How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

When a film hits hot, Hollywood has a habit of rushing out sequel after sequel until the franchise has been milked for all its worth. That’s far from the case with the How To Train Your Dragon franchise, however. The original film was released in 2010 and while there have been various short films and even a television series, DreamWorks have been patient with its main entries. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the third and final film in the trilogy and is a wonderful swan song  or should I say dragon song for the franchise.


The Viking village of Berk has prospered as a safe haven for dragons under the leadership of the newly elected Chief Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), who mostly spends his time rescuing captured dragons with his fellow friends and dragonriders. Their actions, however, catch the attention of dragon hunter Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham), who sees Toothless, the last Night Fury, as his latest challenge and will do whatever it takes to hunt him down. Hiccup meanwhile struggles dealing with Grimmel and begins looking for somewhere where dragons and humans can live peacefully as Berk is no longer safe. Recalling tales his father used to tell him, Hiccup sets out to find the mysterious Hidden World, believing it to be the answer to all his problems.


How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is all about letting go. The Vikings of Berk must learn to let their village go with Hiccup taking a page from Thor: Ragnarok in telling them that Berk is the people themselves not a place. The film also introduces a female Night Fury, called a Light Fury that Toothless becomes enamored with. Hiccup must learn that he can’t always control him and that sometimes the best thing he can do is let him fly free. Of course, we as an audience must learn to let go as well. Everything eventually comes to an end, and I could not have imagined a better one for the franchise than The Hidden World.


The best moments of the film revolve around Toothless and his courting of the new Light Fury. It’s both hilarious and adorable watching him goof around trying to earn her affection. It’s all so innocent and playful. In addition, we see the bond between Hiccup and Toothless grow stronger. It’s amazing to see how much their relationship has developed from the first film, and The Hidden World capitalizes on that for a truly heartwarming finish. The story gets a little bogged down in the middle, but by the third act you won’t want it to end.


How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a fitting final chapter to the franchise, bringing together the best of what made the previous films so wonderful. It may try to do a little too much given its somewhat long running time and multiple story threads, but it works in most places. If this is really the end of the franchise, I couldn’t imagine a finer finale.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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