How to Train Your Dragon reveals ‘the hidden world’

After seeing Toy Story 3 in theaters, I swore to myself that I would never again be that teenager sobbing into my popcorn at a children’s movie. Unfortunately, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, directed by Dean DeBlois, made me break my promise in a matter of minutes. If you were drastically unequipped to handle the finale to Toy Story 3, you have no idea what a movie about dragons could do to you.

The epic conclusion to the dragon-training trilogy is anything but just a movie about glorified reptiles. Riddled in its plot lie themes of love, loss, pain and sacrifice—the series has clearly grown up since its debut, and the characters have too.

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), once an awkward teen, is now a fierce, flaming-sword-wielding Chief-to-be of his home village of Berk—a village which he has transformed into a crowded, yet breathtaking utopia where dragons and vikings live in harmony. His eclectic posse of dragon-riders has matured alongside him, but continue to ride the same trustworthy dragons they chose in the first movie. The feelings of nostalgia are hitting you already, aren’t they?

The original team furthers their everlasting quest to abolish the reign of dragon-hunters and free the dragon captives. This time, they are faced with a notorious villain called Grimmel the Grizzly (F. Murray Abraham), who threatens to destroy everything Hiccup knows and loves.

The series has truly upped the ante in terms of battle scenes, keeping the audience on the edges of their seats with more violence, intensity, excitement  and drama than ever before.

But, the true value of the movie lies in its two parallel love stories—the first fueled by maturity and adult responsibilities, the other wholesomely innocent and pure.

Photo by © 2019 DreamWorks Animation LLC

Hiccup, needing to assume his Chief position, must finally take his longtime flirtatious relationship with Astrid (America Ferrera) seriously. And Toothless, Hiccup’s loyal Night Fury dragon, spends the film trying to woo a rare dazzling white Light Fury, recently discovered in the woods.

You think you’ve seen it all until you see two dragons falling in love. Something about the dopey eyes Toothless gives her, the cringey mating dances he uses to charm her, the playful flights they take together—they all make this romance more raw and emotional than any romcom I’ve ever seen. And the most beautiful part of it all? Their story is told without a single word.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will have you roaring with laughter at Toothless’s attempts to flirt, “aww”ing at the displays of love, gasping at the new majestic landscapes, and desperately attempting to cling to your childhood by the time the credits roll. A trilogy of this quality is as rare as a Night Fury dragon. This is the “hidden world” we all long to be a part of.