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shrek (2001), All You Want To Know & Watch About A Great Movie

Aug 20, 2022
shrek (2001), All You Want To Know & Watch About A Great Movie

shrek (2001), All You Want To Know & Watch About A Great Movie

 

shrek (2001)

A mean lord exiles fairytale creatures to the swamp of a grumpy ogre, who must go on a quest and rescue a princess for the lord in order to get his land back.

shrek (2001) Trailer

shrek (2001) Reviews

There is a moment in “Shrek” when the despicable Lord Farquaad has the Gingerbread Man tortured by dipping him into milk. This prepares us for another moment when Princess Fiona’s singing voice is so piercing it causes jolly little bluebirds to explode; making the best of a bad situation, she fries their eggs. This is not your average family cartoon. “Shrek” is jolly and wicked, filled with sly in-jokes and yet somehow possessing a heart.

The movie has been so long in the making at DreamWorks that the late Chris Farley was originally intended to voice the jolly green ogre in the title role. All that work has paid off: The movie is an astonishing visual delight, with animation techniques that seem lifelike and fantastical, both at once. No animated being has ever moved, breathed or had its skin crawl quite as convincingly as Shrek, and yet the movie doesn’t look like a reprocessed version of the real world; it’s all made up, right down to, or up to, Shrek’s trumpet-shaped ears.

Shrek’s voice is now performed by Mike Myers, with a voice that’s an echo of his Fat Bastard (the Scotsman with a molasses brogue in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”). Shrek is an ogre who lives in a swamp surrounded by “Keep Out” and “Beware the Ogre!” signs. He wants only to be left alone, perhaps because he is not such an ogre after all but merely a lonely creature with an inferiority complex because of his ugliness. He is horrified when the solitude of his swamp is disturbed by a sudden invasion of cartoon creatures, who have been banished from Lord Farquaad’s kingdom.

Many of these creatures bear a curious correspondence to Disney characters who are in the public domain: The Three Little Pigs turn up, along with the Three Bears, the Three Blind Mice, Tinkerbell, the Big Bad Wolf and Pinocchio. Later, when Farquaad seeks a bride, the Magic Mirror gives him three choices: Cinderella, Snow White (“She lives with seven men, but she’s not easy”) and Princess Fiona.

He chooses the beauty who has not had the title role in a Disney animated feature. No doubt all of this, and a little dig at DisneyWorld, were inspired by feelings DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg has nourished since his painful departure from Disney–but the elbow in the ribs is more playful than serious. (Farquaad is said to be inspired by Disney chief Michael Eisner, but I don’t see a resemblance, and his short stature corresponds not to the tall Eisner but, well, to the diminutive Katzenberg.)

The plot involves Lord Farquaad’s desire to wed the Princess Fiona, and his reluctance to slay the dragon that stands between her and would-be suitors. He hires Shrek to attempt the mission, which Shrek is happy to do, providing the loathsome fairy-tale creatures are banished and his swamp returned to its dismal solitude. On his mission, Shrek is joined by a donkey named the Donkey, whose running commentary, voiced by Eddie Murphy, provides some of the movie’s best laughs.

(The trick isn’t that he talks, Shrek observes; “the trick is to get him to shut up.”) The expedition to the castle of the Princess involves a suspension bridge above a flaming abyss, and the castle’s interior is piled high with the bones of the dragon’s previous challengers. When Shrek and the Donkey get inside, there are exuberant action scenes that whirl madly through interior spaces, and revelations about the dragon no one could have guessed. And all along the way, asides and puns, in-jokes and contemporary references, and countless references to other movies.

Voice-overs for animated movies were once, except for the annual Disney classic, quickie jobs that actors took if they were out of work. Now they are starring roles with fat paychecks, and the ads for “Shrek” use big letters to trumpet the names of Myers, Murphy, Cameron Diaz (Fiona) and John Lithgow (Farquaad). Their vocal performances are nicely suited to the characters, although Myers’ infatuation with his Scottish brogue reportedly had to be toned down. Murphy in particular has emerged as a star of the voice-over genre.

Much will be written about the movie’s technical expertise, and indeed every summer seems to bring another breakthrough on the animation front. After the three-dimensional modeling and shading of “Toy Story,” the even more evolved “Toy Story 2,” “A Bug’s Life” and “Antz,” and the amazing effects in “Dinosaur,” “Shrek” unveils creatures who have been designed from the inside out, so that their skin, muscles and fat move upon their bones instead of seeming like a single unit. They aren’t “realistic,” but they’re curiously real.

