How Hiccup and Astrid’s Relationship Feels Different Then Typical Cartoon Couples

America Ferrera and Jay Baruchel as Astrid and Hiccup in How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
(Image credit: (DreamWorks))

Audiences love a cute couple to root for and through the years animated movies have delivered a lot of memorable couples in all shapes and sizes: Mickey and Minnie, Aladdin and Jasmine, Shrek and Fiona, Wall-E and Eve. Rooting for that final kiss and happily ever after makes for exciting character story arcs but it’s not the only way to do it. As the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy soon closes out with the release of The Hidden World this weekend, audiences will also say goodbye to Hiccup and Astrid, who have shared a romance throughout the series, though the typical clichés have never been a part of the couple’s story.

During a recent press visit to DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, I spoke to voice actors Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera about the relationship of their characters. Here’s what Baruchel had to say:

I’d like to think that speaks to the work we put in on establishing these characters in the first and second film. We kind of know how they relate to one another… I think it feels like a real relationship.

The How To Train Your Dragon movies incorporated love interests for the main characters, but in a more realistic take on love than what’s typically been shown on screen. The couple don’t deal with unnecessary drama, glitzy gestures or long confessions of love, they just are, plain and simple. Hiccup and Astrid are supportive of one another and look to have a genuine connection.

America Ferrera jumped in, explaining why their unique dynamic over the past three films appeals to her with these words:

I love that you feel their relationship evolving but the story was never a love story. It was never about will they, won’t they. I love that Dean [DeBois] didn’t go that route, which is often the lowest hanging fruit. It was always sort of they fell into who they were with each other and it’s always been that way and we do get the satisfaction the thing you want it to become but without that being the focus.

Yes!! Here’s to more cartoon couples being cute and making us smile without being contributing to unrealistic movie tropes! Take a look at the How To Train Your Dragon pair talking about their characters from my recent interview below:

How many time have we rewatched our favorite animated couples to find something a bit off about them? Beauty and the Beast only found each other because the Beast kidnapped the Beauty… how romantic? Hiccup and Astrid’s relationship shows a movie can be exciting with the presence of love interests who have a satisfying ending without following the typical formula.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World promises an emotional ending for fans of the franchise, including for Hiccup and Astrid. Many fans have been following the franchise since the first film which came out in 2010 and the voice actors have been living and evolving with their characters since as well.

Following an impressive $175 million debut overseas and positive reviews from critics and early audiences, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will hit theaters this Friday, February 22.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.