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Shrek (Mike Myers)

Donkey (Eddie Murphy)

Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz)

Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow)

Directed by Andrew Adamson and Victoria Jenson

Written by Joe Stilman, Roger Schulman, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio

Rated PG for language and crude humor

Running Time: 90 minutes Distributed by Dreamworks

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Shrek is a pleasant film that is full of laughs and pokes fun at one powerful corporation. The story is sort of a fairy tale about a rude, but lovable ogre named Shrek (Myers). Everyone sees Shrek as hideous, so he stays secluded in his own swamp. One day Shrek learns that every fairy tale character has been summoned to live in his swamp. From the big bad wolf, to Pinocchio, to the three little pigs, every popular character in the kingdom resides in his territory. Furious with anger, Shrek learns that the evil Lord Farquaad (Lithgow) has banished the fairy tale characters from his kingdom and must live the rest of their lives in the swamp. Shrek heads out to meet with Lord Farquaad and to order him get all the characters out of his swamp. Shrek is accompanied on his journey by Donkey (Murphy), who is a small donkey that likes to run his mouth constantly. When the two arrive to Farquaad’s secluded kingdom, the ruler cuts a deal with the ogre. Farquaad states that he will remove all the fairy tale characters if Shrek can find and rescue his bride to be, Princess Fiona (Diaz), from a dangerous castle. Wanting the characters out of his swamp more than anything, Shrek agrees and along with Donkey the two set out to the attempt to save the princess. However, the two never knew what twisted adventure lie ahead of them.

Shrek is an entertaining summer film that will attract a large array of moviegoers. It has simple moral stories of honesty, love and friendship, but the hidden comedy is what really drives the film.

Four writers, Joe Stilman, Roger S.H. Schulman, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio all collaborated on writing the script for Shrek. The script is really thrown together full of humor, fairy tale jokes and poking fun at the Disney company. There is also some crude and toilet humor in the film along with brief swearing. With this humor, it seemed that the writers were not only aiming at children for a demographic, but also parents as well. The overall script for isn’t that great, but it works to deliver the purpose of this film.

Before I said that the script pokes fun at the Disney Company and it does not hold back. Shrek goes off making fun of not just Disney itself, but Disney head man Michael Eisner, Disney World and of course the Disney films. I believe this is a very funny and powerful statement made by Dreamworks with this film. Some might say that its not intentional, but it is defiantly actual malice, not negligence. Don’t be surprised if Disney attempts some sort of lawsuit, but they probably won’t have a case since Shrek uses them as a parody. I will let most of examples be a surprise for you, but I will tell you about one. The character of Lord Farquaad represents Michael Eisner of Disney. Both are powerful, egotistical and trap in their own little world of riches. I suspect that Jeffrey Katzenburg (the producer of Shrek) had a great deal to do with this poking fun of. Katzenburg is a talented animative producer and creator who previously work for Eisner at Disney. Katzenburg and Eisner didn’t see eye to eye, which led to Katzenburg’s departure from Disney, and now he is at Dreamworks. Shrek is a tiny revenge film for him.

Moving on, the computer animation in this film is brilliant. Over the past few years, the technology just seems to be getting better and better. The details are becoming more and more extravagant. An example in Shrek is that when the characters walk through tall grass, it parts and stays parted. I can’t wait to see how the technology enhances even more in the next few years, I believe later this summer that the Final Fantasy film will break a lot of new barriers as well.

Mike Myers lends his voice to the film as the grumpy ogre Shrek. Eddie Murphy plays the loud-mouth, joke-a-minute Donkey and John Lithgow gives his narrow sinister voice to Lord Farquaad. All of the actors effectively contribute along with all of the music in the film.

Shrek is a fun movie that will bust up the box office. It has a large demographic with its comedy and also pokes fun at Disney tremendously, in which some might like or dislike. I personally thought it was risky, but funny. So go see this hip, humorous and wondrous summer movie.

Report Card Grade: B+


Beastman’s Movie Reviews

Copyright, 2001 Joseph C. Tucker

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