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No Shrek2 for Christian

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Anti-Gay Group Sets Sights On Shrek

by John McKay, CP

Shrek 2 is the latest animated film title to be ``outed'' by Christian fundamentalists.

Though they seem to have ignored Sunday's gay kiss on Desperate Housewives, and the coming out of Patty on The Simpsons, fundamentalists are expressing outrage over Shrek 2

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.

``Parents who are thinking about taking their children to see Shrek 2 may wish to consider the following.''

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."

But Charles Keil, a film studies professor at the University of Toronto, says transgendered groups might also have reason to complain about being parodied.

``You have an image within a comic context that could be read either way,'' says Keil, who adds quickly that such humor is designed for parents anyway and goes way above the heads of the children in the audience.

``If the kids don't get it, it doesn't really matter.''

Keil 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.''

So far, the Coalition's gaydar doesn't seem to have picked up on DreamWorks' Shark Tale, in which a shark mafioso, voiced by Robert DeNiro, must come to terms with the fact he has a vegetarian son who likes to dress up as a dolphin.

But 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.

Just last month, the American Family Association took exception to the makers of a new video being distributed to thousands of U.S. elementary schools and which the organization said used characters like SpongeBob and Barney to indoctrinate children into a homosexual lifestyle.

The video is designed to coincide with National We Are Family Day in March. But what upset the AFA in particular is the We Are Family Foundation's website and a tolerance-for-diversity pledge (including sexual orientation) that children and others are asked to sign there.

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.

``There's all sorts of things going on in those cartoons that are pretty suggestive,'' concedes Keil. ``But (the kids) are laughing at the pratfalls, the funny voices, the very basic humor.

``Kids at that age don't even have pre-formed notions of sexuality.''

In the recent SpongeBob movie, there is a scene in which the oddball undersea character suddenly pops up in his neighbor's shower (and quickly gets the boot). It's also been pointed out that he holds hands with a pink friend and gets boating lessons from a teacher called Mr. Puff. Creator Stephen Hillenburg assured the Wall Street Journal that the sponge-man was not gay but that the show had become a gay community favorite because of the tolerant attitude displayed by the show's characters.

``Everybody is different and the show embraces that,'' Hillenburg said. ``I always think of them as being somewhat asexual.''

Keil wonders what these religious groups would accomplish if they managed to get a law passed banning any representation of untoward social behavior in children's entertainment.

``It would still be there covertly,'' he argues. ``What would these groups see as the ideal state of affairs?''


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You've got to be kidding me?

Whatever happened to letting parents be the kids parents? I took my kids to see Shrek 2 in the theaters and they laughed and had fun. They also watch Bugs Bunny and have that episode 'Spear and Magic Helmet' where they try to get married at one point.

I grew up watching that myself and turned out just fine.

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Argh the fundamentalists never agree with anything, theyre not taking my violent video games :D  :P


They do that and I'm out of a job.

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apparently, shrek and spongebob, along with PBS, have teamed up to push their communist-loving radical homosexual recruitment movement!

seriously, these people don't belong in the public discourse. newspapers shouldn't publish them, no networks should cover them. the only reason they cover them is because it's juicy and funny, but they simply don't deserve a voice in the public discourse any more than neo-Nazis or LaRouche followers deserve a voice.

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