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Friday, December 22, 2006

Hollyweird: Ohio Woman Says 'Shrek' Parodies Her Life Story

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- A suburban Cleveland woman says the Oscar-winning animated film "Shrek" depicts a fictionalized account of her life and wants a federal court ruling that would compel DreamWorks SKG, the California entertainment company behind the cartoon, to pay her at least $10 million.

The woman, who is acting as her own laywer, lives in Rocky River and contends the 90-minute cartoon about an ogre who rescues a princess is "a divine incident of her creative authorship." She said it was taken by the studio when Producer Jeffrey Katzenberg put it on the screen in 2001.

According to the lawsuit, Shrek -- the good-natured ogre whose voice is actor Mike Myers' -- is green because the color is similar to the pronunciation of the plaintiff's surname. The cartoon's dragon expresses her emotional state of mind during her divorce. The entire tale is a parody meant to be a satire of herself and her personal life.

This week, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati has been awaiting word that the plaintiff has paid a $455 filing fee before considering her case. In Cleveland, she did not have any success before U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster, who dismissed the case last month because he found the claims irrational and wholly incredible. ''Even liberally construed, the complaint does not set forth allegations reasonably suggesting plaintiff might have a valid federal claim,'' Polster wrote in his dismissal decision. (Northern District of Ohio, 1:06-cv-2388.)

While the woman's legal claim about parody may not stand up in court, there is some lore on the Internet that Shrek contains several inside jokes. Several are supposed to be aimed at Notre Dame. And there is a shot at one of Hollywood's elite. Wikipedia says that Katzenberg did parody his former boss at Walt Disney by making him a bad guy in the cartoon. "The character Lord Farquaad was modeled after former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who fired current DreamWords CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg from Disney in 1994. That Farquaad is portrayed as being extremely short, despite Eisner being fairly tall, is supposedly because Eisner once made fun of Katzenberg being shorter than him," Wikipedia says.

Anyhow, it now looks like there will be a little more lore because of the court case from Cleveland.

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