From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to “Star Wars,” 2019 seems to be shaping up as the year where film chapters are closing, and we start it all off with the third and (what we are being told is) the final chapter in the story of Hiccup, Toothless, and their family and friends with “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”. With Dean DeBlois finishing out the trilogy by directing all three films and almost all of the voice cast returning along with being the first animated series to have all of its films distributed by different studios, this film is packed with all of the feels, even more advanced and amazing visuals, and a story rich in development.
With Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his friends continuing to rescue dragons from trappers, their homeland of Berk is getting overpopulated while the bad guys are getting more and more bold about wanting to take out all of the dragons in existence. With the discovery of a female Night Fury (the same species as Toothless, whom all of the other dragons see as their leader), the search for a place called “The Hidden World” where dragons live in hiding and in peace, and the emergence of a new enemy in Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), everything is about to change on every level.
For those unfamiliar, this voice cast also includes America Ferrara, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig, and Kit Harrington, and everyone plays their parts to the hilt. As the story heads to the ending that is inevitable, the ride is TOTALLY worth it. Although the story weighs itself down in the middle third, there was nothing there that really affected my enjoyment of this film regardless. I can definitely see how a 3-D viewing could enhance the already beautiful visuals, but I am not sure that it is necessary either way.
While nothing is ever truly over in Hollywood (especially when it comes to animation) as well as the episodic television series that supports the films, if they do choose to end this series with “The Hidden World,” I feel that this was a solid way to do it. With the end credits featuring scenes from all three films to remind the audience of the story that has spanned almost a decade, this is not only a satisfying finale but its story also stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the other two films that came before it. Take the entire family and enjoy this together!