By Connor Fertig
How to Train Your Dragon 3: A Hidden World is a fantastic finale for this film trilogy and a mournful farewell to the magical world we have come to love over the years. Hiccup has become the chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid and has created a beautifully chaotic dragon utopia. Toothless discovers a female Night Fury just as Berk prepares to face its most menacing threat yet, a tracker named Grimmel who wiped out the remaining Night Fury’s and seeks to exterminate all dragons including those on Berk. Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve ever known and venture to a mythical hidden world thought only to exist in stories. As their true destinies are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together to the very end to protect everything they cherish. The cast of How To Train Your Dragon 3: A Hidden World features a slew of famous actors actors including Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler, this film has yet to win any awards as of this moment.
This movie wraps up the trilogy perfectly, following the trilogy’s constant theme of letting go those you love to protect them. Hiccup comes to an ultimatum when he’s forced between keeping Toothless, his beloved Night Fury dragon, or granting him his freedom. I found the ending satisfying when Hiccup frees Toothless to give him a better life, as they both move on and start families of their own. This final installment featured many new dragons that I found to be very creative and refreshing from the usually characters we already know. The soundtrack to this film matches the mood of every scene just right, composed by John Powell, who scored the first two movies in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. Another enjoyable moment is how in moments of distress, Hiccup keeps his humor despite the peril. One of my favorite scenes was when Toothless attempts a sort of impromptu mating dance to impress the female Night Fury, but ends up dancing and bouncing around in all sorts of funny poses leaving him looking foolish. I would have to say the greatest aspect of this movie for me was the animation, every scene was visually stunning, and beautifully detailed. The flying sequences were simply amazing, with each sequence having dragons elaborately arranged to fill the scene. There wasn’t a single person or dragon that looked copied and pasted, each creature had individual details that made them come to life. In addition, the minute details such as sand was meticulously animated to show each individual grain. This movie is worth seeing for the animation alone.
Although I enjoyed this film, it is definitively the worst of all three How to Train Your Dragon movies, for many aspects relating to the plot. I felt the story progressed too slowly for a movie with a 104 minute runtime, this is mostly due to how many unnecessary side stories there were in this film. For example, there were multiple scenes where Snotlout is hitting on Hiccup’s mom and nothing else. I understand this is a children’s movie made by adults, but it honestly wasn’t that funny of a joke and it contributed nothing to the main storyline, it was just an unfunny joke that kept going for way too long. None of the characters ever act like they are in real danger because every scene has a comic relief character who doesn’t take the situation seriously at all. It made the story feel a bit pointless because the characters seemed to not have any motivation for saving there home, as they it seemed they felt no urgency. About the motivation of Grimmel, the main antagonist, is that he grew up hating dragons and his only backstory is that he used to live on Berk, killed the rest of the Night Furies and wants to kill all dragons. Grimmel’s objective is the same as the antagonist in the last movie who wanted to capture all the dragons for no real reason other then he’s a bad guy who wants to take over Berk. Grimmel felt like the same villain from the last movie, but in a different costume and feels very flawed as a villain. He uses this venom from special dragons that he’s captured to control the minds of captured dragons without taming them. There is an issue with logistics as the venom works on the same dragons it comes from, I’m no biologist, but I believe if an animal has a toxin, it would develop a resistance to it. He also uses the same venom to knockout other dragons in the final fight scenes, leaving me wondering: does this venom control the minds of dragons or is it a heavy sedative?
My final thoughts about How to Train Your Dragon are that this movie follows the theme of letting go of those you love to protect them very well and the ending was satisfying because it left me wanting more. My absolute favorite part of this movie was the animation. Dreamworks time and time again has produced another beautiful film that left me stunned. However, the plot did escalate quite slowly and most of the characters seem like they could care less about losing there home. My largest issue with this film was the villain, he was boring and lacked motivation, making him a hollow character. This film is the worst in the trilogy, but it’s not a bad movie, I recommend seeing it if you have time.