When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.
The third and final ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ film is an enjoyable conclusion to the trilogy, bringing the arcs of the core characters to a satisfying conclusion. It picks up following the events of the previous film, with Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) continuing his efforts to rescue dragons and create a safe haven for them on the island of Berk. Meanwhile, a feared dragon hunter known as Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham) has his sights set on capturing Toothless to use for his own nefarious purposes.
‘The Hidden World’ of the title refers to a mythical land that Hiccup’s father had referred too, where dragons can live amongst each other in harmony, and in part response to Grimmel’s actions and in part response to the overcrowding on Berk, Hiccup and co set off in search off it. Hiccup and Toothless have been with one another from early on in the first film and there’s a weight of history to their relationship that the filmmakers mine to hit some strong emotional beats as it becomes apparent that their paths must diverge. Focusing on that core relationship is the main strength of ‘The Hidden World’, as the story with the antagonistic Grimmel felt like a retread of old ground with diminishing results. The voice work is generally strong, the visual style arresting (particularly a great overhead shot of the dragons soaring through the skies) and there are some funny moments (a flat earth joke lands particularly well), but I did find large parts less engaging than the previous films in the trilogy.
‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ is a solid ending for the series, even as this final outing fails to meet the high standards set by the first (and to a lesser extent second) films.
Directed By: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrara, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Kit Harington, Justin Rupple, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, F. Murray Abraham and Gerard Butler