How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Dragon-riding Vikings seek a new home.
DreamWorks Animation’s greatest franchise is finishing strong, said Scott Mendelson in Forbes.com. Only in comparison with its predecessors does this third installment rank as “merely” a three-star sequel. On its own terms, it’s a “gorgeous” animated adventure, “filled to the brim with dragons and related fantastical imagery.” Hiccup, the teen hero of the first movie, has become a young man who now rules the island where Vikings and dragons have learned to live in harmony, and when a dragon hunter arrives seeking to eradicate the flying beasts, Hiccup declares it time to find a safer home. The movie “only really soars when the dragons take wing,” as when Hiccup rides Toothless, his longtime dragon friend, said Geoffrey Macnab in The Independent (U.K.). Apart from the charming courtship scenes involving Toothless and a white dragon, we’re otherwise stuck with bland Hiccup and another rites-of-passage story. But there’s a credible love story, too, one that parallels the dragon romance and reminds us how different Toothless’ and Hiccup’s worlds remain, said Peter Debruge in Variety. Because Hiccup and friends continue to grow, the movie completes “one of the greatest character arcs animation has ever seen.” ■