Shrek

"Very Good"

Shrek Review


Computer animation's "WOW" factor bar has just bumped up another notch. Shrek, a fairy tale of sorts, is the raiser of that bar, giving us a tale that revolves around an ogre who makes candles out of his earwax, a talking donkey who's afraid of the dark, a princess who likes "Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain," and a "vertically challenged" lord who looks a bit like Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

With WWF-style wrestling, vivid color schemes, a scary ogre who's not that scary, psychological evaluation by a talking donkey, loads of humor, and a simple and straightforward plot, Shrek zings along, providing fun and thrills at every turn. But the real treasure lies in Shrek's ability to subtlety poke fun at the mega-mouse corporation of Disney en route to providing a quick 85 minutes of pure entertainment. Torturing the Gingerbread Man? I'm sold.

Shrek plays out much like the fairy tales it sends up. In a faraway land called Duloc, a lonely ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) lives in the swamp. Duloc's heartless ruler Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) is rounding up all of the fantastic creatures in his kingdom, interring them in Shrek's swamp. Peeved, Shrek attempts to get Farquaad to cart away the nuisance fairytale creatures, and after proving his strength by defeating all of the Lord's men in a WWF melee, the Lord strikes a deal with Shrek to rescue a princess (Cameron Diaz) whom he needs to marry in order to become king of Duloc. The only problem is that the princess is stuck in a castle surrounded by a fierce dragon. Shrek agrees, and along with his trusty donkey steed (Eddie Murphy), they venture to the castle, save the princess, defeat a band of Riverdancing merry men, and... well you know the rest.

The film's cleverness lies in both its jaw-dropping animation and its quick script (which was written and re-written by four screenwriters). As road-tripping stars, Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers are the new Hope and Crosby of computer animation, fun throughout their journey.

As mentioned, the movie is chock full of Disney-bashing from its theme parks to its cuddly characters and ridiculous takes on every fairy tale creature out there -- from the Three Blind Mice to Pinocchio. The best part of Shrek, though, is the unbelievable computer animation that includes gorgeous landscapes full of trees blowing the wind, detailed character movements, realistic shadowing and lighting from torches and candles, and amazing water ripples.

Shrek will find broad appeal in a wide range of audiences -- from short-attention-span-stricken kids to cynical teenagers to over-stimulated adults. The animation is fabulous, the humor is sharp, and in the end, don't we all love green ogres who use farting and belching as a sign of affection?

Dreamworks goes all-out on the special edition DVD release of the film, with two discs full of junk to entertain adults and kids. The commentary track and documentaries are a little snoozy and repetitive -- my favorite bit is the goof reel, which features technical glitches that make the donkey overly fuzzy or the king's hair go bananas. Now that's comedy, folks. Recommended.

My donkey can fly higher than your donkey.



Shrek

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th May 2001

Box Office USA: $267.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $484.4M

Budget: $60M

Distributed by: Dreamworks

Production compaines: DreamWorks Animation, DreamWorks SKG, Pacific Data Images (PDI)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 166 Rotten: 24

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , , John H. Williams

Starring: as Shrek (voice), as Donkey (voice), as Princess Fiona (voice), as Lord Farquaad (voice), as Monsieur Hood (voice), Peter Dennis as Ogre Hunter (voice), Clive Pearse as Ogre Hunter (voice), as Captain of Guards (voice), Bobby Block as Baby Bear (voice), as Geppetto / Magic Mirror (voice), Cody Cameron as Pinocchio / Three Pigs (voice), as Old Woman (voice), as Gingerbread Man (voice)

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.