The ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ trilogy has officially become one of the top three greatest animated trilogies of all time with its latest entry, ‘The Hidden World’. It was clear that the potential was there for a near perfect trilogy when the second film managed to be even better than the first. And while I can’t claim that this one is better than its predecessor, it is certainly just as good. Which is quite an achievement in itself.
It accomplishes greatness here by not just taking us in a new direction, but also by taking its characters feeling and motivations even more seriously than before. There is much time spent contemplating the fate of their civilization, friendship, the right time for marriage, moving on, and other themes that will work even better with adults than children. And it does this while never feeling too tedious for the little ones or like it is just playing lip service to these adult themes. This film tackles these with grace, excitement, emotion, and humor.
The story this time around involves Hiccup’s (Jay Baruchel) decision to find a safe place for his people to live with their dragons without fear of attack. While he’s trying to protect his people, a sinister villain is planning to kidnap Toothless by luring him out with a beautiful white night fury. This villain is wonderfully voiced by F. Murray Abraham and creates just the right level of fear to push Hiccup in a direction of self doubt and contemplation.
However, this film is not all serious by any stretch of the imagination. There is some beautiful and hilarious moments between the night furies and the emotions ring quite strongly in the final act. In all honesty, I can’t imagine too many people, that have devoted their time to these characters, not crying some big tears and laughing some pretty big laughs this time. It’s all just so well put together that it feels like it was planned this way from the start. Regardless, this is the must see ending that I was hoping for. Don’t miss it!