In fact, Gandolfini even attended the Tribeca Film Festival premiere for the film which opens nationwide on May 21. He did not bring wise guys, and they did not bust any kneecaps.
So he's okay with it. Right?
"If he didn't like it, I would be dead," director Mike Mitchell tells PopcornBiz. "With a Tony Soprano blink, I would be dealt with."
Mitchell makes no secret that he used Gandolfini's mannerisms and demeanor for Shrek in the movie. "I even told the animators to watch his movements and bring that," he says. "I find them so similar."
While we might see an eerie physical similarity, Mitchell sees an emotional one. "James is very intimidating and intense and yet extremely cuddly and lovable at the same time," he says. "And that's exactly the character that Mike Myers helped to create onscreen."
Mitchell worked with Gandolfini when he directed 2004's "Surviving Christmas." The two had a brief reunion on the premiere carpet for "Shrek." Amazingly, the Shrek likeness never came up in the short but enthusiastic conversation.
"I didn't have the chance to ask him," says Mitchell. "It was on the carpet and he was with his family."
"But I think if he didn't like it, he would have come across and punched me in the face."