Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Hate Shrek

If you liked the Shrek movies, you should stop reading now.  Hey, wait a minute.  If you like Shrek, you probably can’t read anyway.  Never mind.

The Shrek movies bite.  I’ve never liked them.  They’re derivative.  They’re predictable.  They’re ugly (stylistically).  They’re preachy.  They’re tasteless.  Most of all, they’re cruel.

Why do you think I secretly got Shrek 3 from Netflix and watched it by myself this week?  Masochism?  A hidden passion for Mike Myers?  Am I working on a DBIM entry?

Yeah, it’s the bird deaths.  HA!  DBIM!  In your face bird haters!

I still remember the first movie, where Fiona sings to a bird and, inexplicably, it inflates until it explodes.  Then she looks down at the bird’s nest and cooks the eggs inside.  While everyone else was laughing at that part, I had to suppress an urge to vomit.  It helped for me to imagine that, instead of Fiona killing a bird and eating its eggs, she blew up a dog and then ate the puppies.  Yeah, that’s a much more pleasant image.

Name: Shrek
Severity: 5 (ah, let’s say the eggs would have been babies so 4 deaths plus eating)
Genre: Movie
Date: 2001
Description: A character explodes a bird then eats its young.
Mitigating Factors: None.
Aggravating Factors: Eating.

Later, I visited Universal Studios and, being a completionist, had to see all the shows.  Figuring the exploding bird gag (aptly named, that) was a one-shot thing, I went to the Shrek 4D ride.  There, I got to see Fiona, screaming as she is kidnapped by a ghost, makes a passing bird explode.

Name: Shrek 4D
Severity: 1 (one death)
Genre: Movie/Ride
Date: 2005
Description: A bird explodes.
Mitigating Factors: None.
Aggravating Factors: None.

Then I happened across the Shrek comic book, in which issue one was a verbatim copy of the Shrek 4D ride.

Name: Shrek
Severity: 1 (one death)
Genre: Movie
Date: 2003
Description: A bird explodes.
Mitigating Factors: None.
Aggravating Factors: None.

Then there was Shrek 2, where a bird, surprised that Fiona is an ogre, flies into a wall and dies.  That one was less gruesome than the previous movies, but more painful to me personally.  Once, walking between my buildings at work (yeah, I used to work!), I saw a pigeon fly into a window and break its neck.  I crouched next to it and tried to whisper comforting things as it slowly closed its eyes and died.  I still have a sneaking suspicion that, instead of comforting it in its last seconds, I filled it with terror that I was going to eat it.
Name: Shrek 2
Severity: 1 (one death)
Genre: Movie
Date: 2004
Description: A bird flies into a wall.
Mitigating Factors: None.
Aggravating Factors: None.

I managed to skip movie three, but I ended up on a long flight with no other viewing choices other than Shrek 4 and Jersey Shore.  Deciding that the Goombahs would cause me greater psychological harm than watching a bird pop, I went with Shrek.  Big mistake.  Dreamworks decided to up the ante.  It wasn’t enough to just kill a bird by accident.  It wasn’t enough that it was some anonymous, passing bird.  Oh no, they have to capture the guy’s pet and have Fiona blow it up deliberately in front of his horrified eyes.

Name: Shrek Forever After
Severity: 2 (one death, one aggravating factor)
Genre: Movie
Date: 2010
Description: A bird is exploded on purpose.
Mitigating Factors: None.
Aggravating Factors: The horrified face of its owner.

The Shrek films are the pinnacle of bird-hatred.  They are one of the main reasons why I started the DBIM.  So, I sucked it up and, for the sake of being complete, I watched.

And nothing happened.  I was quite surprised.  Sure, the movie is bland and humorless, but there are tons of birds in the film and none of them die!  Snow White summons them as an army, they sit on windowsills acting cute and loving, they even appear in a vision to one of the characters.  I kept wincing every few seconds but, the billowing feathers accompanied by the sickening sound of crushed bones never came.  Sure, one bird got flicked off a branch by a monster, and one character yelled “Oh no, the baby bird is going to fall!”  You have to admit, those are both pretty tame.

Anyway, I’m heartened by the fact that the series is over for good.  On the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise me if the new Puss in Boots series has whole sections where he butchers baby chicks in front of their parents for fun.

He is a cat, after all.

7 comments:

Danny Spark said...

I completely agree with you on that! I was really young when Shrek came out and I was traumatised by the bird scene. I just wish I found it funny rather than downright cruel. It's really good knowing someone agrees with me here because whenever I discuss it with someone they just laugh.

M. A. Kagle said...

Thanks for saying that. Sometimes I wonder if I'm all alone in my feelings.

The thing is, any manner of cruelty is seen as okay as long as it happens to a bird. If you saw these things happen to any other kind of animal, people would be horrified. As one guy said on television, decades ago, defending cock fights: "It's not cruelty to animals. They're not animals. They're fowl."

So, yeah, I was traumatized too (and I was already old), enough to spur me to start keeping the DBIM list.

Salam A. Khalifa said...

I totally I agree, I think shrek movies are the most disturbing movies I ever watched !!

optime said...

And what about those reptiles, disgusting how they make them into ballons.

Matthew Kagle said...

That was awful, too. There's a ton of cruelty in those movies. I'm not sure why people like them.

Anonymous said...

Glad that I'm not the only one who hates the Shrek movies. If you want to know why I hate all of then, it's because of their humor. Some example of what I hate about the humor is how they parody fairy tales. and that type of humor makes me sick. Therefore, I favor humorless stuff over humorous stuff.

Matthew Kagle said...

Er, not sure why parody of fairy tales would bother you. Those are, at least in some versions, gruesome and ripe for ridicule.

Or is that sarcasm?