A beloved "How to Train Your Dragon" character will come out as gay in a sequel to the 2010 animated smash.
Writer-director Dean DeBlois told E! News that Gobber the Belch (voiced by Craig Ferguson) will subtly address his sexuality in "How to Train Your Dragon 2," which is slated for release in June.
But audiences shouldn't expect a grand proclamation, and it sounds like Gobber's coming out will be more of a slight acknowledgement in the modern vein of Matt Bomer or Anderson Cooper. DeBlois, who is openly gay, said the character will hint at his sexuality while watching a husband and wife argue.
"When we were recording Craig Ferguson, I had written the line, 'This is why I never got married," and he, as he often does, added it as an ad lib and he said, 'Yup, Gobber is coming out of the closet,'" DeBlois told E! News' Marc Malkin at the Cannes Film Festival. "I think that's a really fun [and] daring move to put in. I love the idea that Gobber is Berk's resident gay."
He also told Fox News, "It’s progressive, it’s honest, and it feels good, so we wanted to keep it .. It does make for an interesting revelation because now, what does that mean, do we shed a little more light on Gobber’s love life?”
In 2013, "ParaNorman" became the first mainstream animated film to feature a central character, Mitch, who was gay, according to The Advocate. Meanwhile, other animated characters have come out in other mediums.
In 2010, Archie Comics' Kevin Keller became the series' first openly gay character. Depicted as an active U.S. military officer, Keller tied the knot with his African-American partner, Clay Walker, the following year.
In a 2013 episode of the live action Disney/ABC series "Once Upon a Time," Mulan seemed to acknowledge her bisexuality by revealing an unrequited love for Princess Aurora ("Sleeping Beauty") after having developed feelings for Prince Phillip the previous season.
CLARIFICATION: The original version of this article was amended to include a reference to 2013's "ParaNorman," which was reportedly the first animated feature film to feature an openly gay character.
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