SHREK – Film Review

Once upon a time, in a faraway swamp, there lived an ornery ogre named Shrek whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. There are blind mice in his food, a big, bad wolf in his bed, three little homeless pigs, and more, all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad. Determined to save their home–not to mention his own–Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona to be Farquaad’s bride. Accompanying him on his mission is wisecracking Donkey, who will do anything for Shrek… except shut up. Rescuing the Princess from a fire-breathing dragon may prove the least of their problems when the deep, dark secret she has been keeping is revealed.

Shrek is one of the movies that I have extremely fond memories of watching when I was a little kid. Because I was only one year old when the film was released, I didn’t actually go to see it in the theatre and I don’t recall seeing the sequel in the theatres either. However, I would say I watched both of them when I was around six or seven years old and ended up absolutely adoring them.

I truly couldn’t tell you how many times I have watched Shrek throughout my life. I’ve seen it that many times. As I got older though, the film was essentially turned into one gigantic meme thanks to the internet for many reasons. One of the biggest being that the film’s theme song is “All-Star” by Smash Mouth, which, on its own, is one of the biggest memes in the history of the internet.

But I haven’t seen Shrek since my adolescence and so I wanted to go back and rewatch it today just to see how it holds up all these years later. Even though I am twenty years old right now, I can happily say that this 2001 animated picture is just as hilarious and massively entertaining as it was for me all those years ago. Time didn’t diminish the quality of Shrek whatsoever.

Courtesy of DreamWorks Pictures

All of the jokes here are so brilliantly written and are sure to make both young children and adults laugh. It actually has quite a few adult-centric jokes that I picked up on now that I’m all grown up, but when I was little, I didn’t know what they were talking about. In one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie, Shrek and Donkey arrive at Lord Farquaad’s castle which is absolutely enormous. Shrek then turns to Donkey and says “Do you think maybe he’s compensating for something?”. A joke that kids won’t understand until they are much older. But the adults that were in the theatre at the time were more than likely cracking up significantly like I was.

Aside from Shrek‘s amazingly funny script, it’s also just stunningly animated. Even though the movie is nineteen years old now, it still looks just as impressive all these years later. It’s clear that the animation team spent countless hours ensuring that every single frame of the film looked as great as it could possibly look and it shows in the final product. Funny enough, Shrek looks better than some animated movies today.

It’s honestly quite hard to fault this film. It launched three successful sequels after it and is considered by many to be one of the best animated film franchises of all-time. Yes, the story isn’t all that exciting and it’s quite predictable for the majority of the running time, but at the end of the day, Shrek is an incredibly entertaining and hilarious children’s film that offers a little something for everybody. Nineteen years later, it is still one of the most memorable animated films ever.

Nineteen years later, Shrek is still a hilarious, relentlessly entertaining, and gorgeously animated children’s classic.

Overall Grade: A-

MPAA Rating: PG for mild language and some crude humor

Cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, Vincent Cassel, Conrad Vernon, Chris Miller, Cody Cameron, Simon J. Smith

Directed by: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson

Distributed by: DreamWorks Pictures

Release Date: May 18, 2001

Running Time: 90 minutes

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