How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Out Now On-Demand

The arrival of a female Night Fury turns Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless's lives upside in the third entry in the franchise based on Cressida Cowell's novels. Dean DeBlois - nominated for a directing Oscar for each of the previous two films - returns to write and direct.

Hiccup and Toothless will finally discover their true destinies: the village chief as ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, and the dragon as leader of his own kind. As both ascend, the darkest threat they’ve yet faced will test the bonds of their relationship like never before.

Trailers

Directed by

  • Dean DeBlois('Lilo & Stitch', 'How to Train Your Dragon', 'How to Train Your Dragon 2')

Written by

Action, Animated, Fantasy, Blockbuster

104mins

Rating: PG Violence

USA

It's great to see Hiccup again, one of mainstream cinema's only disabled heroes. The first How to Train Your Dragon is top-shelf DreamWorks, a lovely boy-and-his-dog tale where the boy's a meek Viking and the dog's a dragon. The second film took a bold leap by ageing its characters significantly, showing their growth, expanding the world, and introducing a villain that doubled as a painful reminder—sometimes, a battle is unavoidable. Sadly, there's not a whole lot this new film does differently, but it does more than enough to draw this trilogy to a satisfying close.

Fans will recognise the familiarities instantly. There's another love story ready to bloom. There's another hidden world for the crew to find. There's another bad guy who's super-cruel to dragons. Snotlout's still a jerk. Tuffnut and Ruffnut are still annoying. And for some reason, the film gives these three more to do without trying to improve them. Meanwhile, Astrid and Valka wait for something meaningful to happen to them on the script's sideline.

The key story difference? Their home can no longer sustain all the dragons they've saved. With heartless hunter Grimmel looking to burn down everything they've built, they start their search for this rumoured dragon utopia in the hope of finding peace and salvation.

There's some interesting restraint within the art department. The majority of the film takes place either at sea or on drab land. Sounds bland, and it kind-of is, but this allows the few startling vistas to really make a lasting impression. It's similar to why the scenes with Toothless and a fellow Nightfury—sorry, Light Fury—shine. In a film full of talking, their dialogue-free interactions are just so darn lovely and allow the fantastic animators to take centre stage.

It's a damn shame most of this third film feels so recycled because the conclusion really does the series proud. The ending truly aches the heart, managing to find the sweetest, sincerest way of saying: "Humans are awful to nature and we need to do better."

Hollywood Reporter

press

All told, by the time How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World nears the end of its Harry Potter-esque closing trajectory, in which Hiccup must learn how to let go, the bittersweet result will have audiences finding it equally hard to say goodbye.

Variety (USA)

press

"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" packs the emotional heft of the dozen or so years it has taken to get this far, tracking the loss of one parent, the discovery of another, and several momentous lessons in bravery and loyalty along the way.

Screen International

press

Eight years on, the How to Train Your Dragon films might not break any new aesthetic ground... but they remain as vibrant as ever.

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)

press

Rivalled only by the Weta-infused Apes as the best trilogy of the current decade, How to Train Your Dragon completes its triptych with a fitting final flourish.

Sydney Morning Herald

press

The dialogue is more wise-cracking and knowing, geared to appeal to young teenage boys rather than children. The technical aspects are as good as ever: indeed, the technology advances with each film, so that each looks richer than the last.

Empire (UK)

press

DreamWorks Animation's most heartfelt series bows out with a beautifully designed finale, but the long-awaited emotional goodbyes for its beloved central duo don't quite soar.

TimeOut (London)

press

The visual soars but the franchise's emotional heartbeat struggles to make itself heard over the din of subplots and the annoying banter of Hiccup's teen tribemates.