Natalie Schroeder | Staff Writer
Toothless, Hiccup and Astrid appeared on the big screen for a third time last weekend in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. The movie earned a “certified fresh” status from Rotten Tomatoes. In this third installment, Toothless and Hiccup go up against a villain much more intimidating than the villain in the second movie, Drago.
This movie has beautiful scenery, humorous characters and a plot that will melt your heart. It follows the unbreakable bond be-tween Toothless and Hiccup as they face Grimmel, a new type of threat to Hiccup, Toothless and all dragons. As a villain, Grimmel stands alone because he doesn’t want to control the dragons, he wants to kill Toothless. On his quest to find a solution, Hiccup flies through beautiful skies and colorful lands.
Continuing the approach from the previous movies, Toothless is as lovable as ever. The movie introduces a “light fury” that Toothless begins to attempt to woo. These scenes were easily some of the best throughout the movie as they gave comic relief to the overarching obstacle. The score throughout his attempts helps the audience empathize with a character that never talks.
While the movie has multiple call backs to the previous movies, there is one that tugs at your heartstrings more than others. The familiar score and interaction between Hiccup and Toothless at the end of this movie remind the audience how the two met and began their journey together. The movie subtly prepares the audience for what is to come without ruining the plot.
Since this is an animated movie, the actors have to put more emotion in their voices than if they were on screen. Jay Baruchel (Hiccup) and America Ferrera (Astrid) add depth to their characters yet again in this third and final installment. Baruchel allows you to connect more with his emotions regarding Toothless and his fellow Berkians. He adjusts his speaking voice to match the interaction; he speaks respectfully to Astrid and like a best friend to Toothless. Ferrera does the same; she changes her voice when she speaks to Hiccup privately rather than her natural speaking tone in a public setting.
The creators of this movie pay great attention to detail that make the dragons and the Isle of Berk come to life. Because the audience has the first two movies to develop the characters and explain the nature of these dragons, it is easier for the creators to focus on the visuals and continue the theme of the previous installments.
Another thing this movie does is provide the right amount of conflict and humor. While they face the challenges that Grimmel brings the Berkians, the characters add humor to the movie that evokes laughter in the theater consistently. Since the death of his father made Hiccup the Chief of Berk, he continuously has the survival of Berkians and dragons as his top priority. Throughout the movie, his plans induce at least one comical scene of things not quite going as planned. This allows the audience to see him as the Hiccup they remember rather than an experienced chief.
This movie followed the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless with ease, showing the development from the second movie. It also realistically shows the relationship between Hiccup and Astrid as they move forward together. This movie is heart-warming, stunning and bitter-sweet. While people can be skeptical of sequels, this trilogy was done right.