How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Dean DeBlois’ third film in the series retains what made the first two such appealing experiences: a heartfelt story about community, friendship, and love, one that doesn’t resort to cheap humour. It helps the story that the newly introduced elements don’t feel tacked in, but natural and strong; in particular, a strong, sinister villain (with a solid vocal performance by F. Murray Abraham). Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera make a nice, good central pair, with his hesitant undertones spot-on for the character. The main weakness of the film comes from the more comedic characters and performances, which fall flat. The animation itself is beautiful: character design is rich and varied, both for humans and creatures (the two main dragons, as seen in the poster, are stunning in their texture), and the environments, colorful. John Powell’s musical score is a fine match.
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