Court orders Shrek 2 Hebrew version to be removed
By TIA GOLDENBERG AND YAAKOV KATZ
Jerusalem Post Jul. 12, 2004
How does castration translate into Hebrew? For the translators of the newly-released Shrek 2 movie, referring to Israel's Eurovision representative, singer David Da'or, got the point across.
The Tel Aviv District Court on Monday, however, ruled to remove the box-office hit from screens across the country due to the insulting reference to the singer. The movie was returned to screens later in the day after the remark was removed from the script.
Da'or, a singer well known for his high-pitched voice, asked the court to issue a temporary injunction against the screening of the film, after the remark, "Let's give him the Bob Barker treatement," a reference to the anti-animal castration activist, was translated into "Let's David D'or him down there."
The remark is made while Shrek, the big green monster and his side-kick Donkey, deliberate whether to cut off the testicles of a killer cat sent to assassinate them. The translators probably had in mind the ancient custom of cutting off a man's testicles in order to grant him a high-pitched voice.
Noah films originally said it had sent the audio to the US to be changed, but that it would only be revised later in the month. The company said it would not remove the film from theaters, however, until that time. The singer, who has had success in Israel and abroad, said he did not have the stomach to watch the movie. Relatives who saw the film told him the crowd burst out laughing during the disputed part.
He told the Yediot Aharonot daily, "This film castrated me. It turns me into a man with no testicles." He said he fears that whenever reference is made to castration, "pull a David D'or" will become a common expression.
Da'or asked the court to force Noach films, the company that dubbed the animated Hollywood film into Hebrew, to remove Shrek 2 from theaters until the audio is changed.
The translation has been re-released, the line changed to "Let's take a sword and castrate him."
We received what we wanted, and the movies were switched," Da'or's attorney, Yigal Doron, said. Doron would not comment on whether his client intends to sue the movie distributors for monetary compensation.
According to the court's decision, however, even though a ruling has already been handed down in the matter, the judge granted Da'or the possibility to submit an additional suit, asking for compensation.
Puss n' Boots was unavailable for comment.