Shrek is an animated fantasy film featuring the voices of Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy, about an ogre living alone in a forest. It’s a story that features knights, dragons, and magic, but not the kind of story you might think. This family comedy film has seen high critical acclaim, winning the 2002 Oscar Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
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The Film Review
When the ego-maniacal leader Lord Farquaad (voiced by John Lithgow) banishes all fairy tale creatures to the forest, the ogre named Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) finds his simple swampland suddenly overpopulated. Along with the quick-witted talking Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy), Shrek heads out of the forest to find Lord Farquaad and demand the fairy tale creatures are removed from his land.
The story of Shrek is one of lighthearted adventure and fantasy genre parody, as the ogre and donkey duo head through the magic-infused land on their quest for Farquaad. The movie mainly revolves around the budding relationship and misadventures of Shrek and Donkey, as they encounter numerous obstacles in their quest.
Shrek provides a consistent stream of gross-out humor, balanced out well by Donkey’s quickly delivered quips and rants. Each scene is usually packed with some hearty laughs or imaginative parody on a fantasy genre trope. For both parents and kids, Shrek is often surprisingly funny and well-written.
The movie mixes its comedy with a hefty amount of heart and charm, as Shrek and Donkey’s journey continues throughout the land. Riffing off a well-known fantasy trope, Shrek eventually encounters Princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz), and the juxtaposition between a grimy ogre and picturesque princess causes a clash at first.
Additionally, the movie smartly ties in some great messages about positive self-image and judging people too quickly, teaching its younger viewers to be more open-minded. Funnily enough, Shrek’s themes and messaging often aligns with the fantasy genre that it parodies, offering relevant topics in an otherworldly setting.
Despite the abundance of silly characters and toilet-humor, Shrek has some meaningful messaging that is still topical a decade after its initial release.
Shrek’s humor and often risque dialogue are well performed by the entire cast, with standout performances from Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers. In many ways, Eddie Murphy puts a lot of his own personality into the character of Donkey, with some musicality and fast-talking.
He consistently toes the line as slightly annoying but always lovable, delivering a highly memorable character. Mike Myers also does a great job as Shrek, providing an appropriately grumpy yet hopeful ogre.
Overall, Shrek stands out as an obnoxious yet surprisingly heartfelt journey through familiar fairy tale lore with some hilarious twists. The animation is well done and just as funny as the dialogue, with countless memorable characters and sequences. There are jokes for both kids and adults, ensuring that the whole family will be entertained. Its messages and themes are just as important and topical today as they were when the movie released, which is a testament to the strength of the writing. If you haven’t seen Shrek yet and you don’t mind a significant amount of toilet humor, do yourself a favor and check it out.
- Great performances from Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy
- Tons of memorable scenes and character cameos
- Laugh-out-loud funny and charming as well
- Excessive toilet humor gets stale after a while