In the final of the trilogy, How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World is, by far, the best. Never before have I sat in a movie which brought back flashes of Disney’s Fantasia. The dragon Fury mating dance and the phosphorescent glide through The Hidden World are terrific. Do not be concerned if you haven’t seen the first two. There is enough backstory to bring you up-to-date. And, besides a delightfully evil dragon-hunter, you get two love stories, and a wonderfully satisfying ending. As the best movie of 2019 so far, I give this film 4.5 Gavels. It receives a 91% Rotten Tomatoes rating and an 87% Audience score.
Hiccup and his fellow Vikings are rescuing dragons from pirates. But, their small island of Berk is becoming overcrowded. Hiccup dreams of finding The Hidden World, a land at the end of the world where dragons can live in peace. Grimmel the Grisly thinks he has killed all the Fury dragons except a white, female Fury in his possession. When he learns that Toothless, the alpha male Fury dragon ridden by Hiccup, is alive, he uses her as bait. If Toothless is captured, all the dragons will follow him into the hands of the pirates. It is imperative that Hiccup finds The Hidden World, and fast.
Jay Baruchel voices Hiccup with the “just-right” tone of an uncertain boy growing into a leader. America Ferrera is Astrid, strong and supportive. It’s hard not to root for their “on-screen chemistry.” F. Murray Abraham, at age 79, seems an unlikely choice for Grimmel. Yet, like James Earl Jones, his voice conveys a calm sense of evil such that he need not raise the volume. Other voices of note include Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig.
Kristen Wiig’s character is captured during a raid on the pirates. One of the great scenes is her non-stop talking, much to the annoyance of Grimmel. It is no secret that my granddaughters and I enjoy this franchise. Still, this ending is so much better than expected. The moral, it takes courage to let go of a loved one, touches the heart. After the original made $500 million, and the second one $620 million, the producers show courage to actually bring this to a conclusion. Given that this one has already made $181 million world-wide, I suspect there may be more dragons hidden on the horizon. Bottom line–Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is the leading contender for the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Dragons 4.5 Gavels, Spiders 3.5 Gavels.
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