By Liz Lopez
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” from writer-director Dean DeBlois, is the third adaptation of author Cressida Cowell’s books about Vikings and dragons. It is here and it is so worth the wait. It is great to see a more mature Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his trusty dragon, Toothless, as they approach a point in their lives when they must move on for each other’s well being and good. I was not anticipating the emotion as the film progresses and I caved into all the beauty and feeling of this story, even when I thought I had already seen what there is to see of this dragon series from the first movie released in 2010, followed by the second in 2014. Growing up is not always easy, especially when it comes to separating from things, places or ones we love. This story can appeal to many ages and I highly recommend catching the beautifully animated film to see what I mean.
Returning from the prior films are many well known characters of this franchise, including the women in Hiccup’s life, his mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) and Astrid (America Ferrara). Also in the community of Berk are Vikings Eret (Kit Harrington) and Stoick (Gerard Butler) in flashback, and Gobber (Craig Ferguson), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig), Tuffnut (Justin Rupple replacing T.J. Miller), and Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). The most memorable of these that had me in stitches in a few scenes is Kristen Wiig as Ruffnut, especially when she never stopped talking in one scene. She is excellent in driving the other character bonkers.
The people of Berk are not used to change, but decide to follow their leader to a safer haven and also to seek a place Hiccup’s father often talked about. When Hiccup and Astrid find that was once considered a myth is really real, the screen lights up magically with the beauty of their discovery. For film fans of animation, this is one feature not to be missed for the magic that comes from the view of the hidden world. Toothless has a new friend and love interest, Light Fury (an alabaster-colored dragon), and she is the reason for the discovery. Such simple beauty of this courtship can melt some hearts here.
The other new character is a villain, Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham), who aims to do away with any and all dragons – especially when he sees Toothless. He is the reason for the Berk community to move, and as noted above, the designers and animators have achieved excellence in creating a paradise of sorts for both humans and dragons. Hiccup and company won’t let the villain win!
The action/adventure film is rated PG and is one hour and 44 minutes long.
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is available in some theaters tonight, Thursday, February 21, 2019 and nationwide on Friday, February 22nd.