By STACY BAUER & DAX HUGHES
Jimplecute Movie Reviewers
5 out 5 Popcorns
“Devotion“ is the best word that comes to mind in describing this film’s theme. Loyalty to family, friends and the object of your affection, is most valued here. Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, this is the final chapter in a trilogy spread over nine years. It’s a welcomed span, since we don’t want this enchanting story to ever end.
Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is beloved Chief of the Vikings of the land of Berk. Now longtime allies with the dragons, he’s found a trusty sidekick in Toothless, a Night Fury, and the rarest dragon.
The only one closer to him than his flying friend is love interest Astrid (America Ferrera). Their life of leisure is abruptly interrupted by a dragon-hunting villain from the next village, Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), who’s intent on capturing and killing them all for sport. The only way for Chief Hiccup to save his people is to set off in search of a Hidden World, only heard of in legend.
They do find this lost land at the edge of the Earth, the birthplace of the dragons, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! Hands down my favorite part of the film, our eyes feast, as the band whips through sparkles and a dazzling array of vibrant color; you’re lost in awe-inspiring wonderment of it all. This is truly a visceral experience, a la “Avatar.”
The most endearing sequences are between Toothless, once thought to be the only Night Fury dragon in existence, and his female counterpart in white, the Light Fury. Their courtship is so sweet, graceful, even funny, with the wooing movements and beautiful connection well-depicted. It is familiar to any human, as I was struck at how realistically nuanced the characters’ interpersonal relating is. Even Hiccup and Astrid’s dynamic was “real.” Their kidding around, and way of sharing, paralleled any young couple you can notice around you today.
Brilliantly illustrated, literally (oh, the detail of the beach sand!) and figuratively, the message is poignant and inspiring. It ultimately makes you want to feel in love, be in love and give that love space for expansion. Growth in love, devotion, friendship – all those satisfying, timeless bonds that make life magical are here.
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is rated PG and runs 110 minutes.
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