- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2014

The PG-rated animated feature “How to Train Your Dragon” has a new twist for the June sequel: One of the main supporting characters is coming out as gay.

In one scene, Gobber — voiced by late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson — is watching a married couple in the throes of an argument, and then quips, “This is why I never married.”

Mr. Ferguson then ad-libbed a one-liner that wasn’t in the script, but that nonetheless made the final cut.

“That, and one other reason,” he said in an apparent reference to Gobber’s sexuality.

Dean DeBlois, who wrote and directed the film and is openly gay, said that the glib remark at first brought chuckles — but then seemed a natural reference to keep, in light of current events and the ongoing state versus court fights over gay marriage.

“And we all started chuckling and said that’s right, Gobber’s coming out in this movie,” Mr. DeBlois told Fox News. “I just love that about Craig. He’s always got just a little extra something for you. I think it’s nice. It’s progressive, it’s honest and it feels good, so we wanted to keep it.”

That means the ad-lib could very well take on a more central role in the franchise’s third installment, which Mr. DeBlois said is already in the works.

“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?” Mr. DeBlois said.

Despite the kiddie rating, Mr. DeBlois said he enjoys mixing in adult themes with his animated Dragon series.

“It’s my personal crusade,” he told Fox. “I want to break down the stigma that animation is jut for kids. I love ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ as much today as I did when I was a kid. My ambition is to try to create a story that has that kind of reach, that stays with you whether you’re an adult or a kid. In doing so, we try to incorporate elements of the story that will speak to the youngest audience members while we’re trying to speak to the adults in the audience as well.”