How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Starring Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, F. Murray Abraham, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Kit Harrington, Craig Ferguson
The opening of this film set me up for disappointment with an extended battle in dim light in which the characters are not recognizable. Suddenly, there looms a glorious, colorful view of the island of Berk, and things began to look up. What follows, however, is the least interesting story of the three Dragon movies.
Here, the challenge for Hiccup (Baruchel) and Toothless, his dragon, is to meet the threat posed by Grimmel the Grisly (Abraham), a dragon-hunting warlord who has a nefarious plan to capture Toothless and make him the leader (alpha) of all the dragons he has captured. He will send out his captive white Fury to beguile Toothless and bring him to Grimmel.
In the meantime, since Berk is becoming overpopulated with dragons, Hiccup is trying to find the utopia for dragons that his father had told him about, the Hidden World. If he could move the population there, they could live happily ever after in safety from the dragon hunters.
Not as compelling as previous two Dragon productions.
Unexpected events happen in both Hiccup’s and Grimmel’s plans, the most profound being that Toothless and the white Fury stumble upon each other and it is love at first sight.
Writer/director Dean DeBlois has chosen different themes for this version of Dragons. It’s partly about how true love involves dealing with loss and letting go of a loved one at the proper time. Loyalty and heroism get woven in as guiding principles in love. Hiccup retains his original concerns for the social good and acts upon them.
I did not find the story as compelling as in DeBlois’ previous two Dragon productions, but Gil Zimmerman’s cinematography and John Powell’s music are as impressive as they were in their earlier work.
Dragon training and the search for utopia is interrupted by love.