Thursday, March 7, 2019

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

I did not watch the first 2 How to Train Your Dragon films until recently. I was never interested in those films when I was younger. However, I changed my mind because of the vastly positive reception of the first 2 films, & I loved both of them.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is the best film of the trilogy. The film continues the story of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), the Viking Chief of Berk. Hiccup, along with his fiancée Astrid (voiced by America Ferrera), his mother Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett), Gobber the Belch (voiced by Craig Ferguson), Snotlout Jorgenson (voiced by Jonah Hill), Fishlegs Ingerman (voiced by Christopher Mintz-Plasse), twins Ruffnut (voiced by Kristen Wiig) & Tuffnut (voiced by Justin Rupple) Thorston, & his Night Fury dragon Toothless, ride & save dragons, while bringing them back to Berk to live in a safe environment. However, Berk is overpopulated. Hiccup finds a solution: his father, Stoick the Vast (voiced by Gerard Butler), told of a place called "The Hidden World," a safe haven for dragons. Although others are skeptical of the existence of The Hidden World, Hiccup is sure of its existence.

Meanwhile, a white female Night Fury, referred to as a Light Fury, has been captured by Night Fury hunter Grinnel the Grisly (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) as bait for Toothless to be captured. Grimmel comes to Berk for Toothless, but they refuse to give him up. Knowing that Grimmel will come back, the people of Berk decide to go find The Hidden World in order to evade him.

On the way there, Toothless encounters the Light Fury & falls in love with her. As they try to get to The Hidden World, Hiccup must face both encroachment from Grinnel & the idea that it might be time for Toothless to find his own way.

The voice cast is fantastic. Jay Baruchel brings so much life to the role. F. Murray Abraham is deliciously villainous. Cate Blanchett is a delight. And the rest of the cast provide great supporting performances.

Dean DeBlois' direction is excellent. DeBlois provides visuals that are absolutely striking, & supports that with a strong emotional undercurrent.

Dean DeBlois' screenplay is amazing. The plot is fresh & free of threequelitis, the characters are well-written, & the dialogue is terrific.

And the animation is astonishing. The attention to detail is so awe-inspiring, & the color palette is so vivid. And it only helps even more with the one & only Roger Deakins as a visual consultant.

This is one of the best animated films of the decade. It's a funny, emotional, & altogether a truly spectacular way to end the trilogy.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was seen by me at the MJR Marketplace Digital Cinema 20 in Sterling Heights, MI on Saturday, March 2, 2019. It is in theaters everywhere. Its runtime is 104 minutes, & it is rated PG for adventure action & some mild rude humor.

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