When his new father-in-law, King Harold falls ill, Shrek is looked at as the heir to the land of Far, Far Away. Not one to give up his beloved swamp, Shrek recruits his friends Donkey and Puss in Boots to install the rebellious Artie as the new king. Princess Fiona, however, rallies a band of royal girlfriends to fend off a coup d'etat by the jilted Prince Charming.
Spoiled by their upbringing with no idea what wild life is really like, four animals from New York Central Zoo escape, unwittingly assisted by four absconding penguins, and find themselves in Madagascar, among a bunch of merry lemurs
Monsters generate their city's power by scaring children, but they are terribly afraid themselves of being contaminated by children, so when one enters Monstropolis, top scarer Sulley finds his world disrupted.
When a green ogre named Shrek discovers his swamp has been 'swamped' with all sorts of fairytale creatures by the scheming Lord Farquaad, Shrek sets out with a very loud donkey by his side to 'persuade' Farquaad to give Shrek his swamp back. Instead, a deal is made. Farquaad, who wants to become the King, sends Shrek to rescue Princess Fiona, who is awaiting her true love in a tower guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. But once they head back with Fiona, it starts to become apparent that not only does Shrek, an ugly ogre, begin to fall in love with the lovely princess, but Fiona is also hiding a huge secret. Written by
The song "I'm a Believer", which has become one of the series' theme songs, was chosen specifically because of the line "I thought love was only true in fairy tales." See more »
When Lord Farquaad finds Shrek, Donkey and Fiona after Donkey discovers Fiona's secret, he gives Shrek a scroll, claiming it's the deed to the swamp. Later, when he leaves with Fiona, the scroll is nowhere to be seen. See more »
[a fairytale book appears]
Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess. But she had an enchantment upon her of a fearful sort, which could only be broken by love's first kiss. She was locked away in a castle guarded by a terrible fire-breathing dragon. Many brave knights had attempted to free her from this dreadful prison, but none prevailed. She waited in the dragon's keep, in the highest room of the tallest tower, for her true love, and true love's first kiss.
[...] See more »
SPOILER: The Ss in the "DreamWorks SKG" logo turn green and pop out ogre-like ears. This hints at Fiona's nightly transformation into an ogre. See more »
Left-field fairy tale left us rolling in the aisles
9 OUT OF 10!!!! We went to catch the matinee preview of "Shrek". We were still giggling by the time we got home afterwards. Two hours later, we dragged a friend out and went back for the evening show. Some of the shock value was lost, but we caught a few of the background sight gags we missed the first time, and anticipation of some of the other scenes had us in tears before they even happened. Interesting to see the different audience reactions of different age groups, too. This is a *very* funny movie, but it should be noted that most of the kiddy humour is on the burp/fart and yucky dining habits level - Shrek is rather closely related to Raymond Briggs' Fungus the Bogeyman without the orange mohawk. The dialogue and main action quips are mainly aimed at adults and sophisticated kids. One little voice in the afternoon audience piping up "WHAT's he compensating for?" cracked me up...
Be warned that this movie is a non-stop send-up of all things Disney. If predictability and saccharine is your cup of tea, you may not like it. On the other hand, if you are cynical about theme parks and like the idea of fairytale classics getting the Monty Python treatment, you'll love it. Every time a scene looks familiar, it means it is about to go pear-shaped. And it's not just old classics that get the treatment. I spotted (mis)quotes from films that are just being released, both Disney and non-Disney. You name it, it gets an affectionate pie in the face at some point in "Shrek".
As a fairytale, however offbeat, "Shrek" is tighter plotted and better characterised than most Hollywood dross.The parodic twists, a love story subplot that owes more to Shakespeare's comedies than fairytale formula, and the "ugly is the new beautiful" Message more than make up for the derivativeness due to extensive quotation.
As for the acting, confinement to voice-overs keeps the egos of Myers and Murphy in check, and they do a fantastic job as the big fat green smelly recluse and the obnoxiously manic donkey respectively. Diaz is great as a feisty princess who reminds me of Lloyd Alexander's Eilonwy crossed with Lara Croft. Lithgow's Farquaad is a wonderful Bad Guy, modelled on Olivier's Richard III apart from his Little Problem being different. And the Fairytale Creatures...excellent, all of them. The graphics, of course, are state of the art for at least another 2 weeks. We're talking freckles, skin pores and stubble, pupil dilation, and amazing light-and-shade. They had to tone down the realism of the humanoids to stop them looking creepily android-like.
Highly recommended, except for overly precious schmalz addicts.
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