If you’re anything like me, you loved How to Train Your Dragon as a kid. And what wasn’t to love? A relatable story of a young Viking desperately trying to fit in with his people and finding that he’s nothing like them, beautiful friendship between two characters who are supposed to be mortal enemies (one being a dragon), and stunning animation that blew us all away in 2010.
The story of Hiccup and Toothless the only one in all of existence that I can watch over and over again and never get sick of. Its sequel that came out in 2014 didn’t disappoint, continuing the story Hiccup and Toothless by exploring more of their world and raising the stakes. And now in 2019, at long last, the third and final installment of How to Train Your Dragon has arrived, and it sure packs a punch.
We pick up about a year after the events of the second movie and follow Hiccup as he tries to juggle the responsibilities of being chief with trying to save as many dragons as he can. He faces opposition from a dragon hunter who won’t stop until Toothless is dead, and between that and Toothless finding a girlfriend, tension starts to escalate.
The movie balances the lightheartedness that is expected from all kids movies with the emotionally-crippling sadness that comes with the end of this franchise as well, which left me feeling both very full and very empty. The characters we all know and love are what carry this movie, and the filmmakers made sure that saying goodbye to them would hurt.
The story starts a little slow but picks up in time to deliver a satisfying conclusion while delivering a poignant message. The idea that if you love something, you have to let it go is a bitter pill to swallow, but this movie shows it in a beautiful way.
I’m not too proud to admit it, but I wept hysterically in the theatre as well as in the car ride home. I couldn’t recommend this entire franchise highly enough — just make sure you see this one on a Friday so you have the whole weekend to mourn.