Shrek (Mike Myers) is an ugly green ogre who only likes life when he is alone. Naturally, he's rather upset when his swamp is invaded by all kinds of magical creatures. Seems that Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) is trying to create the perfect kingdom. And everyone knows that you can't have a perfect kingdom with magical creatures around.
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But Shrek is not going to take this lightly. Setting out with a talking Donkey (Eddie Murphy), he goes to meet Lord Farquaad to demand his swamp back.
But Farquaad has other ideas. He's looking for someone to go on a quest for him. The mission, to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a fire breathing dragon. So he makes a deal with Shrek rescue the girl, and he can have his swamp back.
Naturally, Shrek agrees to the deal. But Fiona is not at all what Shrek thought she'd be like. And she has a secret. All this makes the perfect fractured fairytale.
This computer animated movie is a riot. It takes many fairytale conventions and turns them on their ear. There are also lots of great small gags like a reference to "The Muffin Man" and the official greeter running through the line to escape Shrek. Usually, these come at the expense of a classic story.
And Disney. The movie was released by Dreamworks, and the company's president, Katzenberg, obviously feels the need to get back at his ex-employer every chance he gets. But, Disney fanatic that I am, I must admit some of those jokes are my favorites.
Along the way, the movie develops a great heart as well and subtly slips in a message about loving people for who they are. It never preaches. And, frankly, we can all use the reminder on a regular basis.
The movie was first released in 2001. Even though that's six years ago (already?!), it holds up well. The main characters look great and move naturally. The scenery looks fairly real. Unfortunately, that doesn't extend to the crowds of villagers, who move a little roughly.
The only problem with the movie, and it's a big one, is the crude humor. Shrek's on ogre. We get it. We really don't need countless reminders in the form of bathroom humor. Frankly, I had forgotten just how much of that is in there. Fortunately, these jokes lessen as the movie progresses. Additionally, there are a few jokes that are questionable for young children. Of course, they will probably fly right over their heads and only the adults will get them.
Ultimately, kids may not even get why this movie is so much fun. It's the adults who will get the majority of the jokes. And adults will find it very entertaining. If they can get past the bathroom humor.
Shrek the Third
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