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Friendship And Freedom

Saturday, March 23, 2019
By Deepa Gahlot

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Dean DuBlois
Cast (Voices): Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, F. Murray Abraham and others
Rating: * * * 1/2

The third and final part of the fantasy series, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, directed by Dean Dublois, based on Cressida Cowell’s children's books, about a boy and his dragon buddy has awe-inspiring animation.

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) has grown up into a fine young man, and is the leader of Berk, the island of Vikings (who look like they have stepped out of an Asterix comic); Toothless, his black Night Fury dragon, is cute as a kitten, sleek as a panther. The rest of the dragon population is colourful and diverse with the animators running wild with their imagination.

In the earlier film, Hiccup, following his dragon-slaying father, had shot down on of the winged creatures. When he found the wounded beast in the forest, he could not bring himself to kill it. He named the dragon Toothless and befriended it; Toothless in turn, taught the boy that all dragons are not to be feared, and that humans should not try to annihilate them.  

In The Hidden World, there’s a new entrant—an alabaster white female dragon, named Light Fury by Hiccup’s friend Astrid (America Ferrera). Humans and dragons have lived peacefully on Berk for years, till the villainous Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) and his gang want to hunt down and kill the dragons.

The film opens with a fiery action sequence-- in which Hiccup and his friends Astrid, Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Tuffnut (Justin Rupple), free some trapped dragons—and just does not slow down.

Later, when Grimmel and his men attack, Hiccup realizes that their dragon friends are not safe in Berk, and he wants to lead them to a secret place—the Hidden World-- that his father had mentioned. (The father was voiced by Gerald Butler, while Cate Blanchett is Valka, the animal-loving mother.)

The film is about their adventures, their battles with Grimmel and his Deathgrippers, the romance between Toothless and Light Fury, as well as Hiccup and Astrid; and finally the act of setting the dragons free so that they can live without fear of evil humans.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is packed with fast-paced set pieces, breathtaking scenes of dragons flying and magical landscapes, but at heart it is a coming-of-age tale, that speaks up for friendship, kindness, trust and letting go.

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