The artistry of the locations and setting is equally skilled–not lifelike, but beyond lifelike, in a merry, stylized way.

Still, all the craft in the world would not have made “Shrek” work if the story hadn’t been fun and the ogre so lovable. Shrek is not handsome but he isn’t as ugly as he thinks; he’s a guy we want as our friend, and he doesn’t frighten us but stir our sympathy. He’s so immensely likable that I suspect he may emerge as an enduring character, populating sequels and spinoffs. One movie cannot contain him.

  1. Roger Ebert – Roger Ebert
  2. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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shrek (2001) Credits

Shrek movie poster

Shrek (2001)

Rated PG For Mild Language and Some Crude Humor

90 minutes

Cast

Mike Myers as With The Voices Of

Eddie Murphy as Donkey

Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona

John Lithgow as Lord Farquaad

Directed by

  • Andrew Adamson
  • Vicky Jenson

Written by

  • Ted Elliott
  • Terry Rossio
  • Joe Stillman
  • Roger S.H. Schulman

Based On The Book by

  • William Steig

 

shrek (2001) Plot

Shrek is an anti-social and highly-territorial green ogre who loves the solitude of his swamp. His life is interrupted after the dwarfish Lord Farquaad of Duloc exiles a vast number of fairy-tale creatures. Farquaad does not realize the creatures relocate to Shrek’s swamp. Angered by the intrusion, Shrek visits Farquaad and demands they be moved elsewhere. He reluctantly allows the talkative Donkey, who was exiled as well, to tag along and guide him to Duloc.

Meanwhile, Farquaad is presented with the Magic Mirror (from the tale of Snow White), which tells him that in order to become a king, he must marry a princess. Farquaad chooses Princess Fiona, who is imprisoned in a castle tower guarded by a dragon. Unwilling to perform the task himself, he organizes a tournament in which the winner will receive the “privilege” of rescuing Fiona.

Shrek and Donkey arrive during the tournament. Disgusted by Shrek, Farquaad proclaims whoever kills the ogre as the winner; however, Shrek and Donkey defeat Farquaad’s knights with relative ease. An amused Farquaad proclaims them champions and demands that they rescue Fiona. Shrek negotiates to have the fairy-tale creatures relocated if he succeeds, and Farquaad accepts.

Shrek and Donkey travel to the castle and are attacked by Dragon. Shrek locates Fiona, who is appalled by his lack of romanticism. They flee the castle after rescuing Donkey. When Shrek removes his helmet revealing he is an ogre, Fiona stubbornly refuses to go to Duloc, demanding Farquaad arrive in person to save her. Shrek carries her against her will.

That night, after setting up camp and with Fiona alone in a cave, Shrek confides in Donkey about his frustration with being feared and rejected by others over his appearance. Fiona overhears and decides to be kind to Shrek. The next day, they encounter Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. Fiona dispatches them easily with martial arts when they harasss them. Shrek is impressed with Fiona, and they begin to fall in love.

When the trio nears Duloc, Fiona takes shelter in a windmill for the evening. Donkey later enters alone and discovers that Fiona has transformed into an ogress. She explains she has been cursed since childhood, forced to transform every night after sunset and changing back at sunrise. She tells Donkey that only “true love’s kiss” will break the spell and change her to “love’s true form”.

Meanwhile, Shrek is about to confess his feelings to Fiona, when he overhears the conversation as she says “ugly beast”. Believing that Fiona is talking about him (she is referring to herself), Shrek angrily leaves and returns the next morning with Farquaad. Confused and hurt by Shrek’s abrupt hostility toward her, Fiona accepts Farquaad’s marriage proposal and requests they be married before nightfall.

Shrek abandons Donkey and returns to his now-vacated swamp, but he realizes that despite his privacy, he feels miserable and misses Fiona. Donkey arrives at the swamp and confronts Shrek. During their quarrel, Donkey explains that the “ugly beast” Fiona was referring to was someone else, and urges him to express his feelings for Fiona before she marries.

The two reconcile and quickly travel to Duloc by riding Dragon, who Donkey had befriended earlier. Shrek interrupts the wedding just before the ceremony completes and tells Fiona that Farquaad is only marrying her to become king. The sun sets as Fiona transforms into an ogress in front of everyone, causing a surprised Shrek to understand what he overheard.

