‘Shrek’ is a brilliant CGI fairytale master-piece, which is full of heroics, shocks and ‘fairytale things’, like the lovely Snow White, or the lying Pinocchio as examples. This computer animated movie truly represents the modern day family, proving how much closer families have become in the last 50 years through the use of both toilet humour and clever innuendos attracting audiences of many generations.
This motion picture also contains the welcome return of some of the Disney classics, a few of your favourite and most loved fairytale characters, appearances ranging from the fabulous Three Blind Mice, the scrumptious Gingerbread man, and the mighty, but maybe slightly camp, Robin Hood. Although this feature length animation is set to be the biggest blockbuster this year, it is not through the usual fairytale conventions. Sure, it has the clichi?? ‘Once Upon a Time’ beginning and all the usual twits and turns, but here are many other aspects to ‘Shrek’, that are quite controversial.
‘Cinderella’, the old, non-politically correct Disney movie is a great film to compare ‘Shrek’ to. The Prince, as usual, was a slim, polite, beautiful, and most importantly human, while Shrek, the hero in this DreamWorks movie, is not, with him being a disgusting, rude, ugly ogre. Even the heroine isn’t the conventional Princess, unlike Cinderella who is blond, weak and dainty, which, to be honest, is not politically correct in the slightest. On the other hand, we have the strong, invulnerable yet gorgeous Princess Fiona in ‘Shrek’.
The film itself is about a big misunderstood ogre named Shrek (mike Myers) who lives in contented solitude deep in the heart of a forest’s swamp, until his home is invaded by fairytale creatures fleeing the rule of evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Farquaad agrees to re-locate the pests on the condition that Shrek rescues Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) – whom Farquaad desires to wed – from a far off, dragon inhabited castle. Grudgingly, Shrek sets out, joined in his quest by his unwanted companion, Donkey (Eddie Murphy).
‘Shrek takes great pleasure in lampooning fairytales and nursery rhymes of all sorts, and reserves a few delightful knocks at Disney in the bargain, as well as some well placed innuendos. At some points, some opportunities for some terrific fairytale satire are bypassed for a stronger storyline, but that doesn’t matter because, even then, one can always sit back and enjoy the beautiful computer animation, whose remarkable use here represents yet another dazzling leap forward for technology, and is a much greater improvement on ‘Cinderella’ and other such movies.
One memorable aspect of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ was that it finally gave Robin Williams a character – The Genie – to best take advantage of his comic talents. ‘Shrek’ does the same for Eddie Murphy, ironically though Murphy’s ideal character turns out to be an ass! All the same, ‘Shrek’ does represent Murphy’s best comic outing in years, which really does make Donkey the true star of this film, and draws in all the families that have loved his previous works. Cameron Diaz is also used to maximum effect, drawing in all her existing fans, and using her previous ‘Charlie’s Angels’ character as a great backbone for Fiona’s strong character.
Throughout the 90 minute film, Donkey manages to be the jovial side-kick and lightens the mood with his continuous humming and singing, which has to hold some of the funniest moments in the animation. You can’t help but laugh when, upon his meeting with Shrek, Donkey bursts into song with the line; ‘But you gotta have friends’. However, the forever enthusiastic side-kick is not always the happy-go-lucky ass throughout the film, but still produces some seriously funny moments. One memorable moment is when Donkey is walking over a high, rickety bridge over some boiling hot lava.