Movie review: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
This Viking tale has come full circle after nine years.
We first saw Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) as an insecure Viking trying to find his place in his community of dragon killers back in 2010.
We were also introduced to one of the most endearing friendships in cinematic history - the bond between him and Toothless, a Night Fury considered to be one of the most fearsome species of dragons.
In the 2014 sequel, Hiccup had become a bona fide dragon trainer and his village of Berk had made peace with dragons. Toothless also ended up as the alpha dragon.
It is often hard to maintain a good story arc in sequels.
However, this final chapter is one emotional journey. Every character, dragons included, evolves and finally comes of age.
Though Hiccup is still plagued by self-doubt, his compassion for his people and dragons, coupled with strong support from girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera) and long-lost mother Valka (Cate Blanchett), makes him a worthy village chief.
Together with his friends, they embark on missions to free captured dragons using more of his dragon-based technology, such as wearing fire-proof armour and winged suits.
They take the rescued dragons back to Berk, which is now overpopulated with winged creatures.
Hiccup's nemesis this time is Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), a notorious dragon slayer who made a career killing Night Furies, putting Toothless in grave danger.
But Toothless is oblivious to the threat as he is infatuated with a beautiful white Night Fury, aptly called Light Fury.
Who would have thought a dragon mating dance could be one of the sweetest and funniest moments in the film?
Yet again, the animation is flawless and the attention to detail is amazing.
The Hidden World is a wonderful end to this series. The bittersweet coda may draw tears from both young ones and adults who have come to love this Oscar-nominated billion-dollar franchise.
MOVIE: How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
STARRING: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington, F. Murray Abraham
DIRECTOR: Dean DeBlois
THE SKINNY: Hiccup (Baruchel) has come into his own as ruler of Berk and his dragon-tech is also flourishing. But what he doesn’t expect is his dragon Toothless’ raging hormones.