“There were dragons when I was a boy. Where they went, only a few knew. Our story changed the world forever.”
This cryptic statement at the beginning of the trailer for the third instalment in the How To Train Your Dragon trilogy, is finally explained in the ending of the film.
The Hidden World is the perfect mix of nostalgia, morality, fantasy as well as reality wrapped into one big parcel and served with a heavy dose of cuteness.
The film follows our favourite duo, Hiccup and Toothless on their road to learning self-discovery, love and loss.
We have grown up watching this adorable dragon form an extremely powerful bond with a brave hearted Viking and every bit of watching their journey unfold has been a delight. While there have always been critics who go through the best of movies with a fine toothed comb to find flaws, they would’ve assuredly found next to nothing, give or take, in this particular film.
The Hidden World begins with Hiccup (who is now the chief of Berk) leading his troops to rescue a bunch of dragons and bring them back home to Berk, which as it turns out, is now a Viking-dragon utopia. However, sensing impending danger for his people and dragons, especially Toothless, in the little, overpopulated kingdom, he makes plans to go on a quest to search for the Hidden Dragon World where all dragons originate from.
My favourite part about the film was how it taught us the notion of toxic friendship, using an incentive (unlike Ralph Breaks the Internet, which went the opposite way to teach the same lesson). We had grown so accustomed to seeing Hiccup and Toothless depend on each other relentlessly for every little thing, it was almost like they were one and the same. When the time came to let go of that dependency and discovering who they were, as individuals, it was hard not only for them but for the audience too.
Both of them, Hiccup especially, thought they were nothing without the other and that’s the mindset the movie helped them trash by gently nudging them to believe in themselves. Hiccup discovers that he isn’t completely lost without Toothless, all his people need him and will always be there for him. Similarly, Toothless learns to trust his own instincts as an alpha and become an independent and responsible leader. Thereupon, it taught the most important lesson of all time, one cannot depend on their best friend as a permanent part of their own being that they can’t survive without. Friendship cannot stem from need and your best friend isn’t bound to you by any obligation whatsoever, and that is what is taught to us by this legendary duo.
As said by the OG chief, Stoick himself, “With love comes loss, and it’s all part of the deal. It hurts sometimes, but in the end it’s all worth it.”
The one thing that slightly unsettled me, is the fact that Astrid’s character didn’t see much development in the film, despite her being one of the protagonists in all the previous instalments. She had a lot of potential but then again, the film is primarily focused on Hiccup and Toothless so it balances out.
And let’s not forget that absolutely adorable ending, a Cheshire Cat grin on my face cannot even begin to reveal the havoc inside upon seeing the—well, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, shall we? Of course, a lovesick Toothless trying to court his newfound lover is truly one of the cutest scenes you will ever come across.
Watching this goofy dragon and his crazy human friend grow from uncertain and reticent young ones into grown up, strong, and determined leaders that understand the value of family and all the responsibilities that come with being a leader, is a sight for sore eyes.
The final instalment to this series, albeit bittersweet, was nothing short of perfect and is an absolute must watch, for the young and the old alike.