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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Shrek (2001) - Love, Laughter, and Layers

Updated: Jul 3

Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5/5 Stars)

Released 05-18-2001

Watched 06-01-2024

Reviewed 06-13-2024

Watched on Netflix

"Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers... You get it? We both have layers.?"

DreamWorks’ “Shrek” is an animated masterpiece that blends humor, heart, and a touch of irreverence to create a film that appeals to both kids and adults. Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, this 2001 classic remains a beloved favorite for its unique take on fairy tales and its rich, memorable characters.

The story follows Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers), an ogre who prefers the solitude of his swamp, but his life is turned upside down when a band of fairy-tale creatures invades his home. To regain his peace, Shrek strikes a deal with the diminutive Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow), agreeing to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) from a dragon-guarded castle. Along the way, Shrek is joined by the hilarious and loyal Donkey (Eddie Murphy), whose comedic timing and witty banter provide endless laughs.

“Shrek” excels in its character development and voice performances. Myers, Diaz, and Murphy bring their characters to life with charm and personality, making the film’s emotional moments resonate deeply. The animation, while a product of its time, still holds up well, and the film’s vibrant, imaginative world is a visual delight.

One of the film’s standout features is its soundtrack, featuring catchy tunes like Smash Mouth’s “All-Star” and the enchanting “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. The music perfectly complements the film’s tone and enhances its emotional impact.

The screenplay, written by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman, and Roger S.H. Schulman, is a clever blend of humor and heart. The film’s irreverent take on traditional fairy tales, filled with witty dialogue and pop culture references, keeps the audience engaged and entertained from start to finish.

While “Shrek” is undeniably a fantastic film, its humor can sometimes be a bit crude for younger viewers, and some jokes may fly over the heads of its intended audience. However, this balance of adult and child-friendly humor is part of what makes “Shrek” a timeless classic.

In conclusion, “Shrek” is a delightful film that combines a heartwarming story, memorable characters, and a fantastic soundtrack into a cohesive and enjoyable package. It’s a film that has stood the test of time and continues to enchant audiences of all ages.

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