Acting feels completely uninspired with only the comic relief characters sounding remotely interested in reprising their roles.
This isn't the conclusion the franchise deserves.
The world of animated films is an oddly savage one. With the ever consuming maw of Pixar hovering over the field, it is all other animation houses can do to simply make a dent in the box office. This is, of course, not to say that there aren’t any other great animated features out there, it’s just that they are hardly ever as memorable or as impactful as Pixar’s products.
The How to Train Your Dragon franchise, however, has potentially been the one non-Pixar animation franchise to rise above the flood of other mediocre projects and challenge the big boys. With a unique take on masculinity and heroism coupled with empowering themes of transcending physical disabilities, the first How to Train Your Dragon was an immediate standout. Throw in a handful of dragons and it was a sure-fire success.
Going in the Empire Strikes Back route, the sequel took a dark turn, exploring humanity’s brutal treatment of creatures humans so dismissively considered beneath themselves.
Sadly, the third and concluding chapter of the series carries little of its predecessors’ thematic depth, instead serving as a simple closure to the franchise with an almost sudden introduction of story elements that feel almost shoehorned in for the convenience of a neat wrap-up.
While lacking the emotional resonance of the original, and the introspective reflection of the second, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is nevertheless a visual feat with the art direction going all out with the many dragons occupying the world.
Unfortunately, little is done with the eponymous hidden world, and much of the action occurs in the very familiar ocean-dominant landscape from the first two movies.
While the characters and their journey certainly come to a full-circle, giving us a neat and satisfying ending, the franchise closes on an uninspired note, not leaving much to be missed or to yearn for a return to this otherwise fantastic and Viking-infested world.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World can be caught now in theatres.