a critiQal film review Shrek (2001)

Plot: When Lord Farquaad (Lithgow) starts relocating fairy-tale creatures, they all run to the swamp - the home of Shrek the ogre (Myers). To get rid of them, he must rescue princess Fiona (Diaz) from a fire-breathing dragon and bring her back to marry Farquaad (Lithgow) before he will clear out Shrek's swamp.

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  • ...a great animated family film!

It was inevitable. With all the success that Disney has had, another animation company would eventually come out with a movie that spoofs Disney movies.

The big shocker was that the movie that would finally do a good job of it was also good! With a great cast of characters, spectacular animation, and a laugh a minute, Shrek is a great comedy for the entire family.

The characters were all very well-voiced. Mike Myers does an excellent job with Shrek, and should stick with Shrek rather than doing any more of the now-old Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) series.

Eddie Murphy, coming off his experience as the voice of a Disney animal (Mushu in Mulan (1998)), does an excellent job as the never quiet Donkey. Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow also do excellent jobs as an atypical princess and evil prince, respectively.

The plot is well done, also. The whole movie fits in well together, and the movie would be lacking if even one scene wasn’t there. You have heartfelt moments, you have laughter, you’ve got it all. With the spoofing of the Disney characters, it just adds to the plot, rather than sidetracks it.

The best part of the movie, though, is the little jokes (True, some of them are fart jokes or something crude like that, but not too many – most are well done and on a higher level than that). From the toilet flush you hear coming from an outhouse near the beginning to the torture of the Gingerbread Man by dipping him in a glass of milk, the little extras are what make this movie truly hilarious. By the time you see Cinderella doing the Macarena near the end, your sides will be hurting from laughter. The little bits are also what will make you want to watch Shrek again and again. You’ll want to see what you’ve missed, and also laugh again at your favorite parts.

The animation is spectacular. It’s computer animated, but is so exceptionally done, it looks almost real. Sure the fairy-tale creatures look a little bit fantastical, but you can also see a little bit of human in them as well, which makes you emphasize with them more. This is one of those movies you need to see on DVD. The animation is so clear and sharp, you’re just missing out on VHS.

The extra features are exceptional. The one major feature you’ll want to check out, if you have a computer with DVD, is ReVoice, where you get to record your voice as the voice of a character in a scene, and then you can watch the scene in it’s entirety with your voice! It’s a great feature that should be included on more animated films. There is also a karaoke section, where the characters sing a few well-known songs, which is quite funny. For the more technically oriented, there is a great feature on the making of Shrek also.

With it’s great cast of characters, it’s exceptional animation, a good plot, and the jokes scattered throughout, Shrek is one movie you’ll want to watch again and again. Add to that the amazing array of special features on the 2-disc DVD, including ReVoice, and this is one film that I consider a must own on DVD.

What are you waiting for? Buy your copy of Shrek today. And don’t let the ugly ogre tell you any different.

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