This was ad-libbed by the voice actor, Craig Ferguson and they chose to keep it in because they loved it. Kids won’t get it but adults will be thinking “did he just imply what I think he implied?”
And later the director confirmed it.
DeBlois revealed that, the reason Gobber never got married, is because he is homosexual. This makes him the first homosexual character of the franchise, and even DreamWorks itself.
This is the worst representation I’ve ever seen when will we actually get queer characters without having to deduce it from like 0.3 seconds of screen time and a vague hint
the worst? are we forgetting..
But it’s not the main focus. It was briefly mentioned, no one made a big deal (which is a good thing) and then they continued on with the actual plot. Like in Paranorman. It was mentioned briefly, the girl was kinda pissed cos she spent the whole film trying to get into his pants, and they moved on.
The difference is plausible deniability for the developers. In the examples shown here (and in Frozen for that matter) the supposedly gay characters are only gay if you extrapolate heavily, squint a little and read interviews after the fact. People can easily ignore the fact that they’re gay and explain it away.
There is a LONG history of the nudge-nudge wink-wink gay character who never out and out says they’re gay but we’re obviously supposed to think so, but because it’s never actually SAID the creators can always hold their hands up in horror and go ‘them? Gay? No!’ if they come under fire. See also: Supernatural/Sherlock/etc queerbaiting.
Laika doesn’t do that. There’s no way of reading Mitch as anything other than gay because it is made absolutely clear within the film- no extraneous reading or interpretation needed. It’s not the main focus of the character, but then it doesn’t have to be.
All we want is queer characters whose queerness can’t be conveniently erased when the creators decide it’s too awkward to have even the minimum fucking representation.