Cert PG 104mins Stars 4

Toothless the loveable dragon and his viking friend, Hiccup return to take wing on the breathtaking visuals and warm emotional currents of this epic animated action fantasy.

They’ve featured in two films and 8 TV series since the first took flight in 2010 so it’s not as if we’ve been starved of high flying dragon action, but the pair have saved their best till last in this surprisingly definitive finale to the big screen trilogy.

The inexperienced Hiccup has succeeded his father as tribal chief, and along with his best friend and trusty steed, Toothless, have turned their colourful and chaotic township of Berk into a haven for dragons of all shapes and sizes.

When a big game dragon hunter called Grimmel threatens to kill Toothless and destroy Berk, Hiccup leads a quest to find the legendary hidden world of dragons, but it tests their relationship to the limit and has far-reaching consequences for everyone.

Packed with acid-spitting scorpion-dragons, flaming swords and poison catapults, this is full of axe-swinging action.

However when poor Toothless falls in love with another dragon, his incompetent wooing is as funny, cute and charming as any Disney romance.

Plus there’s a strong moral underpinning to the story which condemns the hunting of creatures, caging them or subjecting them to poisonous experiments.

Writer and director, Dean DeBlois, has reunited the original voice cast which includes Games of Thrones’ Kit Harington, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, and a cameo by Gerard Butler.

And as the story zips through a series of glorious vistas, there are smaller moments to allow us to marvel at the rich texture and detail in the design.

The creation of this world of astonishing beauty was helped in no doubt by the contribution of the Visual Consultant, Roger Deakins, the Oscar winning British genius who ensures Toothless gets the animated year off to a roaring start.

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