Fairy Tale: Shrek
unusual PDI/DreamWorks (“Antz”) animated feature about an ornery
ogre is fine family fare. Based on William Steig’s children’s
book of the same name, Shrek has a wonderfully realistic
look, an amusing script, and is a hoot to watch for all ages.
The movie satirizes many Disney characters, hackneyed TV and our
modern notions of beauty and body image. But let’s cut to the
fun part: Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers with a Scottish burr) is
an enormous, pot-bellied, jug-eared smelly green ogre. And those
are his good points. He’s also gruff and tough, crude and filthy
and just wants to be left alone, swatting away the occasional
pesky gnat that happens upon his sun-dappled swamp. But he awakens
one day to find his front yard filled with fairy tale characters:
The Three Blind Mice, The Big Bad Wolf, Peter Pan—most of the
Disney canon, plus an obnoxious Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy
in his best role in years).
The evil, three-foot-tall Lord Farquaad (voiced unctuously by
John Lithow) has banished them there, and, to get back his homestead,
the ogre cuts a deal. The antisocial Shrek agrees to rescue the
beautiful Princess Fiona (voiced by a spunky Cameron Diaz) who
is imprisoned in a far-off castle by a dragon. Farquaad needs
Fiona for a mate so he can become king of the land. So Shrek and
the donkey as his sidekick, set off on their mission, finding
themselves trekking through dangerous territory, navigating a
bridge over molten lava and ultimately facing off with a ferocious
dragon. Their escape through the castle’s narrow passageways while
the giant fire-breathing dragon tries to barbecue them offers
the thrills of an action adventure film. A surprise romance brings
the movie to a happily ever after ending.
Here’s a movie that appeals to eye, the mind, kids and adults.
Shrek is the summer’s first hit.
minutes; directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson. PG. Call
777-FILM for venues.)
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