Nic’s Review (11/05/2014):
Oh ‘Shrek’. Such a classic you are. It is arguable that you are DreamWorks’ most widely cherished film in popular culture. Or maybe that’s just my own nostalgia talking.
‘Shrek’ is a classic for a reason. It is witty, heartfelt and immaculately efficient. I probably don’t need to tell you this (if you’re anything like me, you know many a line off by heart), but what ‘Shrek’ lacks in emotional complexity, it makes up for with loveable, iconic characters and a message that is so simple yet so effective in its execution it brings to mind ‘Frozen’ and why it was so successful.
Shrek and Donkey are right alongside Marlin and Dory in the hall of icons, and a few unloved sequels shouldn’t rob them of this honour. For they are so well characterised in the original that by ten minutes into the film we feel like we’ve known them forever (even without the nostalgia part).
Returning to the ‘Frozen’ comparison, what they also share is that they are both modern takes on the conventional fairy tale. In both cases the results are charming. Indeed, fairy tales were originally dark and sinister but these films serve as proof that the darkness isn’t a necessary component of their success. ‘Shrek’s message-not to judge people on their appearance- like ‘Frozen’s, is deftly conveyed despite the rapid pace of the 90-minute film. I could go on here, especially about the memorable jokes and lines scattered throughout the film, but you already know you love this film.
‘Shrek’ is a film that’s a lot like an onion. It has layers. I’ll let you peel the rest. For now, though, ‘That’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do.’
Daniel’s Review (14/01/2016):
Once upon a time, a not so handsome ogre named Shrek, lived alone in his perfect little swamp. But one day, a talking Donkey came knocking at his door, destined to make waffles and staying up late. However, fairy-tale creatures invade Shrek’s swamp, and must rescue the princess, named Fiona, as part of Lord Farquaad’s deal, in order to get the fairy-tale creatures away from Shrek’s home.
The surprise hit of 2001, ‘Shrek’ is the film that put DreamWorks Animation on the map as a major animation studio, and a major contender as a rival of Pixar and Disney.
‘Shrek’ is a perfect example of twisting a familiar formula, and reinventing it as a modern story and tweaking the formula making it seem new and fresh. The characters are hilarious to watch, and are extremely likeable and even at times relatable. Shrek sees himself as an ugly stupid ogre, but underneath he is an isolated and gentle soul, Donkey is the wise cracker, yet has a heart and Princess Fiona isn’t the stereotypical princess and isn’t a damsel in distress, she is tough, yet has a hard time seeing herself as beautiful. ‘Shrek’s storytelling is simple, yet complex, as the film is like an onion, it has lots of layers of depth, character and story, which results in being heart-warming and sweet.
‘Shrek’ is the perfect Disney fairy-tale parody, making fun with the tropes of classic Disney flicks in a modern landscape. ‘Shrek’ is one of a kind.