Shrek


Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Written by:Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, Roger S.H. Schulman
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, Vincent Cassell, Peter Dennis
Released: June 21, 2001
Grade: A-

Dreamworks remains number one in the animation market with their latest, Shrek, hot on the heels of the successful Antz, Chicken Run and The Prince Of Egypt.  Shrek is a giant green ogre (voiced by Mike Myers) who knows he’s ugly and likes living life alone is a secluded part of the forest.  In the nearby Kingdom of Duloc, Lord Farquaad (Lithgow) has banished all fairy tale characters from his town and they have found their way to Shrek’s doorstep.

Shrek is naturally upset and goes to Farquaad with a talking donkey (Murphy) who makes him a deal.  Farquaad wants to be a king and the only way he can become one is by marrying a princess.  Guided by the magic mirror, he chooses Princess Fiona (Diaz) as his bride to be but unfortunately she’s stuck atop a tower guarded by a nasty dragon.  Farquaad has agreed that if Shrek can rescue the Princess, he will be given sole title to the forest to continue is life of solitude.

A sparkling idea, Shrek takes all our memorable fairy tale stars and creates riotous comedy.  Taking a ribbing are Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, Little Red Riding Hood, Three Blind Mice, The Three Little Pigs, and even The Gingerbread Man.  Don’t look past a really great soundtrack too.  Instead of creating a whole new series of songs sung by dancing animals (ala Disney), modern pop songs are effectively woven into the dialogue.

Whilst the jokes are very funny, the plot is a little thin and could have used more substance.  I know it’s only a kids’ flick but Toy Story 2 and Chicken Run proved that depth in the story can appeal to adults as well as children.  Regardless, it’s hard not to lie back, relax and have a good time (it’s even better with popcorn).

Proving a major threat to Pearl Harbor’s number one box-office status in America, Shrek is the family film to see this holiday.  There may not be big bombs and explosions but as they say, laughter is always the best medicine.