In the past week, my rage for ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ has bubbled down significantly and I am able to look at it more objectively, even if it’s crazy for calling itself on par with the first one. However, being such a big HTTYD fan, it seemed only fair for me to talk about this one moment in the sequel that’s stirring up quite a bit of controversy.
If you’ve seen the movie, you may recall one scene where Stoick and Valka are having a tense moment and Gobber makes a remark.
‘That’s why I never married… Well, that and another reason.’
Now Gobber has said his fair share of weird things, so I just shrugged the line off when I first heard it. However, Dean Dublois has confirmed that his intention was to officially make Gobber gay.
Now, it’s funny, because I don’t consider a majority of what happens in the film to be canon anyway, but I’m actually oddly okay with this. I happen to be a firm believer in gay rights and I think that people would have the right to love whoever they want to. And Gobber, after Mitch in ParaNorman has become the second mainstream animated character to be officially gay.
However, if you look at both movies, said characters being gay is offhandedly mentioned and meant to be a joke. Now, I think it’s great that you can have gay characters without having their homosexuality being their defining character trait. But it’s almost as bad to have it be so casually mentioned, and in such a joking matter. Besides, neither Mitch nor Gobber are particularly strong role models. Sure, both are nice guys. But what if any homophobic parents watching are worried their children might turn out like Gobber?
But perhaps this is just nitpicking. I still think the film is a slap in the face to true original, but I’ll admit that it’s nice to see movies like this acknowledge that the LGBT community exists instead of ignoring it. It would be nice for films to acknowledge more of the issues of being gay, but I think this is a definite step in the right direction.