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article imageReview: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ knows what it has to do Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Feb 22, 2019 in Entertainment
‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ is the last big screen adventure between Hiccup and Toothless the unexpected leaders must do what’s necessary to save their clans.
Tales of adventure and magic are some of the best escapism. Who needs realism when you can be whisked away on a magic carpet or carried off by a fantastical beast or ushered to a legendary city not seen for hundreds of years? Yet these same amazing stories find ways for audiences to connect with their protagonists, bringing narratives to life in ways that stimulate their hearts and imaginations. But all good things must come to an end. That is where fans have arrived with the final chapter, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
Chief Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), Toothless and their friends have stayed busy rescuing dragons from poachers across the seas. Berk has, consequently, become a bit crowded — and a target as it houses the largest known gathering of dragons. When Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), the Night Fury killer, learns the creatures aren’t extinct, he makes capturing Toothless his only goal in life. However, his choice of bait could also save the species: a female “Light Fury.” As Grimmel proves relentless, Hiccup decides the only solution is to move everyone — human and dragon — to a hidden dragon utopia… if they ever find it. In the meantime, Toothless tries to woo the hard-to-impress Light Fury.
One of the best things about trilogies is they inevitably provide an ending that hopefully ties up any loose ends and satisfies audiences. That’s not to say it’s always a happy conclusion or the one viewers hoped for, but it does have a sense of finality. That is what this installment of the film franchise offers: the final leg of an astounding journey. When the credits start to roll, fans will be content to know everything is as it should/needs to be — even if it’s not necessarily what everyone wanted. But getting there is where all the action, excitement and laughter lie.
Hiccup and Astrid (America Ferrera) are taking things slowly, much to her father’s chagrin. There’s very little of the mushy stuff in which most teens engage; instead, they share a fairly mature understanding and respect for each other. Astrid is also encouraged by several of the elder Vikings to embrace her role as Hiccup’s confidante and supporter, pushing her more to the sidelines of this story in spite of being next to the chief every step of the way. The rest of the young dragon riders have changed very little, save for acquiring an additional quirk that defines their character in this picture — fake beard, ego, attraction to older women and dangerous attachment to babies.
Toothless’ love story is far more engaging — not to mention they couldn’t be more adorable together. The Light Fury plays hard to get, so he’s constantly chasing her; though that’s difficult since he still can’t fly on his own. In addition, she distrusts humans so Hiccup can’t help his best friend on his greatest, and potentially most important, challenge… but that doesn’t mean a lack of trying. When Toothless and the Light Fury are together, the magic of his existence rises to the forefront and takes on new meaning. Their courtship in the clouds is beautiful and electrifying, literally.
Grimmel and the poaching narrative are a bit dark for an animation still primarily aimed at kids. Grimmel’s weaponized dragons are especially frightening as they’re like nothing seen before and prove to be dangerous opponents. But the villains’ component also delivers an important message about people who deceive and the need to preserve threatened species.
This is a fitting end to an exceptional and touching film franchise, balancing tears with joy as the best goodbyes are known to do.
Director: Dean DeBlois
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera and F. Murray Abraham
More about How to Train Your Dragon The Hidden World, Jay Baruchel, F Murray Abraham, America ferrera, Cate blanchett
 
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