How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World is the long-awaited follow-up to the previous two How to Train Your Dragon films. The so-called finale of the trilogy, The Hidden World follows the adventures of Hiccup and friends as they tame dragons and discover a new regions. So how does this film stack up compared to the previous two enjoyable films? Quite well, I’d say. As far as series closure goes, The Hidden World brings a hefty emotional arc and wonderful new worlds and dragons designs with it, as well as, a lot of humor that should please both kids and adults alike. It’s a very strong entry in an already well put-together series.
The Hidden World is set a year after the events of the first film. Hiccup is trying to accept the fact, with the passing of his father, Stoick, he is now supposed to be crowned the village chief of Berk. Meanwhile, Toothless makes a startling discovery of an elusive dragon type called The White Fury, which he falls for and becomes distracted. When danger unexpectedly mounts at home, due to a bounty hunter who wants to eradicate dragon species, both dragons and their riders are forced to make startling decisions.
The first How to Train Your Dragon was released in 2010. This new third film’s quality of animation is stunning with a lot of creativity popping off the screen, particularly with the new dragon species and locations that are created. Much of the action takes place in the skies, and the animation is breathtakingly spectacular. Some of the flying battle sequences are downright exhilarating, and when accompanied by John Powell’s majestic swelling score, you’re left there in utter awe. It’s the equivalent of suddenly discovering a great album and it makes you wonder why this was never an omnipresent part of your life beforehand.
A good film drives me and the audience's attention with its story and characters, and luckily, this film delivers that in spades. Hiccup’s own weaknesses as a leader, because he thinks he can’t live up to his father’s legacy, as well as, his romantic relationship with Astrid is one of the focal points as part of him becoming a king. Toothless is just priceless in the film. The animation sequences with him trying to embarrassingly impress The White Fury are amazing, and absolutely adorable. This character is just instantly giffable, and likable.
I could have done without the character of Ruffnut, voiced by Kristen Wiig, who uses a deep, manly voice, and when accidentally left behind, kidnapped by the film’s main antagonist Grimmel, voiced by F. Murray Abraham, she becomes really obnoxious in order to escape. While, I’m sure the filmmakers thought that their intent was clever, her going on and on started to drive a bit crazy, and it was a detriment to my viewing experience of the film as a whole.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the thrilling and emotional conclusion of one of the best trilogies of 2010’s. It features exhilarating animation sequences, mixed with strong themes, and moments of bliss and wonder that shouldn't need another sequel.
Now playing in Hanover at The Nugget Theater - Sunday-Thursday 1:50, 4:30, 6:50 PM and Friday-Saturday 1:50, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15 PM.