World fondly looks back on where it’s been. Considering the Netflix series bent over backward to remain canon with the films, they dedicated an episode to Stoick releasing his Thunderdrum so he could train the Rumblehorn seen in How to Train Your Dragon 2; it’s nice to see the films do the same.
Toothless needs an automatic tail fin in order to pursue the Light Fury of his dreams. So Hiccup builds it. Again. Instead of overlooking the entire storyline of the special, Astrid and Hiccup have a brief conversation about it. Not only is it a nice little nod to the expanded continuity, but it’s used as a character development moment. Toothless never had a reason to leave Hiccup. Now, he has a reason to be more independent.
3 Drawing Lessons
Throughout the series, Hiccup is shown as immensely creative and an unconventional thinker. We never saw the same with Toothless... until now.
To impress the Light Fury, Toothless’s final move is drawing a picture of her. Or him. They have near-identical facial features. But the picture works and grabs the Light Fury’s attention. She ends up stepping on the lines, which is a big no-no for Toothless, but unlike Hiccup, she doesn’t stop.
The symbolism for the original drawing scene was avoidance of breaking the rules by bending them. There were hard and fast lines between Vikings and dragons, so our intrepid duo had to find a way around them. But what rules are there between dragons and dragons?
2 Hiccup Saves Toothless
Every part of this film takes such care and consideration to fully bookend the trilogy. The climax of the film ends with a fall. Instead of a dragon and a human opposing a dragon, we have a dragon and a human opposing a human. It’s up to Hiccup to make the call, not Toothless.
As they fall, Hiccup tells the Light Fury to “Save him,” save Toothless, repaying the favor. Just to reinforce the point, Hiccup detaches his leg. Thankfully, Light Fury saves them both and we get our happy ending. DreamWorks knew we wouldn’t be able to handle a tragedy.
1 Forbidden Friendship
This has to be DreamWorks Animation’s Try Not To Cry Challenge. If the first film was a hello, The Hidden World is a goodbye. Our last moments between present-day Hiccup and Toothless is an understanding of parting ways. The 2018-2019 animated films seem to really like this, given Ralph Breaks the Internet had a similar theme.
We’re treated to a slow-motion shot of Hiccup pulling his hand away from Toothless’s snout with the "Forbidden Friendship" track playing over it. Toothless then leaves with the Light Fury and the other dragons for the Hidden World. Hiccup fully takes up his chief title and marries Astrid. Life goes on. Fly on your own.
But just because you part ways with a close friend doesn’t mean the end. One more time, we get that hand-to-snout contact between Toothless and Hiccup. After years of being apart, Toothless needs a refresher. Hiccup has a beard and grey hair, he looks really different. But once he figures it out? They just pick up where they left off.