Shrek (2001)

PG   |    |  Animation, Adventure, Comedy


Shrek (2001) Poster

A mean lord exiles fairytale creatures to the swamp of a grumpy ogre, who must go on a quest and rescue a princess for the lord in order to get his land back.


7.8/10
576,281

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  • Mike Myers in Shrek (2001)
  • Christina Applegate at an event for Shrek (2001)
  • Eddie Murphy in Shrek (2001)
  • Christina Applegate at an event for Shrek (2001)
  • Cameron Diaz at an event for Shrek (2001)
  • Shrek (2001)

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17 June 2001 | agc110
Left-field fairy tale left us rolling in the aisles
9 OUT OF 10!!!! We went to catch the matinee preview of "Shrek". We were still giggling by the time we got home afterwards. Two hours later, we dragged a friend out and went back for the evening show. Some of the shock value was lost, but we caught a few of the background sight gags we missed the first time, and anticipation of some of the other scenes had us in tears before they even happened. Interesting to see the different audience reactions of different age groups, too. This is a *very* funny movie, but it should be noted that most of the kiddy humour is on the burp/fart and yucky dining habits level - Shrek is rather closely related to Raymond Briggs' Fungus the Bogeyman without the orange mohawk. The dialogue and main action quips are mainly aimed at adults and sophisticated kids. One little voice in the afternoon audience piping up "WHAT's he compensating for?" cracked me up...

Be warned that this movie is a non-stop send-up of all things Disney. If predictability and saccharine is your cup of tea, you may not like it. On the other hand, if you are cynical about theme parks and like the idea of fairytale classics getting the Monty Python treatment, you'll love it. Every time a scene looks familiar, it means it is about to go pear-shaped. And it's not just old classics that get the treatment. I spotted (mis)quotes from films that are just being released, both Disney and non-Disney. You name it, it gets an affectionate pie in the face at some point in "Shrek".

As a fairytale, however offbeat, "Shrek" is tighter plotted and better characterised than most Hollywood dross.The parodic twists, a love story subplot that owes more to Shakespeare's comedies than fairytale formula, and the "ugly is the new beautiful" Message more than make up for the derivativeness due to extensive quotation.

As for the acting, confinement to voice-overs keeps the egos of Myers and Murphy in check, and they do a fantastic job as the big fat green smelly recluse and the obnoxiously manic donkey respectively. Diaz is great as a feisty princess who reminds me of Lloyd Alexander's Eilonwy crossed with Lara Croft. Lithgow's Farquaad is a wonderful Bad Guy, modelled on Olivier's Richard III apart from his Little Problem being different. And the Fairytale Creatures...excellent, all of them. The graphics, of course, are state of the art for at least another 2 weeks. We're talking freckles, skin pores and stubble, pupil dilation, and amazing light-and-shade. They had to tone down the realism of the humanoids to stop them looking creepily android-like.

Highly recommended, except for overly precious schmalz addicts.

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Genres

Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Family | Fantasy

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