Outraged and disgusted, Farquaad orders Shrek executed and Fiona detained. Dragon, alongside Donkey, bursts in and devours Farquaad. Shrek and Fiona profess their love and share a kiss. Fiona’s curse is broken, though this permanently makes her an ogress against her expectations; Shrek reassures her that he still finds her beautiful. They marry in the swamp with fairy-tale creatures in attendance, then leave for their honeymoon.

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shrek (2001) Box office

Shrek opened on around 6,000 screens[75] across 3,587 theaters;[76] eleven of them showed the film digitally.[77] This was the first time that DreamWorks had shown one of its films digitally.[78] The film earned $11.6 million on its first day and $42.3 million on its opening weekend, topping the box office for the weekend and averaging $11,805 from 3,587 theaters.

In its second weekend, due to the Memorial Day Weekend holiday, the film gained 0.3 percent to $42.5 million and $55.2 million over the four-day weekend, resulting in an overall 30 percent gain.[80] Despite this, the film finished in second place behind Pearl Harbor and had an average of $15,240 from expanding to 3,623 sites.[80] In its third weekend, the film retreated 34 percent to $28.2 million for a $7,695 average from expanding to 3,661 theaters.

The film closed on December 6, 2001, after grossing $267.7 million domestically, along with $216.7 million overseas, for a worldwide total of $484.4 million.[5] Produced on a $60 million budget, the film was a huge box office smash[5] and is the fourth highest-grossing film of 2001.[82]

Shrek became the highest-grossing animated film ever to be released in Australia, passing the mark set by The Lion King in 1994.[83] In the United Kingdom, Shrek regained the top spot at the British box office after being beaten out the previous week by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, earning a $20.3 million since its opening in the UK.

 

shrek (2001) Critical reception

Shrek has an approval rating of 88% based on 210 professional reviews on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7.8/10. Its critical consensus reads, “While simultaneously embracing and subverting fairy tales, the irreverent Shrek also manages to tweak Disney’s nose, provide a moral message to children, and offer viewers a funny, fast-paced ride.”

Metacritic (which uses a weighted average) assigned Shrek a score of 84 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”.[86] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A” on an A+ to F scale.[87]

Roger Ebert praised the film, giving it four stars out of a possible four and describing it as “jolly and wicked, filled with sly in-jokes and yet somehow possessing a heart”.[88] USA Todays Susan Wloszczyna praised Eddie Murphy’s performance, stating it “gives the comic performance of his career, aided by sensational digital artistry, as he brays for the slightly neurotic motormouth”.

Richard Schickel of Time also enjoyed Murphy’s role, stating “No one has ever made a funnier jackass of himself than Murphy.”[90] Peter Rainer of New York magazine liked the script, also stating “The animation, directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, is often on the same wriggly, giggly level as the script, although the more “human” characters, such as Princess Fiona and Lord Farquaad, are less interesting than the animals and creatures—a common pitfall in animated films of all types.”

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote “Shrek is a world-class charmer that could even seduce the Academy when it hands out the first official animation Oscar next year.”[92] James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying “Shrek is not a guilty pleasure for sophisticated movie-goers; it is, purely and simply, a pleasure.”[93] Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote “The witty, fractured fairy tale Shrek has a solid base of clever writing.”

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A−, saying “A kind of palace coup, a shout of defiance, and a coming of age for DreamWorks.”[95] Jay Boyar of the Orlando Sentinel wrote “It’s a pleasure to be able to report that the movie both captures and expands upon the book’s playful spirit of deconstruction.”[96]

Steven Rosen of The Denver Post wrote “DreamWorks Pictures again proves a name to trust for imaginative, funny animated movies that delight kids and adults equally.”[97] Susan Stark of The Detroit News gave the film four out of four stars, saying “Swift, sweet, irreverent, rangy and as spirited in the writing and voice work as it is splendid in design.”

Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News gave the film four out of four stars, saying “The brilliance of the voice work, script, direction and animation all serve to make Shrek an adorable, infectious work of true sophistication.”[99] Rene Rodriguez gave the film three out of four stars, calling it “a gleefully fractured fairy tale that never becomes cynical or crass”.

Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times gave the film four out of five stars, saying “Beating up on the irritatingly dainty Disney trademarks is nothing new; it’s just that it has rarely been done with the demolition-derby zest of Shrek.”[101] William Steig, the author of the original book, and his wife Jeanne Steig also enjoyed the film, stating “We all went sort of expecting to hate it, thinking, ‘What has Hollywood done to it?’ But we loved it. We were afraid it would be too sickeningly cute and, instead, Bill just thought they did a wonderful, witty job of it.”[102]

John Anderson of Newsday wrote “The kind of movie that will entertain everyone of every age and probably for ages to come.”[103] Jay Carr of The Boston Globe wrote “In an era when much on film seems old, Shrek seems new and fresh and clever.”[104] Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post gave the film five out of five stars, saying “Despite all its high-tech weirdness, it is really that most perdurable of human constructions, a tale told well and true.”

Joe Baltake of The Sacramento Bee wrote that it “isn’t so much a fractured spoof of everything Disney, but actually a Monty Python flick for kids – kids of all ages”.[104] Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer wrote “What gives Shrek its special artistic distinction is its witty and knowingly sassy dialogue, delivered by vocally charismatic performers whose voices remind us of their stellar screen personae in live-action movies.”

Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader wrote “This romantic fantasy complicates the roles of beauty and beast, making it hard to guess what form a sensitive resolution will take.”[107] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote “The charms of Shrek, which is based on the children’s book by William Steig, go far beyond in-jokes for adults.”

John Zebrowski of The Seattle Times gave the film three out of four stars, saying “The movie is helped immensely by its cast, who carry it through some of the early, sluggish scenes. But this is Murphy’s movie. Donkey gets most of the good lines, and Murphy hits every one.”[109]

A mixed review came from Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune, who gave the film two and a half stars out of four and compared it to Toy Story 2, which he said “had a higher in-jokes/laughs ratio without straining to demonstrate its hipness or to evoke heartfelt emotions”.

On the more negative side, Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice said he was “desperately avoiding the risk of even a half-second of boredom”, and said “the movie is wall-to-window-to-door noise, babbling, and jokes (the first minute sees the first fart gag), and demographically it’s a hard-sell shotgun spray.”

Christy Lemire of the Associated Press described Shrek as a “90-minute onslaught of in-jokes”, and said while it “strives to have a heart” with “a message about beauty coming from within”, “somehow [the message] rings hollow”.[104] Anthony Lane of The New Yorker said, despite the film “cunning the rendering of surfaces, there’s still something flat and charmless in the digital look, and most of the pleasure rises not from the main romance but from the quick, incidental gags.

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shrek (2001) Accolades

At the 74th Academy Awards, Shrek won the first ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, beating Monsters, Inc. and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. It was also the first animated film to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, “best-of” list, saying, “Prince Charming? So last millennium. This decade, fairy-tale fans – and Princess Fiona – fell for a fat and flatulent Ogre. Now, that’s progress.”[117] It was also nominated for The Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.[118][119]

Shrek was also nominated for 6 BAFTA Awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Film. Eddie Murphy became the first actor to ever receive a BAFTA nomination for a voice-over performance. The film was also nominated for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Film Music, and won the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Shrek was nominated for a dozen Annie Awards from ASIFA-Hollywood, and won eight Annies including Best Animated Feature and Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production.[121]

In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed its “Ten top Ten”; the best ten films in ten “classic” American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community Shrek was acknowledged as the eighth best film in the animated genre, and the only non-Disney·Pixar film in the Top 10.

Shrek was also ranked second in a Channel 4 poll of the “100 Greatest Family Films”, losing out on the top spot to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.[124] In 2005, Shrek came sixth in Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Cartoons poll behind The SimpsonsTom and JerrySouth ParkToy Story and Family Guy.[125] In November 2009, the character, Lord Farquaad, was listed No. 14 in IGN UK’s “Top 15 Fantasy Villains”.

In 2006, it was ranked third on Bravo’s 100 funniest films list.[127] The film’s title character was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in May 2010.[128]

American Film Institute recognition:

  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains:
    • Shrek – Nominated Hero[122]
  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs:
    • I’m a Believer – Nominated[122]
  • AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – Nominated[122]
  • AFI’s 10 Top 10 – No. 8 Animated film

 

shrek (2001) Movie Info

Once upon a time, in a far away swamp, there lived an ogre named Shrek (Mike Myers) whose precious solitude is suddenly shattered by an invasion of annoying fairy tale characters. They were all banished from their kingdom by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). Determined to save their home — not to mention his — Shrek cuts a deal with Farquaad and sets out to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to be Farquaad’s bride. Rescuing the Princess may be small compared to her deep, dark secret.

 

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