I'm at the McDonald's in Whitney Point surfing the Internet instead of mowing my lawn.
In the process of surfing, I found Nathan Wilson's review of HtTYD:
I appreciated this perspective that I missed:
"...dragons were bad. They raided the village stealing sheep. They burned it down constantly. They killed people. Lots of people. And here’s one of a few things that stunned me. Why did they do these evil things? Well, because they served The Dragon. The big one. The huge, ancient, evil one. And the story progresses not with one small boy (Hiccup) successfully communicating to his father (Stoick) that dragons were misunderstood, but with that boy crushing The Dragon’s head and . . . losing his foot in the process."
I appreciate what Wilson brings to the story here and I'm almost convinced, but I'm not entirely sure that the slaying of the large dragon is developed enough to be consistent with or contrast enough with what has come before.