Review: “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Ends Trilogy On A High Note
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is the third and final installment of Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy. Based on the book series by Cressida Cowell, this finale to the hit animated fantasy series ends the story on a high note and results in the best third installment that Dreamworks has produced since the series was first released in 2010.
The film takes place one year after the events of 2014’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Hiccup (voice of Jay Baruchel) has become the new chieftain of the land of Berk, taking the reins from his father Stoick the Vast (voice of Gerard Butler). As he seeks to find a new refuge for Toothless and many other dragons that have been rescued from poachers and warlords, he clashes with a man known as Grimmel (voice of F. Murray Abraham) who seeks to hunt dragons into extinction. With Toothless also bonding with a rare dragon known as a “Light Fury,” Hiccup seeks to find a legendary safe haven known as “the Hidden World” before Grimmel can plunge the land into chaos.
At a cost of just $129 million, the film has the most modest budget of the trilogy; but it certainly doesn’t look that way. The use of lighting and color schemes are easily the best of the trilogy, and there is a host of creative fantasy/action scenes to behold. The film opens on a daring raid on a boat full of captive dragons, and there are a myriad of dazzling battles over the course of the movie’s 104-minute runtime. The midair final clash between Hiccup and Grimmel makes a strong argument for seeing the movie in 3D.
While the films differ significantly from the book series that inspired them, it’s clear that the trilogy has managed to leave its mark on animated family films and the fantasy genre over the past decade. Much like the “Harry Potter” series, the journey sees the characters grow alongside the audience and enables the story to expand without losing sight of what made it engaging.
With widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, the film has managed to garner the biggest opening weekend of the trilogy at over $55 million. Overall, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is a beautiful end to an excellent trilogy; making the ideal swan song to send the series into the sunset on a dragon’s wings.
Verdict: 5 out of 5 Stars
Review by Steven Pryor
At a Glance:
Starring the voices of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, Kit Harington, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, Justin Rupple and F. Murray Abraham
Directed by Dean DeBlois (Based on the book series by Cressida Cowell)