The Hidden World picks up a year on from the events of the last movie. After gaining a parent, then losing another, Hiccup now finds himself Chief to the residents of the Isle of Berk. But it’s starting to become a little bit overcrowded – as Hiccup and friends continue to carry out raids on dragon hunters, rescuing dragons and bringing them back to the safety of the island, there’s not so much room for the human residents anymore. This safe haven for dragons, along with the antics of Hiccup and his dragon rescuers, draws the attentions of an infamous, and very dangerous hunter by the name of Grimmel. He comes armed with a deadly crossbow and a set of dragons the likes of which Hiccup hasn’t seen before – spewing acid like liquid which burns and destroys everything it comes into contact with, and he’s out to rid the world of night fury dragons. Attempts by Hiccup to outwit and capture Grimmel backfire and it quickly becomes clear that Berk, and all of it’s inhabitants, are in imminent and deadly danger.
Hiccup remembers his father telling him stories when he was a young boy, recalling tales that sailors returning home from sea had told. Stories of a hidden world, beyond the horizon at the edge of the world. Legend has it that this world is the birth place of all dragons, a wonderous place where they all live in harmony, hidden away from the world of humans. Hiccup decides that before Grimmel returns to the island with an army, they must all pack up and leave in search of the hidden world, where they can rebuild their homes and all live together in safety. But Grimmel has a very special dragon in his possession, one that he plans to use in order to capture Toothless – a female night fury, white in colour and dubbed a ‘Light Fury’. This Light Fury succeeds in drawing the attentions of Toothless, who up until now was thought to be the last of his kind. And while plans are also afoot for Hiccup to marry Astrid, are our heroes finally about to grow up and go their separate ways in the name of love?
One of the biggest strong points of this series of movies is just how beautiful they are to look at, and The Hidden World is no exception. As the mating ritual between the two dragons unfolds, we spend long periods of time with little or no dialogue. From an amusing but clumsy courting dance on the beach to a beautiful flight as they become more comfortable with each other, the whole thing is just wonderfully captivating. The movie benefits from some very good action scenes too and Hiccups friends continue to bring humour to it all. It’s a good mix, and never manages to feel boring at all. But this is definitely a movie about old friends, growing up and growing apart. And as the closing part of the movie trilogy, it manages to tie everything together and end it all perfectly.