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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

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.