Most of me wants to agree with Tyler’s assertions, but my involvement in academia makes me think better of the “just entertainment” sentiments. I took my 10 and 6 year-olds to see this on Friday and have a couple of thoughts on the transgendered agenda that is obviously present in the film.
First off, I enjoyed the movie. It was funny, and I found the ubiquitious references and allusions to Catholicism and medieval culture fairly interesting on an academic level (i.e. the Friar’s “Bob’s Big Boy” restaurant, etc).
However, there were too many references to the playful social acceptance of transgendered individuals to simply shrug it off. There is clearly an attempt in this film to present alternative sexual lifestyles as benign, humorous, and acceptable. I am not overeacting, nor am I suggesting that people boycott this film. I’m just positing what I know about pop culture and transgendered lifestyles, and I am sure that the depictions of said lifestyle in Shrek 2 are intentional and targeted. Please see the work of someone like Judith “Jack” Halberstam egomego.com/judith/home.htm as an example of the type of popular work that is being done by gender studies scholars in analyzing transgendered lifestyles in literature, film and art.
Oh, and expect it to continue. These folks know exactly what they are doing…