Reviewed by Ivana Redwine
Tagline: "The greatest fairy tale never told."
Length: 90 minutes
In its theatrical release the character-driven animated comedy "Shrek" was a big hit with audiences and critics alike. The movie is very entertaining for both kids and adults, and when I watched it at home on DVD recently, I found it to be a visual delight, and I laughed loud and often. "Shrek" is an unconventional fairy tale that creates its own little world, and the handling of the characters facial expressions and the treatment of lighting are the best Ive seen in animated film so far. But its the humanistic storytelling, rather than the technical wizardry, that makes "Shrek" worth watching.
Voiced by Mike Myers, the title character in "Shrek" is a big, ugly, likable ogre who, accompanied by a wisecracking donkey (voice of Eddie Murphy), goes on a quest to rescue the imprisoned Princess Fiona (voice of Cameron Diaz). Shrek and Donkey must battle a huge fire-breathing female dragon, but eventually they escape with Fiona in tow. Next morning Fiona sings a duet with a bluebird, but when she holds a high-pitched note too long, the sound causes the bluebird to explode! Fiona then fries the bluebirds eggs for their breakfast.
Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona make a long journey, and we see them roasting and eating weedrats along the way. Eventually they reach the kingdom of Lord Farquaad (voice of John Lithgow), and the beautiful Fiona reluctantly prepares to marry the ridiculously short Farquaad. But fortunately the dragon, who has fallen madly in love with Donkey, arrives on the scene to help set things right, and the movie has a joyous ending as "Im a Believer" plays on the soundtrack.
"Shrek" comes packaged as a two-disc DVD set: Disc One contains the movie in full-screen format, while on Disc Two its in widescreen format. Both discs contain a lot of special features.
My favorite special feature is "Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party," which has snippets from many pop tunes and ends with a truly amazing array of animated characters stepping to the tune of "Dance to the Music." I also enjoyed "The Tech of Shrek," which describes the technology that made "Shrek" possible, including how funny things can look when something goes awry in the computer software. Another good feature is "Storyboard Pitch of Deleted Scenes," which gives us a glimpse into the creative side.
I didnt like everything about the "Shrek" DVD set. I hated the feature "HBO First Look: The Making of Shrek," which is boring and infomercial-like. Also, I thought listening to the commentary by producer Aron Warner and directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson was pretty much a waste of time.
But overall I loved the movie and the DVD set. Mike Myers said it best: "Its a great story about accepting yourself for who you are. We live in a society with a warped sense of whos beautiful and whos not, and I think the message of this movie is that everyone is beautiful."
Selected Special Features on the DVD:
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