With love comes loss, or- at least- that’s what Hiccup’s dad tells him as young boy. It perfectly sums up this third and last movie in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, an exciting adventure that puts a great ending on a very good series.
The question many are asking is can you watch this movie without having seen the first two, or will you be lost? The answer is: yes, you can, but why would you deprive yourself of the first two wonderful films? So go get caught up before you rush out to the theater to see the third. You can thank me later.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World picks up one year after the second film in the trilogy. Hiccup and Toothless are still at it, rescuing dragons captured by trappers. It seems they have rescued a bit more than they can handle, as back at home they have been overrun by dragons and are feeling a bit cramped. When the thrill hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Arbaham) finds out that there is one last Night Fury left (that is, Toothless) he decides to hunt and kill him purely for the thrill of it using a Light Fury as bait.
The movie being a kids' movie, it does have its juvenile moments - none of which are so egregious to be off-putting- but where this movie really shines is in its silent moments. The courtship of Toothless and the Light Fury (neither of which talk) reminds me of old cartoons I used to watch as a kid and Charlie Chaplin silent films. The resulting scenes are cute and heart-melting.
I saw this film in 3-D, which usually is something I avoid because its not worth the extra money. Not so with this film. As Toothless and Hiccup soar through the air, it’s breathtaking and visually spectacular.
The heart of this film is about identity and how it can be tied to another person, and how you can lose your own sense of self when you lose someone close to you. Those are pretty heady ideas for a children’s movie, and it’s all the better for it. A children’s movie that can challenge adults as well as children is a successful film.