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Shrek (2001)

  Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Written by: Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio, Roger S.H. Schulman, William Steig, Joe Stillman
Starring: Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers
Links: Shrek on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 7.50 (2 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 81st of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Shrek (2001) is also mentioned in citizenjoe's review of Finding Nemo (2003), pearly's review of Ice Age (2002), pearly's review of Mulan (1998), timchuma's review of Old Master Q 2001 (2001), pearly's review of Shrek 2 (2004) and mino's review of Shrek 2 (2004).

"A fairytale of a different kind" - a review by pearly

Given that I'm really not keen on the comedy stylings of Eddie Murphy, I surprised myself by quite enjoying Shrek. Sure, I didn't love it as much as the next guy, but I liked it enough that when I was offered a copy of the DVD for nothing, I accepted, and I even spent some time playing with the special feature on there which lets you re-do some of the scenes with your own voice (I wasn't bad at it either).

I don't think that Shrek is quite up there with some of the Pixar films, but as far as animated films go, it's not that bad. Specifically, I enjoyed the nursery rhyme references throughout, with the muffin man scene being quite the stand-out. And whilst some of the jokes were a little too low-brow for my tastes (a character named Lord Farquaad? I came up with funnier and less predictable stuff than that when I was four years old), overall, it's a pretty fun watch.

The story goes that Shrek (Mike Myers), an ogre, is going about his peaceful life, when one day, a bunch of fairytale characters land on his doorstep. They're here because they've been banished from the land by Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow), a diminuitive figure who is looking for love. In order to get his house back, Shrek agrees to go on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) for Farquaad, a quest upon which he is not too thrilled to realise that the irritating Donkey (Murphy) will accompany him on.

Shrek is structured like the fairytale that the many characters on Shrek's doorstep inhabit, but it's a little awry. Things don't go quite the way that they should in a fairytale. This modern day twist works well, as does the tried-and-true techniques of cartoon films, many of which are employed here (and it isn't the last time we'll see them either - an example being the character of Donkey, who is similar in both purpose and style to the character of Mushu from the earlier film Mulan (1998) (also voiced by Murphy), and that of Dory from the later Finding Nemo (2003)). Shrek is a fun story, and whilst it isn't perfect, it's all about the entertainment, and Shrek is certainly capable of that.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 23 Mar 2005

"Shrektacular!" - a review by andy-j

Shrek is a big ugly ogre who lives a lonesome existence in his very own swamp. He values, above everything else, his peace and quiet and his solitude. One day he meets Donkey, a somewhat annoying but lovable talking donkey, one thing leads to another (as it often does when talking donkeys are around), and Shrek reluctantly finds himself on a quest to save the beautiful Princess Fiona on behalf of the evil Lord Farquaad. Things become complicated when Princess Fiona and Shrek fall in love with each other, but Fiona has a deep dark secret that causes a big misunderstanding... will things EVER work out?

Shrek is one of the new breed of totally CGI film and is definitely one of the best ones out there. It has a strong story, containing many elements found in classic fairy-tales. This gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, as so much seems so familiar. But Shrek contains many cheeky modern-day twists on the classic fairy-tale theme to keep things fresh and funny (for example - the princess turns out to be a bit of a slob, and the big evil dragon is really a bit of a pussycat). Actually, the first time I saw Shrek, I remember going into the cinema rolling my eyes at being dragged along to watch a stupid kiddy movie. About two minutes into it, I was completely turned around by the dark humour, and I giggled throughout the entire movie. Even though some of the gags are aimed at the kiddies, there's still plenty there for the older audience.

There is much to love about Shrek - the CGI is brilliant. It's totally convincing, but still very cartoonish, which is exactly what is required for the fairytale-style setting. A huge amount of work went into animating this film (it took over 4 years to complete). Tons of imagination and creativity went into Shrek - there are so many little touches, and they all add up to perfection. Yep, in terms of all things visual, Shrek is beautiful. The voice-acting is wonderful. We have Mike Myers voicing Shrek (sounding a little too much like Fat Bastard from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999), but nonetheless very very good), Cameron Diaz as the Princess, and John Lithgow as Lord Farquaad. But the standout is, without a doubt, Eddie Murphy as Donkey, chattering away non-stop, providing most of the laughs and definitely becoming the funnest character to watch.

The only thing I don't like about Shrek is the soundtrack, containing two songs by the horrific Smash Mouth. All Star is about as far from a timeless classic as you can get, and the movie seems "dated" by its inclusion. Anyway, enough Smash Mouth bagging - there's plenty of that elsewhere on the internet. To sum up, Shrek is a great film - it is hilarious and a masterpiece of creativity.

andy-j gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 22 Jan 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 7.50
Lowest rating: 7 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 8 (by andy-j)
 
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Reader comments

  1. i think this film is great and they should bring out a shrek 3.

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from jemma on Sat 05 Mar 2005 01:06 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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