Starring: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy
Director: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
Running Time: 90 mins
Shrek is an American film about a swamp-dwelling ogre who, in order to win back his home, must travel to the tallest tower in the land to rescue fairytale Princess Fiona and bring her back to the short-tempered Lord Farquaad.
This has to be up there with the modern animation classics. It’s a riotously funny comedy, with a hugely entertaining story, and the fantastic voice performances, great animation and brilliant pop soundtrack all make up for a massively fun film that absolutely anyone can enjoy.
I remember seeing this a couple of years after it first came out, when I was about 5, and I loved it, mainly for the slapstick comedy and fun, largely cuddly characters, and I can definitely testify for the fact that this film can be seriously enjoyable for kids, despite its main resource of laughs coming from older pop culture references.
However, seeing this now, it seems as if it’s gotten ten times funnier. Yes, there’s still the crazy slapstick that you’ve just got to love laughing at, but there’s a whole heap of other references, and as well as that, a great story.
The whole premise of this film is taking the mick out of every single fairytale movie ever made. The plot is so blindly simple, and incredibly clichéd, but that’s the beauty of the comedy in this film. It’s all quite sarcastic, and everything derives from stories that you’ve seen before, but the fact that it knows so well what it’s trying to do is fantastically entertaining.
Meanwhile, there are countless stand-alone jokes, away from the premise. You’d probably have to watch this film numerous times to get every single joke, because there are so many, and you spend so much time laughing at other things that it’s impossible to notice every gag in this laugh-a-second movie.
There’s also some great voice performances. Mike Myers as Shrek is classic, Cameron Diaz’s voicing for Fiona works to give her the feel of a fairytale princess and one that’s a bit more unorthodox, while Eddie Murphy’s performance as Donkey is so deliberately and fantastically annoying that you cannot help laughing at it at all.
Finally, the soundtrack in this film is stunning. Yes, it’s got a few weird original numbers, but the main bulk of the backing track is big pop songs of the time, that are (at least in my mind) better known for this film than anything else, but they really add to making this a hugely entertaining modern animation classic, and that’s why it gets an 8.4.