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THIRD time's a bittersweet, crowd-pleasing charm for the computer-animated adventures based on the books of Cressida Cowell.

One year after the Viking funeral of his father Stoick The Vast (voiced by Gerard Butler), Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) leads his tribe in daring raids to rescue caged dragons.

He is accompanied by sweetheart Astrid (America Ferrera), mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) and buddies Snoutlout (Jonah Hill), Tuffnut (Justin Rupple), Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig) and Fishlegs (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). The humans lead these liberated beasts back their cliffside village of Berk.

Trusted adviser Gobber the Belch (Craig Ferguson) grows increasingly concerned about Hiccup's bravado.

"One day, you're going to pick a fight you can't win," Gobber counsels the young tribal chief, who feels invincible with Night Fury dragon Toothless by his side.

Soon after, Hiccup locks horns with notorious dragon hunter Grimmel (F Murray Abraham), who issues a chilling ultimatum: surrender every fire-breathing beast in Berk or perish.

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World oscillates between parallel romances - Hiccup and Astrid, Toothless and a Light Fury - to emphasise the importance of partnerships in building a brighter future.

If this is the final time Hiccup and co take flight, it is a sweetly satisfying and soaring swansong.


Astrid and Hiccup

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Publication:Loughborough Echo (Loughborough, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2019
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