By Matthew Lau
Fans of the picturesque How to Train Your Dragon film franchise won’t be left disappointed with the spectacular third and final instalment of the DreamWorks Animation trilogy.
The epic animated-adventure film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – written and directed by Dean DeBlois – is based on the books of Cressida Cowell and follows its preceding action-fantasy flicks from 2010 and 2014.
The highly anticipated 2019 culmination mixes humour with emotion in heart-warming fashion as affable protagonist Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) faces his toughest test yet.
Now chief and ruler of Berk (Viking tribe’s island) alongside romantic interest Astrid (America Ferrera) and dragon sidekick Toothless, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic utopia based on the foundations of faith and trust.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World phenomenally manages to appeal to its target audience of younger viewers, while simultaneously managing to captivate the more mature demographic.
When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and a now-distracted Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth.
F. Murray Abraham interprets the voice of Grimmel, the malicious villain who threatens to destroy everything the people of Berk and their dragons have ever cherished.
Ultimately, this is a story about love where both heroin dragon and rider must fight together to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure as their true destines of spousehood become apparent.
Themes of strong family values are core to the fibre of Hiccup’s journey. Flashbacks of his supportive, deceased father are portrayed to spur him on during tough moments – while his mother is an unobtrusive rock.
As usual in the How To Train Your Dragon movies, a tear-jerker moment is to be expected.
Shades of Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok when the notion of “Berk is not a place, it is a people” is mentioned.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World contains characters in peril, much thoroughly stylised combat, mythological references and fleeting childish scatological humour.
The Catholic News Service classification is A-II – adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG – parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.