After its delay was announced at the beginning of 2018, everyone’s favourite Dreamworks Animation film series (apart from Shrek) is here at last with its third and final instalment—which will signal the most fitting, heartfelt close to one of the most incredible animated trilogies.
Directed by Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is an extension of the first two instalments’ narrative. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has come a long way since audiences first met him in the first How to Train Your Dragon film. All grown up, he has found himself and proudly stands as Chief to the people of the Isle of Berk—a perfect utopia where humans and dragon coexist in harmony. However, as you would expect, the third instalment follows a sort of precedent that has been set by the series’ first two films—whereby Hiccup encounters ignorant dragon-hunting Vikings and attempts to put an end to their evil, violent intentions.
But things are different this time because Hiccup and his special bond with Toothless may not be enough to defeat the legendary Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), a notorious Night Fury hunter who nearly brought about the species’ extinction.
Upon hearing news of Hiccup’s Alpha Dragon, Toothless, Grimmel’s deluded pride—derived from eradicating Night Furies—drives him to commit devious and demented acts against the citizens of Berk; and, this time, it may prove to be too much for Hiccup to stand against. Of course, it doesn’t help that the unstoppable team of dragon rider and dragon (Hiccup and Toothless) aren’t exactly at the top of their game, as Toothless comes face to face with a Light Fury (a shimmering white Night Fury) and both Hiccup and Astrid, Hiccup’s lady friend, (who’s voiced by America Ferrara) learn that Toothless’ isn’t the last one of his kind after all.
With this discovery, Toothless finds himself completely distracted and smitten with the dazzling Light Fury. Meanwhile, Hiccup isn’t in tip top shape either. Despite being supportive of his best bud’s new love, it’s always difficult when your dragon friend isn’t completely on board with the concept of “bros before hoes”.
While The Hidden World is a little more serious, since it challenges Hiccup’s firm belief that dragons would be better off living amongst humans, the film still manages to retain some comedic light-hearted moments—with the help of the series’ pre-established side characters. Sure, the ever-so-obnoxious Snoutlout (Jonah Hill) may not be everybody’s favourite character but there is something hysterical (yet slightly uncomfortable) about him setting his sights on Hiccup’s mother, Valka (Cate Blanchett), as his next love interest.
Over the past near-decade, we’ve been privileged enough to grow alongside Hiccup; and, while this certainly isn’t the first time a film series has accomplished this successfully, it is probably safe to say that none of them has truly allowed us to experience it in as much depth as we have with Hiccup. Nothing can be compared to Hiccup and his special bond with Toothless, and The Hidden World serves as a testament to that—especially with its heartfelt ending.
The Hidden World is in cinemas now.