HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD – A Review by Cynthia Flores
This film is an enchanting follow-up and possible conclusion to the story of Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon friend Toothless (Randy Thom) in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy. If you haven’t seen the other two films, I suggest you do so because they are really meant to be seen in order and you will not know what is going on if you don’t. There are not as many twists and turns as in HBO’s Game of Thrones, but there are back stories and history to this friendship.
The movie picks up one year after where the second film How to Train Your Dragon 2 left off. Hiccup’s father Stoick the Vast (Gerard Butler) has died and left him as the new chieftain to the Viking villagers of Berk. He’s spent the last year with the help of his fellow dragon riders and friends to continue to rescue captured dragons and bring them back to Berk to create a bustling dragon and human utopia. It’s really amazing how many dragons they have managed to help. However, it’s all getting a bit overcrowded. Also, Hiccup’s mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) is worried that the team of entirely outfitted dragon riders is relying too much on the dragons to back them up and not enough on each other.
Meanwhile, warlords who want to capture Toothless, who’s now the alpha dragon, have given a white female light fury dragon to the infamous dragon hunter Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham) to use as bait. They plan to use Toothless to capture and control all the other dragons; however, Grimmel has other plans. He lives for the hunt and is angry that Toothless is still alive since he thought he had killed all the night fury dragons. The rest of the film is about Hiccup’s desire to find the “Hidden World” of dragons at the edge of the sea surrounded by waterfalls that his late father wrote about. Also, we get to see Toothless being drawn toward the light fury as she represents the call of the wild and potential for love.
Hiccup fixes Toothless’ tail so he can fly without a rider and find out more about the light fury that won’t go near people. All the while trying to outrun Grimmel and the warlords, the whole town picks up and follows Hiccup on his quest to find the Hidden World so they too can live there with the dragons. The entire tribe stops to rest on a group of islands that are beautiful and have more room to grow. While the town people rest, Astrid (America Ferrera) and Hiccup go looking for Toothless who has been gone for a while, and while tracking him, they find the Hidden World where he and the white fury have been resting. It is amazingly spectacular in scope and beauty. Thousands of dragons of all kinds live in peace and safety there. It’s also abundantly clear that humans are not welcome in this paradise.
When Toothless saves Hiccup and Astrid, he flies them back to the islands that the village are resting on. However, Grimmel and his warlords have found them as well. Will Hiccup and Toothless survive this evil foe? Well, you will just have to go to the theaters to find out.
How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World is a perfect end to this much-loved story of a boy and his dragon. The feeling of flight is still amazing when experienced through Hiccup’s eyes. And the demonstration of the kind of love that is willing to sacrifice everything for friendship and family will touch your heart. This film is meant to be seen on the big screen to be enjoyed. I give it a solid A rating.
Directed by Dean DeBlois
Written By Dean DeBlois, Cressida Cowell
Selig Rating A
Running Time 1hr 44min
Animation / Comedy
Wide Release February 22nd
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.