To Train Your Dragon: The
This is the third installment of this animated adaptation, where
the young Viking prince Hiccup (the voice of Jay Baruchel) is now a young
man, and the dragon he nursed to health, “Toothless,” is also becoming
the Alpha male of the dragon herd. The
Vikings have all learned to ride the dragons, and it's an amiable
“Toothless,” it turns out, is one of a rare species, called the Night
Fury, and suddenly Toothless discovers that there's a female counterpart,
so naturally, his attention wanders. Hiccup
gradually realizes that if he really loves his dragon, he needs to let him
go, to live his own life. But
it's a tough decision, made more complicated by the villain, who seeks to
slay both remaining Night Fury specimens, “for the good of humanity.”
The bad guy has somehow managed to capture dragons and control them
with their own venom, though he has no love for them, as Hiccup does.
Hiccup is also slow to realize that the Viking princess, Astrid
(America Ferrera), is interested in him, not because he's handsome and
charming, but because he's stubborn, and loyal, and brave, and plagued
with self-doubt enough to cure him of the pride and arrogance normally
associated with entitled leadership.
What Toothless and his “girlfriend” discover together is a
Hidden World, a place below the big waterfall at the end of the ocean,
where dragons can live in peace and harmony together, without worrying
about violent interactions with humans.
So, the new legend has it, there the dragons await, until we humans
are ready to develop peace with one another, and accept harmonious
relationships with the dragons. It
might be a long wait.
Though the plot sounds heavy, there are plenty of humorous moments
to lighten the mood, especially when Toothless attempts to do a little
dance to impress his potential mate. Though
there are a couple of flashbacks to the previous two films in the trilogy,
this one stands on its own enough to not require viewing the others before
seeing this one. It's
certainly suitable for the whole family, though this version of “happily
ever after” might be emotionally different from the norm.