HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
* * *
(Lessons for kids in third cartoon feature)
There are three love affairs in this third cartoon in the popular series that brought thousands of kids and their parents to the Showcase Cinemas last weekend. The first is between Hiccup and his dragon friend, Toothless. The second grows slowly between Hiccup and Astrid. The third is between Toothless and the Light Fury, a dragon sent to lure him away from Hiccup.
Parents will be pleased with the positive messages about courage to explore new places and ideas, plus the necessity of learning to get along with those who are different from us.
Hiccup has grown to be the Viking King of Berk, a paradise where humans and dragons live together in peace. The movie opens with Hiccup and the Vikings raiding dragon hunter Grimmel's ship and freeing the dragons he has captured. Hiccup fears that Grimmel will invade his peaceful but vulnerable land and convinces the Vikings to head off in a search for the Hidden World, where dragons and Vikings will be safe and can continue to live together in peace.
The search for paradise takes a bit too long and the battle scenes are dark and dreary, but the ending is beautifully done, as dragons and Vikings realize that the world is not yet ready for perfect harmony, a lesson that parents can understand. The movie leaves us with hope for the future.