Review: 'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World'
The first two "How to Train Your Dragon" movies are well-known favorites for viewers young and old alike, and the third and supposed final film "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" releases in theaters this weekend.
This time, it's been at least a year since now Viking Chief Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) defeated King Drago in the second movie. Hiccup and his mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) have since turned their kingdom of Berk into a utopia where humans and dragons co-exist in harmony. Hiccup and his friends spend their time rescuing dragons trapped by hunters, until those hunters recruit Grimmel, who is known for trapping and killing Night Furies, to stop them. Things become complicated when Toothless, Hiccup's faithful dragon companion and the last known Night Fury, catches the scent of a female Light Fury, similar to him except she's white. Hiccup has to face the possibility of losing his best friend to the call of the wild while facing the challenges of leading his people to a new home.
What parents should know
Fans of the series won't be disappointed by this installment, and there are some powerful lessons included for kids of all ages.
That said, there are some heavy issues Hiccup (and the audience) must face. Specifically, he must decide whether to give up his beloved dragon so Toothless can live with his own kind in safety or keep the animal domesticated. There is also a good bit of violence as the villains and heroes clash, and some dragons are abused and even killed. While there is no explicit bad language, some phrases such as "bloody hobgoblins!" and "arse" are used.
Overall, however, it has a fun and heartwarming story, and many humorous scenes. Watching Toothless perform a mating dance for the Light Fury is one that will make parents giggle as much as their children. And in the end, the overreaching message seems to tell us that even though we all must grow up and let go of some of the things we hold dear, love and loyalty will always triumph. As his father tells Hiccup in a flashback, “There’s no greater gift than love.”