ShrekShrek (2001) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film
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- DreamWorks SKG
- Animated Characters: Shrek, The Donkey, Princess Fiona, Lord Farquaad, Monsieur Hood, Geppetto, Magic Mirror, Pinocchio, Three Pigs, Peter Pan, Blind Mouse, Thelonious, Gingerbread Man, Bishop, Merry Men.
- Awards: Academy Award Winner, Best Animated Feature, 2002.
Academy Award Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman and Roger S.H. Schulman, 2002.
Nominee, Best Comedic Performance, Mike Myers, MTV Movie Awards, 2002.
Nominee, Best Comedic Performance, Eddie Murphy, MTV Movie Awards, 2002.
Nominee, Best Movie, MTV Movie Awards, 2002.
Nominee, Best On-Screen Team, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz, MTV Movie Awards, 2002.
Nominee, Black Reel Award, Best Supporting Actor, Eddie Murphy, 2002.
- Originally Released in 2001.
- Running Time: 89 minutes.
Cartoon Production Information:
The film grossed $267.7 million in domestic box office sales, making it the third highest-grossing movie of 2001. Home video sales were huge.
Yes, it does take some well-earned potshots at Disney icons, and I also noticed a few nods to Monty Python and the Holy Grail and even Citizen Kane. But what Shrek most resembles- in spirit- are the irreverent "Fractured Fairy Tales" that Jay Ward produced for TV. Like those classics, Shrek is kind enough to (a) use its satire as throwaway gags, rather than loudly calling attention to its genius, and (b) assume, like all the best cartoons, that both adults and children can enjoy a well-made, hilarious animated movie.
The story has great fun with turning fairy-tale conventions on its head, starting with the "Once upon a time" tale which the ogre Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) reads so sweetly and then ends up using as... well, perhaps I shouldn't say it here. Suffice to say, the movie turns a lot of cliches about love's first kiss inside out by way of demonstrating that, by golly, true love really can come to those who wait, even ogres.
In the meantime, Shrek acquires a sidekick (a donkey with the voice of Eddie Murphy) who himself is enough of a wink at Disney cliches, in that he is actually funny and has a personality. Shrek and the donkey save an imprisoned princess (Cameron Diaz), and that would be enough story for most cartoons right there. But by the time the princess is saved, the movie is only one-third finished, and the princess is an original enough character to be annoyed at the manner of her rescue.
And that is the charm of Shrek, because just when it seems to follow familiar paths, you find that the movie's makers have quite a few surprises to unfurl. Like the best animated films. Shrek has densely filled landscapes, characters, and plot twists that make most of its live-action movie competitors look puny in comparison.
Kudos are richly deserved all around, from the great voice actors (including John Lithgow as a snotty and diminutive prince), to skillful directors Vicki Jenson and Andrew Adamson (never is a shot too lingering or too short), to the gifted writers who adapted the original children's book- and to DreamWorks Pictures, which has tried hard the last couple of years to be a contender and pretender to the Disney throne. This time, they might just have succeeded.
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