3.06.2005

Fundamentalists: Shrek Evil

Anti-Gay Religious Group Targets Shrek 2

from Canadian Press

TORONTO — Uh oh! That other jolly green giant could be in trouble. Shrek 2 is the latest animated film title to be "outed" by Christian fundamentalists in the U.S.

On its website, the Traditional Values Coalition is warning parents about the cross-dressing and transgender themes contained in the hit DreamWorks feature, now on DVD.

"Shrek 2 is billed as harmless entertainment but contains subtle sexual messages," says the coalition, which describes itself as a grassroots inter-denominational lobby with more than 43,000 member churches.

The article then proceeds to describe one of the characters, an "evil" bartender (voiced by Larry King) who is a male-to-female transgender in transition and who expresses a sexual desire for Prince Charming.

In another identified scene, Shrek and Donkey need rescuing from a dungeon by Pinocchio and his nose, which is made to extend as an escape bridge by getting the wooden boy to lie about not wearing women's underwear.

The TVC report, "A Gender Identity Disorder Goes Mainstream," raps DreamWorks for helping to promote crossdressing and transgenderism.

Charles Keil, a film studies professor at the University of Toronto, says the whole idea behind the Shrek movies is a general message of tolerance - that outward appearances don't matter and that it's what's underneath that counts - and such complaints defeat that larger, more important message.

"Targeting minuscule elements within a much larger work and then trying to extract from that some kind of argument that borders on the paranoid is really misconstruing the general aim of this entertainment."

The Shrek accusation follows hot on the heels of other cases of animated characters being accused of infiltrating the minds of America's children with pro-gay messages, much to the detriment of traditional family values.

Recently, PBS was upbraided by the group Focus on the Family - and supported by the U.S. secretary of education no less - for an episode of the cartoon series Postcards From Buster, in which Buster the rabbit encounters a couple of kids with lesbian parents.

Christian activists have also targeted SpongeBob SquarePants, Barney the dinosaur, and Sesame Street's Bert & Ernie as children's characters who are conduits for a soft-on-gays message.

It seems all of this began back in 1999 when Rev. Jerry Falwell described that purse-toting Teletubby, Tinky Winky, as a gay role model.

One wonders how far back critics could go, though, in seeing pro-homosexual context in cartoons. Remember when shotgun-toting hunter Elmer Fudd realized Bugs Bunny was in drag? He was furious, but only because he saw Bugs's cotton tail and learned he was a rabbit in disguise.

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