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March 13, 2019

How To Train Your Dragon 3 (2019) --- "When One Chapter Ends Another One Begins."


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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Directed and written by Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stich, How To Train Your Dragon series), and based on the book series by Cressida Cowell, How To Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World (2019) is the long-awaited third and final film in this beloved series. The story takes place one year after the events of the last film and follows Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) as he leads the people of Berk, a dragon utopia which has been rescuing and housing more dragons than it can handle. Everything seems to be working out great for the people of Berk, but a new threat is on the horizon in the form of dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham). No dragon is safe, not even Toothless. Now Hiccup and his tribe must search for the Hidden World, a legendary place said to be the origin point of dragons and quite possibly the only place safe from Grimmel. Will Hiccup succeed in finding this Hidden World? Or will the dragons face the consequences of his failure?

     Good film series are almost always difficult to let go, especially when the film has been adapted from a beloved book series. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2018) flew into theaters and brought with it a memorable tale that inspired friendship and courage as well as sparked merchandising galore. With this final installment to the series, DreamWorks hopes to tie up this beloved franchise nicely and they did exactly that. The Hidden World is a masterpiece, love letter to fans that should be a Box Office hit.
     The story delivers an emotionally strong and expansive final chapter that lives up to the previous two films as well as stands on its own. This is a film that builds with each new installment and always manages to brings something new to the big screen without feeling repetitive. In addition to being an emotionally strong and expansive story, there is also a strong theme surround Hiccup and Astrid (America Ferrera) in regards to them finally tying the not and setting down. The characters are encouraged to evolve and embrace new stages of their life, possibly even following different paths which prove to be hard for everyone to do.
     The animation is just as stunning as before and the voice acting is great. Returning characters like Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harrington, Kristen Wig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, Craig Ferguson, Justin Rupple, and even a small cameo from Gerard Butler all gave fantastic and even better performances. F. Murray Abraham (Finding Forrester, The Grand Budapest Hotel) as the villain Grimmel was a bit lackluster. I was expecting him to be a little bit more menacing but what can you expect from a family film. The side villains played by Julia Emelin, Olafur Darri Olafsson, James Sie, and David Tennant also did pretty well, although I do wish that they had more screen time then they received.

     Overall, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2018) is a family film masterpiece that will entertain both kids and adults alike. The story expands on the series and is unexpectedly emotionally stronger than its predecessors. Also, the animation and voice-acting have improved tremendously. This is a film that can be enjoyed even without having seen its predecessors as it manages to stand on its own. Congratulations, DreamWorks on closing the book on a beloved series that has captured the hearts of fans and has inspired friendship and courage to all. I highly recommend this film.

Final Vote --- 8.7 of 10 stars

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