Archive for the ‘ movies ’ Category

The Shrek – Batman Connection

It says something about my blogging habits that I noticed, and subsequently took screen shots of this, two full years ago, and then promptly forgot about it, until “rediscovering” those screen shots now while looking for a different set of screen shots for a different blog topic I never wrote about.

Don’t laugh – this is how many major “discoveries” are made.

What I have re-reminded myself of is one of the most awesome literary/pop culture references, hidden in plain sight in a children’s movie. In Shrek 2, in the sequence leading up to the introduction of the franchise-stealing breakout character Puss in Boots, we have a brief shot of the King of Far, Far Away (voiced by John Cleese) sulking, facing the moon, holding a battle axe. The axe is kind of shoe-horned into the prior scene as a gag (it’s basically a Happy Meal Toy), and it seems pretty random for the character to end up with it. But, I think they needed the character to have it so they could do this shot:


…which immediately dissolves to this:


So the Batman reference is pretty obvious, but it doesn’t at all fit with the context of the prior scene, nor with any of the Shrek franchise’s pop culture references in general (namely, it’s not overtly funny). Also, this reference came at a time when Batman was pretty much dead – Joel Schumacher had killed the franchise seven years before and Batman Begins was still a year away.

The next scene doesn’t seem to justify the reference either, but oh, it does…

You see, in this scene, we meet Puss in Boots.


Who, in addition to being based off the fairy tale character of the same name, is an obvious Zorro parody:


Voiced by Antonio Banderas.

Who played Zorro.

And Batman is just a modern re-imagining of Zorro (You can read about that in a myriad of places online…).

What really drops my proverbial jaw here is that it’s easy to find references online to Puss in Boots as a Zorro parody, and I can find at least one reference to the “Batman dissolve,” but I can’t find anything where someone else has put them together.

So, you know… you’re welcome.

Side note: I tried to find similar connection in a Disney/Pixar film… all I got was this:

Found in Toy Story 2. Seriously. Google it.

Found in Toy Story 2. Seriously. Google it.