Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow
Directed by Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson
It’s been about a good decade since I saw Shrek and I thought it was time to dust off the DVD. Is it still as funny as when I was 12? Yes.
It’s PG. It’s meant for kids. I’m 22-years-old. What could make me like it? Shrek has some humor in it that I didn’t catch back when I saw it in theaters fourteen years ago. I didn’t appreciate all of the jokes meant to entertain the parents taking their kids to see it; such as Shrek making fun of Lord Farquaad’s castle (compensating for his short stature, perhaps?) or how it makes fun of commercialism by turning Duloc into a Disney-esque location (the singing information booth, souvenirs, and mascot).
One of the big appeals for this movie is the fairy tale aspect. Lord Farquaad (Lithgow) attains the magic mirror and is shown three princesses he could marry so he can finally become king. A new princess is born: Princess Fiona (Diaz), a damsel in distress in her own dragon-guarded castle. Shrek (Myers) offers to free Fiona from the dragon if he can get his swamp back to himself. All the fairy tale beings are camped out in his domain as they have nowhere else to go due to Lord Farquaad’s decree. There’s the fairy godmothers from Sleeping Beauty, wolf from Little Red Riding Hood, the three blind mice, Robin Hood, and many more.
Yet Shrek isn’t your average Prince Charming that Princess Fiona can see. He’s pushy and rude, trying to get Fiona on her way to the castle. In the evening once they’ve camped out for the night she overhears Shrek open up to Donkey (Murphy) that people judge him before they get to know him and that’s why he prefers to be alone. The next day is spent with a new attitude and Fiona finds it possible to be friends with Shrek. They share disgusting habits (like who can burp the loudest) and enjoy eating bugs together. It’s obvious the overall message of Shrek is not to judge a person before you get to know them.
Shrek faces prejudice for being an ogre. Everyone hates the mean, ugly ogre who’s rumored to tear people apart for a meal. The only people to give Shrek a chance is Donkey and Fiona. Donkey is optimistic about everything and ignores Shrek’s attempts to get rid of him early on in their friendship. Fiona has an idea of what Shrek is going through by her own nightly transformations through the spell placed on her.
By the end, I’ve found myself laughing a lot more than I expected and gave Shrek props for trying to teach kids an important lesson in friendship.