of DreamWorks Shrek
Rating: 3.5 out of 4
by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson.
Voices: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz,
Year/Length: 2001 - 89 minutes
Rating: PG (for mild language)
world in which all fairy tale creatures co-habitate with
humans, Shrek (Mike Myers) is a lonely, green ogre whom
everyone fears. Living in a quaint cottage by a swamp,
he is distressed to discover that the fairy tale creatures,
including the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, The
Three Bears, the Three Blind Mice, and Pinocchio, have
all been rounded up in his backyard, under the direct
orders of Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). In an attempt
to get his land back, Shrek journeys to the theme park-like
castle in the town of Duloc to talk to Lord Farquaad,
with blabbermouth Donkey (Eddie Murphy) in tow. Since
Lord Farquaad can't become King until he marries a princess,
he agrees to give Shrek his land back, in exchange for
rescuing the feisty Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who
is locked away in another castle, guarded by a fire-breathing
dragon, and bringing her back to him.
second computer-generated animated film from DreamWorks
(with the first being the disappointing 1998 movie, ANTZ),
Shrek is a dazzling display of creative artistry
and sheer imagination. With animated characters never
looking so flesh-and-blood before (at least until "Final
Fantasy" is released later this summer), the movie
is nonstop candy for the eyes, with a palette of bright
colors jumping off the screen, and a round-up of central
characters who are not only likable, but also memorable
a PG rating, for some admittedly racy material for a family
film, Shrek is an ideal viewing experience for
both children and grown-ups alike. There is humor throughout
that kids will be able to thoroughly enjoy, but also a
constant slew of jokes that will have the adults rolling
(if my theater of mostly over-15's is any indication).
When Lord Farquaad, for example, is deciding on a princess
to marry, he is presented by the Mirror from Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs with three contestants, a 'la
"The Dating Game" -- Cinderella, Snow White,
and Fiona. About Snow White, the mirror says in its best
TV-personality voice, "...and although she may live
with seven men, she's not easy!" Fiona, meanwhile,
"enjoys sipping pina colatas and taking long walks
in the rain." And when Fiona is the lucky winner
of the contest, the song, "If You Like Pina Colatas,"
bursts onto the soundtrack. Shrek is the funniest
animated film since Trey Parker's outrageous, R-rated
1999 feature, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, and screenwriters Ted
Elliott and Terry Rossio, based on the children's book
by William Steig, delight in showing off their fast, zippy,
satirical dialogue, and have a lot of fun playing with
fairy tale conventions. Nearly every fairy tale creature
you can think of makes some sort of cameo here, as does
the actual Disneyland theme park, cleverly disguised as
Lord Farquaad's living quarter. Another rib-tickling moment
comes when the Gingerbread Man is being tortured by Lord
Farquaad, in an attempt to get information out of him.
With Lord Farquaad's constant taunting and his own leg
torn off and lying next to him on the baking sheet, the
Gingerbread Man sarcastically exclaims, "Eat me!"
voice work from all four principals is wonderful. Mike
Myers develops Shrek into a lovable ogre who is tired
of being feared, and just a little bit lonelier than he
outwardly appears. Eddie Murphy is hysterical as Donkey,
an a** who can't ever seem to shut up, but forms a nice
friendship with Shrek. Cameron Diaz cleverly gives Princess
Fiona a bit of punch by portraying her much like her butt-kicking,
live-action character in 2000's Charlie's Angels.
And John Lithgow also amuses as the very short Lord Farquaad.
Remarking about the monstrous size of his castle, Donkey
proclaims, "A castle that big must mean he's compensating
from a ten-minute section at the start of the third act,
in which a misunderstanding between two characters brings
added conflict, and briefly turns the movie into a tedious
one, "Shrek" is a fabulous, unadulterated entertainment,
and comes back just in time for a winning finale. Word
is that there are already plans for a Shrek
2, and that's fine with me. There is a
great deal of unchartered territory that this first picture
doesn't even begin to scrape, and undoubtedly more adventures
for Shrek to go on. Whatever the case is with the rumored
sequel, one thing is for sure: Shrek is a magical
film not to be missed on the big-screen, by anyone. A
new animated classic has been born.
(C) 2001, Dustin Putman (republished with permission)
can have your review published on this dFX Shrek Movie
site! Simply take the time to write an insightful
review of Shrek then email it along with your name and
age (you must be over 13 to submit a review) here.
to Reviews main page.