DreamWorks has always been hit or miss with their sequels. While some of them build on what was previously established like Shrek 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2, others fair not as well especially when the third movie rolls around. However, with the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, DreamWorks’ best series of films concludes with a fun adventure for kids and deep storyline for adults.
While the first movie was a coming of age story and the second shifted to an epic fantasy, the third maintains the fantasy-like feel for the world of Berk. The tone is very mature but doesn’t go too far in that direction that it feels out of place.
The writing is one of the strongest points of the series, and that is still present here. Every beat is on point from comedy, tension, and heartwarming moments. The hero, Hiccup goes through a well-developed character arc where he must make tough decisions as the chief now, and his story concludes perfectly in this movie.
All the actors return from the past movies, and their performances are top-notch, with outstanding performances by Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, and F. Murray Abraham.
The animation in the movie is breathtaking at points with highly detailed textures and models used on the characters, environments, and dragons. One of the most jaw-dropping scenes being when the characters arrive to the “Hidden World.”
If I were to rank the movies, I still think the second one is the best by a small margin, with Hidden World right behind it. I highly recommend the entire trilogy of the Dragon movies. They are family movies where audiences of all ages can enjoy for the epic fantasy, great comedy, and mature storyline.