The 2010s have not been a very good decade for DreamWorks Animation. In fact, it's been a rather terrible decade for them. Throughout most of the decade, I have been repeatedly disappointed with their animated movies due to how they paled in comparison to some of their strongest works to date. However, amongst the vast sea of movies featuring snails getting super speed, annoying purple aliens, trolls that fart glitter, and a baby wearing a suit, there was a film about a young Viking and his dragon. It's no secret that I really love the "How to Train Your Dragon" films. I loved the very strong first film for setting up an interesting world with memorable characters and I adored the second film for raising the bar, opening up a massive world, and giving it lots of emotional depth. Though every trilogy needs its conclusion which brings us to the third and final installment in the series, "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World". I went in with extremely high expectations and came out extremely satisfied. This is easily my favorite of the trilogy and one of the greatest films that DreamWorks has ever made to date.
One year after the events of the second film, Hiccup (Jay Burchell) along with his dragon Toothless, his mother Valka (Cate Blanchett), and his fellow dragon riders Astrid (America Ferrera), Snoutlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and Tuffnut and Ruffnut (Justin Rupple and Kristen Wiig) have been freeing dragons from catchers and taking them to the island of Berk. However, the island is becoming overpopulated with dragons and Gobber (Craig Ferguson) tells him that this may not work out. Hiccup eventually comes to term with this and begins plans for the Vikings to look for a fabled hidden world of dragons that his late father Stoick (Gerard Butler) told him about. Pretty soon though their quest to find the hidden world starts to grow into fruition when a dragon hunter named Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) finds out about their village and prepares to kill Toothless since he had killed every Night Fury dragon before him. Therefore it is up to Hiccup and the others to set forth to find the hidden world so they can protect their people and dragons while also trying to help Toothless win over a dragon called a Light Fury, which is essentially a female version of the Night Fury.
For almost five years, I've waited to see this film and see how the adventures of Hiccup and Toothless came to an end and this movie did it very well. The story was absolutely riveting right from the start. The film immediately throws you right back into the adventure and keeps you interested until the film ends. Not only that, the film really is both funny and emotional. This is a film series that really knew how to balance both the comedy and drama perfectly and this film is no exception. The ending scene in particular actually did get to me and made me cry right there in the theater. The animation is some of the most breathtaking and beautiful animations I've ever seen. As soon as the film started, I actually at first confused the animation for live action since it was done so well. There was also one scene in particular that really made my jaw drop. It's quite honestly the best computer animation that DreamWorks has ever put out and it's also amazing how much the animation has seriously improved over time since the first film especially considering that the budgets got smaller as the film series went on. As for the characters, they are also once again fantastic. We really do see Hiccup mature in this movie as he has to look after his people and continue to build on his relationship with Astrid and Toothless. Also, I should probably talk about Grimmel. This is another fantastic villain. I do love how cold and bitter he is towards dragons and having him played by F. Murray Abraham was a real treat. He was fantastic last year in "Isle of Dogs" and is fantastic once again here. I really don't know what else to say about the movie. It's just so good.
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" is one of the best third movies in animated series ever with a fantastic story, jaw-dropping animation, and emotionally riveting characters. It really does conclude the best-animated trilogy I've ever seen and it really was a fun and exciting ride. I'm very curious to see what DreamWorks does from here now that their best series to date is now over. I'm really hoping it'll be good though cause I really do want to see more films like this from them.