I saw this story earlier today but I hadn’t been covering it, because I thought it was just some photographer using Shrek props for his boring, waifey model pictures. Interestingly though, Dreamworks and Paramount actually gave their blessing for the shoot to VMan Magazine (whatever that is) as part of a marketing push. But now that the pictures have hit and people are calling them “bizarrely metrosexual”, some poor schmuck will probably get fired over it.
DWA was expecting a less provocative, more reverential treatment of its most valuable characters [Shrek carrying a crucifix, perhaps?]. In fact, when Vman approached Paramount as the distributor of the animated sequel, the magazine editors likened their vision to a Harper’s Bazaar photo spread of Homer, Bart and the rest of the Simpsons three years ago. Released just ahead of “The Simpsons Movie,” Harper’s featured the cartoon cast wearing Chanel, Hermes, Versace and Louis Vuitton — without the intrusion of human models. The spread essentially was elegant and inoffensive.
Vman initially offered its cover to Shrek, but Paramount declined that treatment. When the magazine’s editors came back suggesting an inside spread, Paramount execs — with visions of a successful “Simpsons”-like marketing ploy dancing in their collective heads — gave Vman the OK.
“While we do respect Vman’s creative vision, the shoot did not turn out the way originally envisioned when the idea was first presented by the magazine,” a Paramount spokesperson said. “In hindsight, we would have declined to include the Shrek characters in such a magazine spread.” [THR]
Is it just me, or does this whole story seem very Zoolander? To call these pictures “provocative” is giving them waaay too much credit. They’re just sort of nonsensical and lame, your basic cheesy models wearing cheesy model stuff and making cheesy model faces. Ooh, a bare-chested guy with a crucifix, and he’s wearing a sweater?? My stars! Pardon me while I blot my forehead with this personalized hankie. Now some studio flack probably has to feign outrage because they took a picture of a girl in a bra eating a lollipop from the gingerbread guy. He’s probably hating his life right now. And he should.
I can imagine the mother showing off her son’s pictures at the nail salon, “Did you see my boy in the magazine? He’s the one pretending to have gay sex with a cartoon cat. We’re very proud.”