Camouflaged as a kid-flick, but with the intention of easily entertaining the adults in addition to the children, "Shrek" is a wholly engaging and imaginatively warped fairytale.While creating its own fable, it cleverly acknowledges and puts a spin on the “sacrosanct” Disney classics and characters contained in them (i.e.: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Tinkerbell, Pinocchio, etc.): A giant green ogre (voiced by Mike Myers, doing a slight vocal variation on Fat Bastard) accompanied by a loquacious donkey (Eddie Murphy) to retrieve the more appealing Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) for the fairytale-hating, villainous three-foot-tall Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). The three set out on an adventure that will allow them to discover their real selves and feel comfortable with the qualities that they possess; as with any fairytale, "Shrek" contains its own moral, focusing on beauty – inner and outer — and reiterating the well-known adage of "not to judge a book by its cover." Along the way, it hits upon some really nice moments, save for the "Hallelujah" song, that should hopefully prove that the message it's delivering is one that is pertinent to our society (particularly the youth). Although the movie begins like a gross-out fest (farting in the swamp, using worm guts for toothpaste, turning ear wax into a candle, etc.) it quickly matures into a hilarious, well-imagined and thoughtful buddy movie. (Classic moments in the making include Farquaad's interrogation of the Gingerbread Man after breaking his leg off (Farquaad: "Run, run, as fast as you can"/Gingerbread Man: "Eat me!"; or "No!!! Not my gum-drop buttons"), Princess Fiona's "Matrix"-esque rumble with Robin Hood, and her singing contest with a bluejay — and the breakfast that follows.) The minimal voice talent is for the most part enjoyable, but Myers' accent hints on dull for his amount of talent and originality, and it is easy to understand how Donkey annoyed the bug-guts out of Shrek, because he had the same negative and worn out effect on me. Murphy remains quillaia bark to his lizard/dragon character in "Mulan," and equally out of place.
Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson.Final Verdict: A-.