‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Movie Review

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“He’s not the only one,” says Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel). “Another Night Fury,” confirms Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera) in awe over the appearance of the gorgeous dragon. A brief discussion ensues over how to refer to the creature in which Hiccup suggests Bright Fury and Astrid comes up with the better name of Light Fury. Name agreed upon, they pause to enjoy the discovery of a possible mate for Toothless, the powerful, faithful and lovable dragon, in DreamWorks’ final installment in the animated film franchise, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Now chief and ruler of Berk, Hiccup has successfully created a dragon utopia. Unfortunately, it’s getting overcrowded and Gobber (voiced by Craig Ferguson) keeps telling Hiccup they’re running out of room for both dragons and Vikings. Hiccup believes in the story his father, Stoic (voiced by Gerard Butler), told him when he was a young boy about a hidden world where all the dragons come from. Hiccup thinks he and Toothless should go looking for it in hopes of solving their overcrowding problem.

This idea gets put on the back burner, however, when Toothless falls head over tail for a Light Fury dragon. With a little help from Hiccup, Toothless tries to win her affection which proves much more difficult than either of them thought it would be. It turns out Light Fury doesn’t like Hiccup, or any humans for that matter.

What no one knows is that a dedicated Night Fury hunter/killer named Grimmel (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) has been made aware of Toothless and is determined to kill him and destroy the dragon utopia. When Hiccup and Toothless discover Grimmel and his plan, Hiccup believes the best chance for survival is to relocate the Vikings and the dragons to the hidden world. But first he and Toothless have to find it.

Thrilling, visually stunning, and heartfelt, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a true triumph and a perfect ending to these characters and their fantastic, wondrous, and brave adventures. The film looks amazing with its rich, bright, and beautiful animation. Once again the flying scenes of Hiccup, Toothless, and Astrid are breathtaking. Especially dazzling is the flight scene when Hiccup and Astrid discover the Hidden World. It’s truly a visual delight.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Night Fury dragon Toothless and Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) in DreamWorks Animation’s ‘How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ (Photo © 2019 DreamWorks Animation LLC)

Jay Baruchel is, in one word, perfect as the voice of Hiccup. Hiccup’s now the leader of his people but still has doubts if he’s a true chief, especially when he doesn’t have his best friend Toothless by his side. America Ferrera does a wonderful job as the voice of Astrid who loves Hiccup and believes in him even when he doesn’t believe in himself. F. Murray Abraham brings real menace as the voice of the main villain, Grimmel, the best bad guy the film series has ever had.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has an excellent script, bringing the story of these characters to a new depth and raising the bar for the two main characters, with Toothless finding true love and Hiccup realizing that sometimes love means making a real sacrifice. The film, of course, has funny one-liners and hilarious animal antics. (Toothless trying to woo Light Fury is priceless). The film is also full of heart which is best displayed by Hiccup and Toothless’ devoted friendship that’s always been at the core of the films.

With stirring action, astonishing flying scenes, funny dragon antics, and an emotional sniffle-inducing finale, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a pitch-perfect farewell to DreamWorks’ best film franchise.

GRADE: A-

MPAA Rating: PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor

Running Time: 1 hour 44 minutes

Release Date: February 22, 2019

Directed By: Dean DeBlois

Kevin Finnerty

Kevin Finnerty

Professional film critic since 2003 and a member of the San Diego Film Critics Society. Host of “The Movie Guys” radio film review show from 2007 through 2013. Film and television critic for Showbizjunkies.com and a movie buff since 1973.
Kevin Finnerty
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