“How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Review

Madison Watkins, Editor-in-Chief

It has been nine years since we were first introduced to the characters of viking outcast Hiccup, his loveable dragon Toothless, and their home village of Berk.

We witnessed Hiccup choose mercy instead of killing Toothless for his own benefit. We laughed as we saw their relationship grow and were taken back to memories of ourselves with our pets. We cried as we saw Hiccup meet his mother and his parents’ reunion after 20 years apart.

Now, three movies and many seasons of two TV shows later, it is time to say goodbye.

Making a near-perfect trilogy is something many film studios have failed to achieve but DreamWorks Animation has really outdone themselves with the “How To Train Your Dragon” films.

Their latest film, “How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is a beautifully animated and touching story that also acts as the perfect ending to this compelling trilogy.

This film takes place one year after the second film concludes. It follows Hiccup getting adjusted to his role as chief of the village as he and his friends face a new foe named Grimmel. Grimmel is a fierce dragon hunter who will stop at nothing to trap and kill all of the dragons on Berk.

Along the way, Hiccup discovers that Toothless is not the last of the Night Furies after all when they encounter a mysterious white dragon whom they call “a Light Fury.”

As with the previous two “Dragons” films, the story is very enthralling and maintains a good balance between the humorous and dramatic moments.

There were many times that the audience laughed aloud, gasped at dramatic moments, collectively “awww”-ed at the cute moments and even let out a few sniffles during the last 15 minutes of the film.

For anyone who may have been apprehensive as to how this last film would be handled, I can assure you the characters had satisfying closure and I couldn’t imagine this story ending in a better way.

The lead actors Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera who play Hiccup and Astrid respectively, did a great job of making us feel for the characters. Even after two films, I still immediately connect to Hiccup as soon as he starts speaking.

After two films and multiple seasons of two TV shows, the character of a Dragon Hunter seems contrived, but Grimmel was written refreshingly. Grimmel challenges Hiccup and Toothless in ways that no villain in the series has before. He doesn’t try to be intimidating, he’s sure of what he wants and will stop at nothing to achieve it.

The animators at Dreamworks have once again outdone themselves with this film. There was so much detail put into every frame with the colors, the scenery and the characters’ facial expressions. The film is certainly worthy of the price of 3D admission.

The films’ composer throughout the series, John Powell once again shines with his work on this film by making you feel all the right feelings at all of the right times.

Even though this film wasn’t perfect, with the pacing being a bit rough at times, it still contained wonderful messages. “The Hidden World” featured themes that emphasized how love and loss go hand in hand, crying and showing empathy for others doesn’t make you any less of a man, and that you should support what is best for others even if it hurts you.

“How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is worth every second of your time.

And if you haven’t seen the other two films, they are worth a watch next time you spot them on TV or see the title come up on Redbox. I promise that you will fall in love with Toothless right away.

“How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is in theaters now.