Movie review: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

THIS FINAL instalment of the franchise based on Cressida Cowell’s books has an ending that caps off the series well.

So what if the movie has yet another hidden dragon paradise, and more bizarre bad guys?

The stories have always ended with something that warmed your heart, and this one is no different.

This time, the focus is not only on the things mentioned above, but also on the Night Fury dragon Toothless’ quest to find its own soulmate, and perhaps a different life.

The story begins with Viking chieftain Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera), his mum Vaika (Cate Blanchett) and their friends going on a dragon rescue, and successfully freeing a few more critters from the pirates.

The rescue party then brings back the dragons to the already over-crowded island of Berk.

The angry pirates engage the help of dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) who has killed every Night Fury out there, except Toothless, and a female (whom Astrid calls a Light Fury) that the pirates have caged up.

Grimmel, as we learn, is an avid hunter, and he uses the Light Fury to set a trap for Toothless.

Though his attempts are thwarted by Hiccup, his efforts force the young rider to move his entire village and all their dragons to a place at the end of the world, which his late father Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler in flashback scenes) once told him was supposedly inhabited by dragons.

While contending with Grimmel and his pirate friends who are closing in, Hiccup is forced to come to terms with the fact that Toothless deserves to have its own life, in its own world.

Hiccup too must forge his own identity as a leader, without the help of his dragon friend.

The story is brilliant, and some CGI scenes look almost real.

Even the use of light and shadows is taken up a notch in scenes such as the feast, and when Grimmel shows up in Hiccup’s home.

Good story, great visuals, and most important of all, this movie has heart.