Shrek (DVD 2001)
Had renowned psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim lived to see the exuberant computer animated comedy Shrek, he would have added a chapter to his famous book about the importance of fairy tales, ''The Uses of Enchantment.'' This charmingly loopy, iconoclastic story about a crotchety ogre, a rakish donkey, a princess with a beauty secret, and a contemptible nobleman with a Napoleon complex isn't only a funny, sprightly fable for all ages about not judging a book by its cover; it's also a kind of palace coup, a shout of defiance, and a coming of age for DreamWorks, the upstart studio that shepherded the project with such skill and chutzpah.
In William Steig's quirky 1990 illustrated children's book, the ogre Shrek -- green-skinned, tuber-headed, and in need, as they say in Hollywood, of much ''work'' -- is kicked out into the world by his hideous parents, who decide it's time their little darling was ''doing his share of damage.'' On the road, he meets a witch who tells him his fate is to wed a princess. In the movie, Shrek -- voiced with a dram of Scottish attitude by Mike Myers -- hits the road because he can't stand the internment camp that's been set up in his swamp: It's populated by fairy-tale creatures who have been rounded up by despotic Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow, a hoot). Farquaad promises he'll remove the refugees if Shrek will fetch the tyrant a certain princess (Cameron Diaz, as spritzy a heroine doing voiceover as she is when we can actually see the actress in the flesh).
Such creatures! Every Disney animated character who ever signed working papers with former Mouseman and current DreamWorks principal Jeffrey Katzenberg is displaced, in an act of cartoon aggression as naked as it is hilarious and exhilarating. As with all classic animated fairy tales, the leading man hooks up with a sidekick who keeps him on the path and bucks him up when shrek happens. Along the way, our bilious, pickle-skinned hero partners up with Donkey, a nattering jackass voiced by Eddie Murphy with all the jiveyness the comedian likes to unleash under cover of cartoon.
An auspicious directorial debut by DreamWorkers Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, working with a nicely barbed script from a team headed by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, ''Shrek'' is a happy display of whizzy advances in computer animation (developed at PDI/ DreamWorks) that allow faces and bodies to move and light to play on textures realistically. But the technological innovations aren't what make this feisty movie entertainment so refreshing. Nor is it the story specifics themselves, which occasionally bobble and flag, particularly when Donkey is such an ass. Rather, ''Shrek'' lives happily ever after because it's such a feisty but good natured embrace of the inner ogre in everyone, and such an irreverent smackdown of the Establishment in all its ''heigh ho'' tyranny.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Shrek (DVD 2001)
Someone recently said that with the money and personnel that go into creating a movie, it's scandalous that they should come out with anything less than a classic. That may be a naïve statement, but it's potent in the case of "Shrek", which has been in gestation for five years, features some of the funniest actors on the planet, and cost in the region of $100 million. Luckily, it is fantastic - and this is why.
Firstly, the script is superb. Thankfully, really, because the plot is essentially pretty conventional. Set in a CGI world populated by kings, mythical creatures, and - er - fairytale characters, it sees an oddball Scottish ogre (voiced by Myers) hooking up with a flip, donkey sidekick (Murphy) to rescue a princess (Diaz) and defeat an evil overlord, while finding himself in the process.
However, this fable structure is allied to both a witty cynicism and sense of fun, which pervades the entire movie in equal measure. As a result, the film appeals to both adults and children: kids will love the colourful, cutting-edge computer animation, while everyone else should get a kick out of the tirade of visual and vocal gags, which often step into the realm of both dark and crude humour - many far too naughty to retell on a family website. Meanwhile, the voice artists inject both warmth and comedy into their characters, Murphy stealing the show as the donkey with verbal diarrhoea.
Oh - and if you need any more recommendations, the soundtrack contains tracks by Leonard Cohen and The Proclaimers. Brilliant.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
This latest animated picture from DreamWorks centres on a cynical no–nonsense ogre called Shrek whose swamp is overrun by annoying fairytale creatures...
The usual mice, pigs and wolves that plague storybooks everywhere.
In an attempt to save his home, Shrek sets out to confront Lord Farquaad, ruler of Duloc, who has banished all the fairytale misfits from Duloc in order to create his own perfect world...
great film 5/5 PERFECT great fun for all the family
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
An excellent adventure for all ages
This animation proved a massive hit and for good reason! The storyline is peppered with brilliant jokes and some of these will only be fully understood by the adults, making it a great movie for all ages.
It starts off with shrek, a green ogre, who lives a lonely life in his swamp. One day during a crackdown on magical creatures he meets a outgoing , funny, talking donkey, However all the magical creatures evicted from their homes begin living in Shrek's swamp, and Shrek is outraged. He goes to lord Farquadds castle and demands them to be moved. The Lord gives him a deal, If shrek agrees to rescue a Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a dragon's den and bring her to the ambitious Lord Farquaad, so that he may make her his bride Shrek will in return for this successful rescue get his swamp back.
The animation is truly stunning, probably as good as the equivalent pixar film and the plot and morals are excellent. Shrek learns that it isn't what is on the outside that matters to those that we love, its the inside.
Overall shrek is original, funny to everyone and I think is the freshest animated movie in years!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Brill family film
I bought the DVD as I have Shrek 2 on video so really wanted to buy the first one , looked in local video shops which buy and sell films cd's etc however no copys of shrek weere found so resorted to ebay.