Story

This is the third in the series of How to Train Your Dragon movies, based on the books by Cressida Crowell. Hiccup (voice of Jay Baruchel) is now the chief of the Viking tribe of Berk, where he has created a peaceful haven for dragons. He discovers, however, that an evil villain, Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham), is capturing dragons with the aim of killing them all. Along with several of his men and women, including Astrid (America Ferrera), Hiccup attacks the fortress where the dragons have been imprisoned to set them free.

Grimmel has a secret weapon, however, in the form of a beautiful white night fury called Light Fury, with which he plans to lure away Toothless, Hiccup’s own night fury. Grimmel believes that if he captures the alpha dragon, all the other dragons will follow. Many battles ensue, and Hiccup decides that the only way for the dragons to survive is to find the mythical ‘hidden world’, which his father had told him about. Hiccup leads his tribe on the search for this mysterious place with mixed feelings. Toothless must decide whether to follow his heart or his loyal companion.

Themes

Dragons; Vikings; fantasy; warfare

Violence

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has a lot of animated violence throughout. For example:

  • There are many battle scenes where Vikings fight with Grimmel’s men using swords, axes and maces.
  • The Vikings enjoy fighting each other for fun. During feasts, they throw objects at each other.
  • Guards are seen mistreating the caged dragons. They whip them and so on.
  • Grimmel uses a crossbow, which he fires at dragons on several occasions, killing them in the process. He shoots a sleeping man, but only sedates him rather than killing him.
  • At first Light Fury charms Toothless, but then she suddenly looks evil and burns a nearby tree.
  • Light Fury takes Hiccup from Toothless’s back and drops him into the ocean.
  • Grimmel shoots at both Light Fury and Toothless with his crossbow. He captures them both.
  • Ships are set alight and break apart.
  • Grimmel chases after Hiccup, who gives up his own life to save Toothless and Light Fury and seems to fall to his death. He’s saved in time.

Sexual references

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has some sexual references. For example:

  • Astrid and Hiccup flirt and kiss briefly a couple of times.
  • Ruffnut (a female Viking) says she’s so ‘hot’ and all the boys love her.
  • Toothless watches a couple of dragons doing a ritual mating dance.
  • Toothless and Light Fury ‘fall in love’. They both perform ritual mating dances to each other. They rub necks and lick each other.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World shows some use of substances. For example, the Vikings drink jugs of ale when they’re feasting.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some mild coarse language in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Ideas to discuss with your children

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is an animated adventure story. The hero, Hiccup, must lead his tribe and dragons to safety and protect them from an evil villain who wants to destroy all dragons. This movie has a weak storyline and a predictable ending, but it’ll appeal to older children and teenagers.

There’s more violence in this movie than the original How to Train Your Dragon movie, which is why this movie isn’t recommended for children under eight years.

The main messages from this movie are to understand and respect all creatures, rather than trying to destroy the things we fear.

Values and ideas in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:

  • courage
  • heroism
  • self-belief
  • selflessness
  • strong female characters like Astrid, Valka and Ruffnut, who all fight to protect their tribe and dragons
  • alternative solutions to war.