A long long time ago (in 2010) before there were Games with Thrones and the coolest Talking Dragon we knew of sounded like Sean Connery we were introduced to the little Viking village of Berk and it’s small problem with Dragons. Now with the third and final film heading to cinemas, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, are we ready to say goodbye?
If you haven’t seen the first film or any of them for that matter you can see the first one at least on Netflix. It was actually out in cinemas around the same time as Avatar and while Netflix won’t give you 3D it is still our go-to for best animated 3D film. Really, you should go watch it because past this point be Dragons… and Spoilers.
Based on the children’s book series by the same name the first How to Train Your Dragon film followed Hiccup, son of the Viking Cheif (voiced by Gerard Butler in case you didn’t know) in a far past where Dragons were common and Vikings were their mortal enemy. Hiccup did not share the bloodlust of the rest of his village when it came to slaying his first Dragon, the Nightfury later named Toothless.
Toothless and Hiccup became friends and eventually converting the entire village to be more dragon friendly to the point of becoming dragon-riders which was a large part of the also Dreamworks animated TV series which is more than one and also on Netflix, filling the gap between films.
In the second film as life with Dragons becomes commonplace it is not the case with the rest of the Vikings in the world still very anti-dragon. As Hiccup and Toothless defend their world they also learn of new hidden pockets of Dragons and discover Hiccup’s missing mother at the same time as he loses his father. We told you there were spoilers and dragons.
Now into the 3rd film and while the world of Berk is prosperous and living happily with Dragons the rest of the world is closing in with trappers looking to capture or end all Dragons forcing Hiccup to search for the Dragon Utopia to hide all Dragons safely away, known as The Hidden World.
While not the original Star Wars as a trillogy the story of How to Train Your Dragon has followed the maturing of Hiccup (and Toothless) as they travel into Adulthood. When we first saw Hiccup he was the son of the Cheif but as we move into this final film Hiccup is taking his fathers place as head of the village which means growing up in many ways and including making choices to put loved ones before himself.
Visually this film is stunning. Dreamworks animation has been pumping out great work over the last few years and while we have loved their animated TV work with the Voltron and She-Ra reboots also on Netflix the latest Dragons film shows how great a studio they are. Details like the smoke haze from fires, or the soft focus on backgrounds in a shot, or even water of the oceans just make this world so alive and real that you forget for a moment you are watching something animated as you are pulled into the world.
So should you go see it? If you have seen the previous two How to Train Your Dragon films then yes, absolutely. While not as action packed as the second it does serve as a satisfying close to the series giving you a chance to say goodbye on your own terms. As well as letting you know that they are still here, we just have to work hard to be a world that deserves Dragons.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is in cinemas across Australia right now.