Don’t mess with the “Shrek” princesses

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word Shrek? Mike Myers? The somewhat confusing anti-obesity campaign? Female empowerment?

Crazy as that may sound, its stars argue that Shrek the Third offers some very positive images of women. And the film certainly features more female cast members than any other movie this side of Evening: Along with Cameron Diaz (who reprises her role as Fiona the ogre), Amy Sedaris, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cheri Oteri all voice characters. (Poehler plays Snow White, while Sedaris plays Cinderella — that’s enough to get me laughing.)

True, the reason for the estrogen convention isn’t all that groundbreaking — the princesses throw Fiona a baby shower — but the characters are a bit more complex than their usual incarnations. For example, Cinderella is a "clean freak," and Sleeping Beauty (Oteri) is a narcoleptic.

In a recent AP interview, the Shrek stars shared their thoughts on a variety of subjects. Here are my favorite bits:

AP: What are your favorite animated films? And you can’t say one of the “Shrek” movies.

Poehler: Well, we can say whatever we want, sir. You may not write about it, but I can say it!
Sedaris: I always liked Mr. Magoo. I liked his eyes, and whenever I have allergies I feel like him. I always liked how swollen his eyes were, slammed shut, and he couldn’t see.

… [they talk about how violent cartoons seem to them now] …

Oteri: And even with cartoon kids now, the girls are looking like little hookers. In the cartoons, I can’t believe how they’re dressed.
Rudolph: They are whores.
Poehler: You’re getting old!
Oteri: Put a shirt on!

AP: Amy, what would Cinderella be doing in the next movie?
Sedaris: Oh, gosh. Probably living alone, a junked-up junkie.

Diaz: We’ll all do an intervention.

Sedaris: Can you imagine Cinderella going, “You’re the one with the problem! You are! You’re the one with the problem!”

Yes, Amy, I can imagine it! What’s more, I’d love to see it. Maybe in the next Shrek movie they can add Kristen Wiig as and Tina Fey as Cinderella’s stepsisters.

But anyway, the real female empowerment is in the numbers: According to IMDb, Diaz’s salary matched Myers’ on the first two Shrek films. (They each got $3 mil for the first movie and $10 mil for the sequel.) Niiiice. No word on the princesses’ paychecks — I doubt they’re quite that pretty.

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