NINE years ago HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON flew onto our cinema screens with the speed and brilliance of a Night Fury. Toothless and Hiccup enchanted audiences creating a bond between dragon and man and proving the little man can be the biggest giant in changing the world.

Four years later HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 hit the screen bigger and louder, showing us more dragons and a bigger world and also the presence of evil determined to control the dragons for nefarious benefit. An evil that Toothless, Hiccup and the merry mixed tribe battled and defeated.

And now another 4+ years later we get the finale, the end to what was always planned as a trilogy. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD is out now from yet another distributor. First one from Paramount, second one from 20th Century Fox and now, the finale from Universal. No wonder I get confused! It is rated PG and runs for 104mins, making it the longest animation ever made by Dreamworks.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Astrid and Hiccup image
Astrid and Hiccup



Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destinies are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together-to the very ends of the Earth-to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Toothless and the Lightfury image
Toothless and the Lightfury


The first instalment in this trilogy is one of my all time favourite animations. I watch it once every few months and still cannot get over how much I adore it. The second I have recently added to the collection so I can watch them both back to back. It fits nicely and while I preferred the first movie the second adds visual elements and a purely evil character that make it more than a worthy follower.

For this third and final instalment the visuals are there, my favourite characters are there but the plot stalls. It is close to a remake of the second instalment but tweaked. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD does offer a new Night Light Fury which gives Toothless a love interest and someone for him to love as much, if not more, than Hiccup. It wonderfully teaches the younger audience members that animals are not owned and have their own loves and lives and it also highlights that all good things will come to an end. Goodbyes are the hardest things in the world for me. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD was hard to say goodbye to. This is a wonderful lesson for the younger viewers.


In comparison to the trilogy it is my least favourite movie. Grimmel is meant to be the most evil man in the realms. Dark evil, treacherous and murderous to all Night Fury, being the one dragon hunter who murdered them all. Only problem is, he is absolutely nothing compared to Drago Bludvist, the terrifying antagonist from HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2. It almost felt like a step backwards. The Lost World itself was basically a new and improved version of where Valka (Cate Blanchett) lived with her dragon horde in HTTYD2. Grimmel just wasn’t scary, he was a generic animated bad guy. Original scripts had Drago returning for this one, I would have much preferred this.

What I will give it is the single best animation out of the series. There are some scenes in this movie that had me holding my breath. One scene that has Hiccup falling through the sky in slow motion quite simply made me cry. It was so poignant and beautiful at that part of the movie that I will remember that scene forever. I will also own this on HD Blu Ray so I can watch them all as a trilogy. The final scenes of the movie also had me in tears, nine years I have loved this series and now it’s over. I have even watched the TV show and while not as good it still offers more in the universe we all love so dearly.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Grimmel image


What on earth will Jay Baruchel do now? I love this guy and have missed him in movies, but always have looked forward to that voice in this series. His evolution as an animated character was wonderful to watch, from naive kid to tribe leader, brilliant.

Valka was a beaut addition as of HTTYD2 but there is much less of her in this movie. Gerard Butler’s Stoick has some good flashback scenes and I do feel the movie was a little less without his gruff counterpoint to Hiccup. In fact most of the ensemble cast had a little less screen time in this instalment, the new story returned a fair bit back to Toothless, Hiccup, Astrid and the new Light Fury. They were present just with less lines. I would have expected a lot more of Kit Harrington’s Erit, or was that I wanted more?

You may notice that for the first time that one of the stupid twins, Tuffnut Thorston, isn’t voiced by TJ Miller. After a few insane actions from him in the real world he is currently in banishment from Hollywood. Justin Rupple seamlessly steps in.

And I have mostly mentioned Grimmel above. While I do love F. Murray Abraham in most things, he just didn’t cut it as the bad guy for me.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Movie image
Hiccup and Toothless


I am sad it is over and we didn’t get a more epic finale to this amazing trilogy. But HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD does offer the best visuals in the series and gives the audience a more than acceptable conclusion to the heartwarming adventures of Toothless, Hiccup and the inhabitants of Berk. Thank you Dean DeBlois for directing one epic trilogy. Farewell and Godspeed, you will be missed.


Jason King owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.