How to Train your Dragon’s Gobber the Belch comes Out as Gay,” headlines screamed in the weeks prior to the release of DreamWorks’ animated sequel How to Train your Dragon 2.

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Voiced by Craig Ferguson, Gobber — the tough old trainer through a peg leg and interchangeable prosthetic arm tools — was among the finest characters in the original How come Train her Dragon.

In a standard-issue “Junior to know Best” plot through an imperious, i did not agree authoritarian dad — Stoick the huge — that didn’t recognize his scrawny but thoughtful offspring Hiccup, Gobber to be a forgiveness authority number who gratifyingly didn’t right the anti-patriarchal narrative. As I wrote in mine 2010 review…

chieftain father, Stoick the substantial (Gerard butler in full-on Beowulf/Attila mode), is one unreconstructed exemplar of that tiredest of an adverse parental stereotypes: the overbearing patriarch that doesn’t recognize his offspring and also regards him v nothing yet disappointment. I recognize the inescapable third-act rapprochement had me misty-eyed, yet can’t the dad be a little humanized before the really end?

Happily, Stoick is somewhat balance out by Gobber the Belch (Craig Ferguson), the peg-legged, one-handed old difficult who trains young Vikings in the methods of dragon slaying. Hiccup’s peers are largely loutish Viking jocks, and also Hiccup’s misadventures in dragon training may take part adult viewers back to dark hrs in high college gym class — but Gobber himself is much from the gym teacher–drillmaster sadist stereotype.

Gobber might not quite know Hiccup either, yet he looks the end for him and also tries come mediate between Stoick and Hiccup. In a flick like this, it’s quite to have actually a sympathetic adult figure, specifically an old-school man’s man like Gobber, simply to be clear the brawn isn’t bad.

Yes, I called Gobber one “old-school man’s man.”

And he is … or is the “was”?

Does Gobber “come out” in the sequel? no exactly. At least, that expression is misleading, on more than one level.

First, the idea that Gobber is gay is a new addition to his character, not something the filmmakers intended native the start. “Coming out” suggests revealing a previously secret reality; if the filmmakers have actually now chose that Gobber is gay, that’s a newly designed fact about him, not a previously secret one.

Second, Gobber renders no proclamations around his sexuality come anyone in How to Train your Dragon 2. He has a throwaway line in which, watching a married couple quarreling, he quips, “This is why I never ever married” — and then adds that there’s “one other reason.”

This was reportedly an advertisement lib through Ferguson, who then joked, “Yup, Gobber is coming out of the closet.” The crack gained laughs, yet the filmmakers determined to store the advertisement lib. “I think that"s a really funny daring move to placed in,” writer–director Dean DuBlois (who is gay) told E! “I love the idea that Gobber is Berk"s resides gay.”

Is there any kind of evidence the Gobber’s gayness goes beyond this one line? no that i noticed (although I can imagine some viewers wondering even if it is Gobber’s recently revealed interest in cooking, his announced on purpose of acquisition over domestic cooking duties because that a freshly reunited family and also a vision gag in i m sorry Gobber snaps a brush right into his prosthetic arm base and brushes out his lengthy mustache were influenced by this decision).

As gay innuendo goes, “one various other reason” is a lot less overt than few of the feeling in DreamWorks’ Madagascar 2: escape 2 Africa or Happy Feet Two, say. (It’s starting to look choose a sequel thing, although there to be gay feeling in the initial Happy Feet too.)

On the various other hand, this is a human being character (not a gender-bending animal) throwing out a line the the filmmakers are publicly interpreting for audiences.

And of food there’s constantly the inevitable third film. As DuBlois placed it, “It does do for an interesting revelation due to the fact that now, what does that mean, perform we melted a little more light top top Gobber’s love life?”

To say the I obtained a many flak for my “So, just how Gay IS Disney’s Frozen?” article would be putting it mildly. As I listed in a recent Decent films Mail column:

I to be smeared and misrepresented in a variety of media outlets, including The daily Beast, Newsmax, and, many viciously, the UK Catholic website The Tablet, ironically. (I to be also relatively represented by some writers, e.g., Sam Adams that IndieWire. It’s a sad commentary when one is treated more fairly by secular journalists than one’s fellow Catholics.)

Ironically, my monitorings were widely common by countless other critics and also observers, including countless who adopted Frozen’s gayness. In fact, a recent item in declared a consensus on the subject: “The society warriors have decided: Disney’s Frozen is queer.”

That’s a leg too far in my opinion. (As Adams accurately defined me in his IndieWire piece, mine answer come my own question “How happy is Frozen?” could be put, “Maybe a little?”)

As I detailed in mine post, any gay themes in Frozen room “not that huge a deal, inasmuch as the themes room subtle and also ambiguous sufficient not pose one of two people a far-ranging annoyance to even savvy parents or a corrupting influence on children.”

I can understand parents and others that have adopted Frozen, Happy Feet and other animated movies taking umbrage at arguments around gay themes in these films. Come the pure every things room pure, and I have actually no great to thwart those that can and also want to reap these movies without gift troubled by questions of gay themes.

At part point, though, the ostrich approach will no much longer be viable. What is subtle and ambiguous now will come to be increasingly much less so in year to come, for factors I outlined in my article on Frozen.

We’re not there yet. Definitely a throwaway heat from Gobber around an unspecified reason for not obtaining married isn’t reason not to check out How come Train your Dragon 2.

In fact, city hall the film, the totality “Gobber comes out” business bothered me less than the reality that Gobber, a fairly complex, interesting, likable character in the first film, has actually been decreased to play comic relief here.

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And I‘m far more troubled by a central plot point concerning a timeless family, whereby a character has actually made one unthinkable decision in the past that we’re expected to accept here. Check out my testimonial for more.