Shrek is DreamWorks Animation’s golden boy, having won his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The un-jolly green giant launched their new wave of computer-generated comedies and initiated their unique brand of irreverent, pop-culture-laced humor. An instant classic, the film eclipsed Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. to win the very first Best Animated Feature Academy Award. Will Smith’s recitation of a whole scene from Shrek in I Am Legend illustrates the film’s impact on young and old moviegoers alike.
Mike Myers found his most iconic role as the Scottish-accented ogre, as did Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona. The rest of the voice actors are perfectly cast, from Eddie Murphy’s frenetic, amiable Donkey to John Lithgow’s hilariously narcissistic and overcompensating Lord Farquaad. It was the lovable cast that kept the franchise going for four films, even when it perhaps should have stopped while it was ahead.
“Fractured fairy tales” were nothing new, but Shrek’s mish-mashing of known Disney properties and original characters gave it a mocking edge that was well-tempered by the strangely engaging romance and the don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover lesson. The rousing score by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell is instantly recognizable, and the film also boasts a rocking soundtrack of contemporary pop songs. Both songs and score complement the action and romance beautifully, particularly in the case of the slow-motion castle escape scene and John Cale’s cover of “Hallelujah” during a dramatic montage.
Despite some mild language that set it apart from Disney’s films, Shrek remains one of the high points for DreamWorks Animation. It’s an original fairy tale that offers a fresh take on familiar material.
Best line: (Donkey, complimenting Shrek’s swamp with a line I’ve used countless times since) “I like that boulder. That’s a nice boulder.”
VC’s best line: (Donkey, crashing the wedding) “All right, nobody move! I’ve got a dragon, and I’m not afraid to use it! I’m a donkey on the edge!”Artistry: 8 Characters/Actors: 10 Entertainment: 10 Visual Effects: 8 Originality: 9 Watchability: 9 Other (I like other films more): -4 TOTAL: 50 out of 60
Next: #120 – Jesus Christ Superstar
© 2014 S. G. Liput
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