The trend for tearful children's movies is certainly all the rage nowadays. After young adult audiences were traumatised by Toy Story 3, and Pixar's Inside Out left even parents sniffling, How to Train Your Dragon 3 is set to end the films with a bang... and a wimper.
We haven't had a lot of news about How To Train Your Dragon 3, but what we know is certainly enough to seriously concern us. Not about the quality, no doubt the movie will be one of the franchise's best, but Dean DeBlois has dropped hints that there might not be such a happy ending.
No More Dragons For Berk
As the books begin with Hiccup revealing that dragons are now extinct, this prospect has long worried fans. With the movies diverging from the book plot considerably they are very much their own story, but DeBlois recently confirmed that yes, dragons will disappear in How To Train Your Dragon 3.
"I'm also playing with the idea of what happened to the dragons and why they are no more. So the whole mystery of where did they go? Did they come back? What transpired? I think it's all compelling stuff and it's definitely a story that's gonna have a lot more Toothless emphasis in it."
So yeah, this is definitely going to be a tearjerker. But if the idea of all the dragons going extinct (or maybe just going into hiding) is just too big to make you sob, how about our favourite bffs breaking up?
How To Train Your Dragon 3 will mark the end of the Hiccup And Toothless saga, as the two part ways. And their parting is bound to be fraught with regrets and hurt feelings, after a tense buildup revealing that being caught between two worlds does not foster friendship. With Drago returning and a final reveal into the Night Fury origins, could it be that humankind is just too dangerous to dragons? Will Toothless eventually take his tribe into hiding so that no more innocent creatures can be hurt?
Whatever the outcome, you better bring your tissues to the cinema, because it is BOUND to make us tear up. And this does seem to be a trend lately, which begs the question...
Are Studios Just Sadistic?
Ok, that's a silly question, but lately a lot of children's films have packed an emotional punch. Is this just to keep the adults interested? This certainly does seem to be aimed at older viewers, as the emotional depth goes over most kids' heads.
Up is the perfect example of this - with an opening that deals with infertility and the loss of a spouse, adults were left bawling while many of the kids I know have no clue why it was even sad. Inside Out has really pushed the boat out on this one too, with an intricate psychological examination of what makes teens tick, and a final message of embracing every part of your psyche.
So is this just a latest trend? There are plenty of old Disney films that are notorious for pulling at people's heartstrings (Bambi and Dumbo come to mind). But those were usually simple gut-punch moments, before the plot moved on to a lighter place. There's a mature emotional complexity to a lot of kids' films nowadays that make them interesting to watch for adults as well as children.
.... And then there's The Minions.
Goodbye To Dragons
Well, however sad How To Train Your Dragon 3 will be, it looks like we'll have to wait a while to find out exactly how much we'll cry. After pushing the release date back a whole year, DeBlois defended this decision as 2016 was just too "ambitious" for a movie that usually takes "at least three years to make".
At least we'll have plenty of time to stock up on tissues!