Shrek is the sort of 'new' ogre the world's been waiting for - he's house-proud, a keen chef, mild-mannered (unless provoked), and a heart beats under his thick green skin, if only someone could break through his gruff isolation. Princess Fiona reckons she's the one; but the trouble with princesses who've spent too long cooped up in castles is that they tend to have a shaky grasp of reality. When Shrek comes a-rescuin' her from the dragon that's been gobbling her suitors, she takes a while to comprehend that her real claimant is Lord Farquaad, a tyrant of limited personal stature, who has contracted out her deliverance in return for ridding Shrek of the various pesky fairytale characters milling around his manor. DreamWorks is clearly picking up the pace with its animated features. Technically, the film's a triumph. Gag by gag - and there's a stream - it's merrily irreverent, visually and vocally. The bigger picture, though, is rather more conventional. The play with fairytale clichés merely freshens them up for re-use; and the moral comes served with earnest sentimentality. Not sure about the 'hip' soundtrack playlist, either.
Cast and crew
Vicky Jenson, Andrew Adamson
Roger SH Schulman, Ted Elliott, Joe Stillman, Terry Rossio
Cameron Diaz Vincent Cassel Michael Galasso John Lithgow Mike Myers Eddie Murphy
Shrek just turned sixteen! It has aged well. The jokes are still funny, the cultural references are still relevant and the story is still the great mixture of knowing and sweet. The cast of fairytale characters are timeless and their lines are clever and likeable. The animation and delivery are both well done, Eddie Murphy is particularly good as Donkey, how bittersweet to have your most enduring and best role as an animated ass!
This film won the first Oscar for Best Animated Film and it is a deserving opening winner. It is a big feat to have a movie that is moral and simple enough to entertain you as a child, but subversive and referential enough to provide a new set of pleasures when you watch with your own kids.