The How to Train Your Dragon series comes to a thrilling and emotionally impactful conclusion that proves the quality of writer-director Dean DuBlois.
The first two instalments of the How to Train Your Dragon series were quality additions to the Dreamworks Animations roster. The third entry does not disappoint.
Set one year after the events of the previous film, our hero Hiccup has finally realised his dream of creating a dragon-Viking utopia in his home of Berk. However, he has to make some tough choices when he is threatened by the dragon hunter Grimmel and his dragon Toothless finds a potential mate.
Needless to say the emotional stakes are effectively set up here. The bond between Hiccup and Toothless is severely tested and contributes to the bittersweet message that the film is creating. The idea of separation anxiety leads to some emotional scenes towards the end that will affect all but the most stone-hearted of viewers.
Mention must also be made for the absolutely stunning animation. The environments are all created with vigorous detail, which are complimented effectively by DuBlois’ framing.
John Powell returned to compose the score and probably did his best work in the series. Some of the more swelling choral tracks are mesmerising and have a real impact on each scene they are in.
For minor complaints the villain Grimmel is somewhat underdeveloped, but he is voiced well by F. Murray Abraham. Likewise the voicework across the whole cast is decent. There is also the issue that most of the supporting characters are underutilised and mostly feature to set up gags. However, this allows for the story surrounding Hiccup and Toothless to take more focus which benefits the narrative.
Overall, the How to Train Your Dragon series remains one of the most consistently good trilogies, animated or otherwise, in recent film history and deserves all the acclaim it has received.