The final part of the How To Train Your Dragon movie trilogy is a sweet, enjoyable, and even occasionally dark farewell for fans who have grown up with the adventures of young Berk boy Hiccup and his Night Fury dragon pal Toothless.
Hiccup is now all grown up, and is the leader of Berk as the action picks up a year after the end of the previous instalment. Berk is now a very different place to live, overflowing with dragons and humans squashed for space and with the population growing daily thanks to Hiccup and his pals’ daring rescues of captured dragons.
It’s on one of these raids that he and his friends first spot a glistening white female Fury, and she and Toothless are soon besotted with each other – but she’s actually a trap set by bad guy Grimmel who wants to capture Toothless for himself.
One solution to both Grimmel’s threat and Berk’s over-crowding is for humans and dragons to seek out the mythical Hidden World, a special home for dragons that Hiccup’s dad told him about years before, so they all set off to see if they can find it.
After an action-packed raid that kicks everything off, this finale is quite slow-moving for the first half, picking up considerably when everyone leaves Berk. There are some lovely moments – the tentative beginning of Toothless and Light Fury’s romance is adorable – and some stunningly animated ones, like the first look at the Hidden World, but too much time is spent on lesser characters like Ruffnut and Tuffnut when what we really want is more comedy, more Hiccup and Toothless, and more Hidden World stuff too (for a movie that has Hidden World in the title, surprisingly little time is actually spent there).
Grimmel’s motives are forgettable, and his green goo-spraying dragons may scare little ones (this is the darkest of the three movies, see notes below), but the film actually works best when it focuses not on him and his nefarious antics, but on the changes both Toothless and Hiccup face as their lives go in different directions.
Their friendship has been the heart of all three movies, and here it reaches a satisfyingly bittersweet conclusion that will bring a tear to the eye of HTTYD fans and a warm smile for everyone else. In the end, it’s a film about letting go, both for Toothless and Hiccup, and the audience that grew up with them.
Is How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There are various battles involving the dragons that may be too scary for very young children (under 5s).
Young children may also be frightened by the dragons that spit green acid.
Parents should note that this movie is darker than the previous two in terms of tone.
Toothless and the light fury are both captured, which may upset young viewers.
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