“The Prince isn’t charming. The Princess isn’t sleeping. The sidekick isn’t helping. The ogre is the hero. Fairy tales will never be the same again.” This is one of the taglines used to promote the first in a franchise of great family movies by Dreamworks. When you get a great computer animated movie that opens with one of the biggest hits from Smash Mouth you know it’s going to be good! This movie never fails to deliver, and features a cast of fairytale and Mother Goose characters that we have all grown to love and hate over the centuries.
Joining this new fairytale comes our here, the ogre, Shrek (Mike Myers) who just wants to live in peace in his stinky, reptile infested swamp. When the little Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow) starts rounding up magical creatures for a bounty and ejecting from the enchanted forest. One creature, Donkey (Eddie Murphy), manages to escape with the help of some misplaced pixie dust, and Shrek’s intervention. Donkey immediately tries to befriend Shrek, and actually, becomes a little clingy. Shrek agrees to let Donkey stay for one night at the swamp, but when he gets home, he finds the seven dwarves with Snow White’s glass casket on his dining table. He goes to his backyard, and finds all the fairytale creatures looking for refugee status. He likes his privacy, and he wants them gone.
Meanwhile, in the town of Dulock, Lord Farquaad is attempting to find a way to raise his own social status. He has managed to obtain the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror, and he asks it what he must do to become a king. The mirror tells him he must marry a princess, and Dating Game style, the mirror offers up three choices, Cinderella, Snow White, or Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz). Farquaad chooses Fiona, and now has to find a way to get her. She is in a tower that is being guarded by a dragon. The tower is also on an island surrounded by a lake of lava. Oh, fun… So, Farquaad announces that there is to be a tournament to choose the lucky knight that is to rescue the princess from her fiery prison and secure his new kingdom. At this time, Shrek and Donkey are making their way to the castle to have a few choice words with Farquaad.
The ogre and his friend come into town during the tournament, and Farquaad is so repulsed by Shrek’s presence, that he orders the knights to attack him. Soon, using WWE tactics, Shrek becomes Farquaad’s champion, and now has the task of bringing the princess back to Dulock. Silliness, friendship, and even love are on the menu for the surly ogre and his fuzzy sidekick as they head out on an adventure that starts this series of fun fairytale movies, and even one spin-off.
The Shrek movies have become post-modern classics, and it is great to see age-old tales get a contemporary facelift with great popular music and see characters that we thought we knew so well turn out to be anything but what we thought they were. Like Gandalf mentioned about hobbits, Shrek is the same way. You can learn everything there is to know about him, but he still manages to surprise you.
I give this film a Musing review of