Wait...so you are happy that the movie shows a teen struggling with his parent? Well, sort of! It is yet again a realistic feeling that I can associate with. Lots of movies have a stereotypical teen or child versus parent plot where in the end the teen proves the parent is wrong or at least gets their way. HTTYD did this plot, but it was in a remarkably and beautifully different way! Most teen versus adult plots revolve around the teen wanting something and the overly restrictive parent not giving it to them. Another scenario is that the teen rebels against their parent's ideas and beliefs just for the sake of rebelling. Hiccup did not do either of these things! Though he and his father butt head (leaving Hiccup figuratively on the floor every time), Hiccup deeply wants his father's approval. When he begins to tame Toothless, it is clearly not just for the sake of disobeying his father. It would have been tempting to do something to spite Stoick just because Stoick was not accepting him, but Hiccup trained Toothless with pure motives. He wanted to do what was right, but at the same time he deeply did not what to displease his father! That is great! He loves his dad enough to try and not disappoint him. He tries and tries to conform to the viking world so that he can please his father. It is miserable for him, but he still just goes on trying. He only stops trying when he realizes that what his father and the vikings are doing is wrong. He looks at that dragon lying terrified on the ground, and he suddenly feels that something is wrong with what he is about to do. He has been in Toothless's position his whole life, helpless. Now he sees the dragon and a reflection of his own fears. He can't kill it. He frees it, and then he tries to go home and explain his feelings to his father. He does not want to blatantly fly into his father's face, so he just attempts to slip around the issue and go on living a normal mundane viking life. In the end, he actually loves his father enough to defy him! That is much harder than just sneaking around behind his back and telling everyone how wrong his dad is. He bravely stands up against his father because he sees what his father is doing is wrong, and he cares about Stoick and the tribe enough to tell them they are wrong. That is an incredible decision! He wants his father's affection deeply, but he is willing to never get it if he can help the vikings to see that everything they know about the dragons is wrong!
What a great use of the teen parent plot! Both of them love each other, but both are ridiculously different! They both want to show each other love, but they really don't know how. Hiccup wants to please his father, and that is a very good thing, but he is willing to lose that for the sake of what is right. I am a first born son in my family, and I know the strain of wishing to please your father! It is such a critical thing for me. You look up to him, you admire him, and you really desire to have him appreciate and affirm you! Thankfully, my father does, but I still can easily connect with Hiccup's feelings toward Stoick. I can see how much he sacrificed when he stood against his father, and that makes him all the more admirable!
The end of the story is such a happy one! Hiccup and Stoick continue to grow closer and closer to each other! It is beautiful to see how Hiccup's bravery actually did eventually deeply impress Stoick! The final "You just gestured to all of me." moment was priceless! I must say that the father son relationship was handled in a unique and very good way in this film! You had no cocky, arrogant, typical teen who flies into his parents face. You had a boy who deeply respects his father, and he respects him enough to try and show him that he is wrong! And that is yet another reason I love HTTYD!