The third movie in a trilogy may not always the best one.  It can seem like the movie makers are stretching the plot just to squeeze out one more in the series, but with How to Train Your Dragon 3, they saved the best for last. And not for the reasons you might think.

Animation continues to level up and outdo itself, doesn't it?  With each year that passes, it seems like the effects get more intense and the colors get brighter, and How to Train Your Dragon 3 is right there in the thick of it.  If you liked the detail in Coco with bright lights and hundreds of small images making up that one big cityscape, you'll like How to Train Your Dragon 3 too.

DreamWorks Animation

The Hidden Dragon World was fascinating and left me wondering how in the world they put all of that animation together.  It looked like paradise (for a dragon anyway) with a million lights, bold colors, and a thousand perches for them to sit.  The detail is just unreal.  And the dragons themselves all look unique.  They have character and personality and the sweet ones have puppy dog eyes that make you fall in love with them.  My 7-year old is begging for a Toothless stuffed animal, and now I want one too.

The effects aside, the real reason I loved the movie was because of the messages.  I'm always looking for ways to put my girls in front of positive media that will teach them something good about life, and the subtle things in this movie make it a win for parents.

There are several moments when the main characters have to let go of something they love, and even though it's hard, it turns out to be the right choice.  There's also a great dose of girl power in the movie, and some moments when girls are saving the guys.  After the #metoo movement, that's an underlying theme in a lot of movies and our daughters are seeing more strong female role models than ever before.  They're also seeing relationships that reflect real life.  Toothless is a black dragon who falls in love with a Light Fury that's white, and they have black and white babies.  Beautiful.  And what made it even more beautiful was that the kids didn't even notice that part.

There's the Mama review for How to Train Your Dragon 3.  The audience clapped at my theater when the credits started to roll, and that only happens with the best movies.  I liked it so much, I may even go see it again without the kids this week. With my Toothless stuffed animal...