We are excited to take our 4-year-old daughter to see Shrek 2 after all the hype and good reviews. And then it begins, this better-than-the-original, hilarious family entertainment. The mermaid mackin’ on Shrek is, uh, interesting, but so far we’re still innocent. Then we get to the requisite “seedy bar scene.” The bartender looks a bit odd, but then “she” opens “her” mouth and a man’s voice comes out.
A transvestite in a kids’ movie? Well, OK, if you say so. The kids aren’t getting it, but the adults are.
Continuing on, we meet more familiar characters, hear more good music, and then are in a scene where Shrek, now a hunky guy, wakes in a barn with the Three Graces, who are excited to rub something, anything, and to see him without his clothes on.
“Mommy, why are they ‘cited to see him without clothes?” asks my daughter. Adults around us titter at the question.
“Uh … because he’s, uh, they’re, uh … shhh, honey, just watch the movie.” Raised eyebrows between my partner and me. Still, it seems harmless. I’m wondering what’s next and rethinking the opening scenes on the beach with the mermaid and all. Hmmm … family movie? What was this rated?
OK, so now the new and improved Shrek needs man-sized clothes. In a familiar scene, sort of, from Puss and Boots, Shrek and the donkey raid a carriage. The “man"'s clothes are way too small. How hilarious.
So let’s strip his obviously gay lover (you know, lisp, shrieking voice, feminine gestures…) and now we’re all set to rescue the princess. Can’t you just hear the Hollywood pitch on this one?
We haven’t even gotten to Pinocchio in “women’s underwear.” And I won’t go there now. I’m just wondering why they left out the blow-job and anal-sex jokes?
But now we’re in for some real fun. Shrek and his entourage get bounced from the castle by a riot squad using giant pepper grinders, clubs and a paddy wagon. As my friend put it, they “Abu Ghraib-ed them.” (Abu Ghraib is now a verb?) And we see this all presented as a TV cop show. Gosh, wasn’t that funny stuff for the kids!
On the way home, we discuss the “jokes” and hope the homophobic, sexual humor has gone over our daughter’s head. Not so. The next day we overhear her saying to her girlfriend, “You’ve got the magic key, but you can’t get in because you’re wearing women’s underwear.”
She has been Shrekked (now a verb).
Shrek 2 was funny, maybe, for jaded cynics and S/M wannabes. It is not suitable for young children. Whoever rated that movie should be sent back to kindergarten. Farts are funny for 4-year olds, not kinky sex or police brutality.