True love conquers all. Or at least it does in the fairytale world of “Shrek”. This summer blockbuster by Dream Works is about an Ogre named Shrek who is very self-confident despite the fact that he is smelly and considerably unattractive. But he doesn't let his looks stop him because he is a hero in the making and he has a good heart. When he undertakes a task that sends him on an adventure of a lifetime, Shrek finds the meaning of love and friendship.
The film boast an all star cast of voices which include Mike Myers (Austin Powers), Eddie Murphy (The Klumps), Cameron Diaz (Charlie's Angels) and John Lithgow (Third Rock from the Sun). Dream Works could not have assembled a better cast for this movie. Together, these four gave very believable performances that were full of humor, warmth and flare. Their depth of comedy made the audience laugh and cry at the same time.
The animation in this film is phenomenal. According to the HBO Special “The Making of Shrek,” the animators said that their intention was to make the characters look humans rather than like animation characters. Every effort to bring detail of human body language and facial expression was demonstrated in the film. These details were evident by the movement of the hair in Shrek's eyebrows and Princess Fiona's head.
It was also important that the landscape and the scenery look authentic also. They were highly successful. When looking at the scenes with the wind blowing through the grass of the meadows, it was comparable to the scenes in the “Sound of Music.”
A well written script with a fast moving plot helped make this movie a joy to watch. The film combined common children's fairytales with aspects of other recent films such as “The Matrix” and “Charlie's Angels.”
The thing that stands out about this movie; is that it is not only entertaining -it has several life messages. The film stated, in several different ways, that we should not judge a book by its cover. Although perceptions of beauty were prevalent, the focus was more on the concept that it is not what really counts. The overall stated is that a person's heart is the true test of beauty.
Though “Shrek” had great messages, it also perpetuated stereotypes, like being thin makes you beautiful. Maybe that aspect was needed to make the point that was made at the end of the movie; which I won't give away. However, showing a character that thinks that they are only beautiful when they fit societies mold can be dangerous. That type of thinking is what has eating disorders at epidemic proportions for women. To its credit it did tackle controversial issues like interracial dating.
Whereas, “Shrek” is a good film, I don't agree with it's Parental Guidance rating. Due to profanity, crude humor and sexual innuendo, this movie is not suitable for children under 13. So a PG-13 rating would be more appropriate.
If you want a chance to laugh and feel warm and fuzzy inside “Shrek” is your movie.