Critic’s Rating: 4.0/5

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Story: The discovery of a female Light Fury threatens the dragon utopia of Berk, now ruled by Hiccup and Toothless.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Review: Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), along with his Night Fury alpha dragon Toothless, have created a safe haven for rescued dragons. This leads to overpopulation in Berk, so all its inhabitants need to find a bigger and safer place to live. Meanwhile, Toothless is instantly enamoured by the discovery of a female Light Fury which could complicate Hiccup’s search for the mythical ‘Hidden World’.

With two strong entries prior to it, ‘The Hidden World’ could have easily suffered from the ‘trilogy curse’ by botching up its finale. Fortunately, that’s not the case. From the first few frames, it becomes evident that DreamWorks Animation has pushed the envelope with graphics that are astounding. The beautifully rendered vistas and fluid close-quarter action work seamlessly with each other, making the film an immensely gratifying experience in 3D. But the visuals wouldn’t be complete without a compelling storyline. Writer-director Dean DeBlois displays his in-depth understanding of this world and its characters in his third outing at the helm. He takes the tale of Hiccup, Toothless, and their friends to its natural progression, while still managing to keep the storyline fresh, if not entirely unpredictable. 

It also helps that the voice cast is now extremely comfortable with their characters. This shows in some of the filler humour that could be awkward in other circumstances, especially with Valka (Cate Blanchett), but ends up being amusing enough. America Ferrera as Astrid, Jonah Hill as Snoutlout, Kristen Wiig as Ruffnut, and Craig Fergusson as Gobber – all get their moments to shine, though it’s only natural that Jay Baruchel stands out as Hiccup. The weakest character comes in the form of the villain Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), who is yet another dragon trapper with a bone to pick. Nevertheless, the character arcs of Hiccup, and his search for the Hidden World combined with Toothless, who comes into his own as the alpha dragon, drive a strong emotional connect that pays off in the end. This saga began with their relationship, so it’s only fitting that it should conclude with them. ‘How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ is a visually stunning and emotionally satisfying conclusion to a surprisingly well-rounded ‘vikings & dragons’ trilogy that will appeal to various age groups for different reasons.