Produced by DreamWorks Animation
Running Time: 104 minutes
Director: Dean DeBlois
Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, F. Murray Abraham
Following the events of ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’, Berk is now a bustling human and dragon utopia. Unfortunately, this caused the island to become overpopulated and the target of dragon hunters. To save themselves and their dragon friends, Hiccup leads the charge to search for the Hidden World, a mythical safe haven for dragons.
No Spoiler Review
Ever since its premiere in 2010, ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ has reigned as one of DreamWorks’ rarest gems. For one, it didn’t have any talking animals in it (thank goodness), but it also brought us a surprisingly complex coming-of-age story that packed a ton of heart.
The third installment stays true to the core of this franchise and picks up when Hiccup is on the cusp of adulthood. It manages to fit a commendable amount of story its two hour run-time, diving into both emotional and political plot lines while holding the overall story direction together.
The biggest highlight of the movie was also its biggest selling point: Toothless’ newfound love interest. Despite my initial hesitance toward introducing a girlfriend for the animal sidekick (ugh, where haven’t we heard that before?), it was written into the plot in a thoughtful and intriguing manner that’s bound to sway even the most cynical viewers.
On a related note, the most surprising element in this movie is certainly its villain. Grimmel the Grisly (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) makes his menacing debut, presenting an antagonist that is both cunning and ruthless enough to dance circles around our protagonists. It’s rare in this day and age to witness a villain that is truly good at what he’s doing, which only makes us wish this first movie wasn’t also his last.
That aside, our only gripe with the film is its run time. The movie was fast paced – perhaps too fast paced – and didn’t provide enough time to wrap up all its plot points with care. The side characters were especially throwaway in this movie, mainly acting as comic relief despite the potential for far more character development.
Still, this fault won’t be enough to sway your average viewer. After all, it was still a fun ride packed with emotion, humour, and most importantly, a satisfying ending to this 19 year long franchise. No spoilers, but fans are bound to end up in tears at the end of it; maybe not because of groundbreaking storytelling, but because this means goodbye.
This gets a 7/10 from me.